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Cases From Our Clinic: Diabetes

Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
Stories From Our Clinic: The Chocolate-Eating Poodle 
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Stories From Our Clinic: The Rottweilier with a Swollen Leg 
Diabetes: The Thirsty Golden
Taffy stopped growing partway through her first year of life. After doing online research, her owners came to us immediately since the
Diabetes: The Thirsty Golden
dog’s symptoms were suggestive of juvenile onset diabetes. Taffy was consuming large amounts of a high-quality dog food, but her weight stayed the same. Then she started to drop pounds, was showing signs of weakness, and was drinking and urinating excessively.

Through blood chemistry tests, we confirmed the owners’ suspicion of diabetes. We explained that special cells in Taffy’s pancreas were not producing enough insulin. Insulin is necessary for the movement of glucose from the bloodstream into the cells. Without it, sugar accumulates in the blood. Taffy’s body then began to burn muscle for energy to compensate for her inability to utilize glucose. This is why her rear legs were weak. Diabetes is a serious condition that affects blood vessels, organs, and even the eyes, and results in a decreased life span.

It was fortunate that Taffy’s treatment could begin early. Dog owners who intervene at the onset of health issues have a greater chance of seeing their pets live long lives. Taffy required daily insulin injections and careful monitoring of blood sugar levels so that the correct amount of insulin could be administered. Feedings, likewise, had to be regular for the maintenance of the proper blood sugar level. It took dedicated effort to return normalcy to Taffy’s life. The extra work was a fair trade for the joy of the owners’ continued years with their special companion.

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