is the key
Animals eat food that the body changes to energy for growth, maintenance,
and daily activity. Digestive enzymes convert food nutrients to
chemicals that can be used by the organs to carry on body functions
and leave some energy for running, playing, working, and looking
for tomorrow’s dinner. The bloodstream then carries these chemicals
to the cells for fuel. Glucose, a simple sugar, is the body’s main
fuel and is thus a critical product of the metabolic process, but
the mere presence of glucose isn’t enough – it must be moved from
the blood to the cells for use.
is a hormone secreted by the Beta cells which are located in areas
of the pancreas (a small organ near the bottom of the stomach and
the small intestine) known as Islets of Langerhans. (The word insulin
means island.) The pancreas produces both hormones and digestive
enzymes. When the insulin-producing cells are damaged or destroyed
by disease or affected by genetics, Diabetes Mellitus is the result.
essential hormone not only opens the pathways for glucose to get
from the blood to the cells, it helps prevent the liver from producing
an excess amount of glucose, and aids the body in storing the sugar
for future energy use. Diabetes Mellitus occurs when the endocrine
system fails to produce enough insulin to do all three jobs. The
result is too much glucose in the blood and too little in the cells,
a condition that forces the cells to seek energy elsewhere and seriously
disrupts body functions.
Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (IDDM)
IDDM is considered to be the most common hormonal disorder in dogs
and is also common in dogs. Most affected dogs are obese. Onset
of the disease is generally between seven and nine years of age.
Reproductive hormones may place unspayed female dogs at higher risk;
Keeshonds, Pulis, Miniature Pinschers and Cairn Terriers seem to
have a genetic predisposition to IDDM; and Poodles, Dachshunds,
Miniature Schnauzers, and Beagles may have increased potential for
developing the disease.
IDDM can also be triggered by infectious virus diseases, immune
deficiencies that result in destruction of the insulin-producing
cells in the pancreas, pancreatic infections, steroids and reproductive
hormones, and Cushing’s disease.
occurrences are found in dogs between the ages of 5 to 7, and female
dogs appear to be more susceptible.
with Diabetes usually drink more water, go to the bathroom more
frequently (may start to urinate in the house), and can begin to