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Know the signs: Diabetic Shock in Dogs

We have a dog with diabetes. She was diagnosed over a year ago. I imagine compared to many, our experience has been relatively easy. We identified the symptoms fairly quickly. Our vet was fast with test results. Her insulin dosage was pretty seamless to adjust. The internet, friends and colleagues are a wealth of resources and encouragement. I definitely felt that we responded to this significant medical change in Cleo more quickly and effectively than our experience with her allergies.

However, for every one person who knows about diabetes in dogs, there are many who do not. They usually say, "Dogs can get diabetes? I had no idea!" That moment can stop you short. It makes me think of the dogs who are discarded at shelters, or whose life is cut short because their person had this reaction.

When your dog is a member of the family, and you fuss over their care the way many Americans do, it is hard to step back sometimes and remember that you are not infallible. Your dog clearly loves you, responding to all the thoughtful care-giving and attention you provide. But unless you are a vet, or vet tech, your training is from the point of view of a concerned and loving guardian. Like most of us.


Caring for a diabetic senior dog

What if your dog is living with diabetes. You're managing their diet and life well. Like us, you've had a pretty reasonable experience and the changes to your life and theirs has been fairly straightforward. Are you prepared for that one time when things go wrong? Do you know the signs of diabetic shock in a dog? We recently had a moment where our dog showed signs of diabetic shock. It caught us by surprise. 

A diabetic shock occurs in dogs that are diagnosed with diabetes, and indicates a condition determined by a low level of glucose in the blood or hypoglycemia. The condition may be caused by:

An overdose of insulin, if you administer too much or the prescribed dose is too high.

Excessive exercise that will cause a decrease of the glucose levels in the blood.

If the dog skips a meal, this will result in an immediate drop in the blood sugar; even a one-hour delay of the meal may result in low levels of glycemia.

Excitement may also lead to a diabetic shock.

Know the signs, the triggers for your dog and how to respond.

We were lucky. Cleo's symptoms disappeared fairly quickly as her level of glycemia rose. We realized afterwards that we were walking her too far in the morning before her breakfast. We also were letting her sleep in, because as a senior dog we thought Cleo deserved it. The added time between meals and insulin injections was too long for her that one day. Even an hour delay between meals and insulin can cause diabetic shock in a dog.

Please talk with your vet about this serious topic, their recommendations on how to prevent diabetic shock in your dog, and how to respond if your dog shows signs.

For more information visit: http://www.vetinfo.com/diabetic-shock-in-dogs.html

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