A little Luck and a lot of work!

September 12th, 2015 by Dr. Levey

At Madison we have so many wonderful clients who work hard to make sure that their pets stay healthy. I have the opportunity to work with one such family and I wanted to tell you a little about them.

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This is Lucky. Lucky was recently diagnosed with Diabetes Mellitus. When an animal has Diabetes their blood sugar, also called glucose, becomes very elevated. This elevation stems from a lack of insulin. The role of insulin is to act as a key to get the glucose into the cells where it is metabolized by the cells and turned into energy.  With out the insulin the blood sugar gets higher and higher while the cells continue to starve.

High blood sugar can lead to urine infections, kidney damage, cataracts, acid/base disturbances, and a host of other problems.  Diabetes is fatal if not treated. The main stay of treatment for diabetes is injectable insulin. One of the challenges is to find a dose and timing of injections to keep the blood sugar in a good range. One way we do this is to run a Glucose Curve – this is where we check blood sugar every hour over the course of a day to get an idea of how much the glucose drops and how fast it rebounds. We do this in the office which means that the pet needs to stay all day with us and it can be stressful. Stress can increase blood sugar…. This is a diagnostic problem.

Back to Lucky. Lucky’s family took the extra step of getting a glucometer (a small machine that measures glucose in a small sample of blood) to use at home. They made an appointment with one of our technicians and learned how to get the small blood sample from Lucky and how to work the machine. Now they can run glucose curves at home! Lucky’s “Mom” calls me with the results and we discuss what, if any, changes need to be made.

Lucky does not even mind the poke. He gets extra pets and attention during the procedure and it only takes a minute!  Lucky sure is a lucky dog! 🙂

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