Diagnosis and Treatment of Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) in Dogs and Cats

What is DKA in Dogs and Cats? Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) is a serious and life-threatening complication of diabetes mellitus that can occur in dogs and cats. DKA is characterized by hyperglycemia, ketonemia, +/- ketonuria, and metabolic acidosis.  Ketone bodies are formed by lipolysis (breakdown of fat) of fat and beta-oxidation when the metabolic demands of the cells are not met by the limited intracellular glucose concentrations.  This provides alternative energy sources for cells, which are…

Read More

Diagnosing and Treating Hyperglycemic Hyperosmolar Syndrome in Dogs and Cats

Hyperglycemic Hyperosmolar Syndrome (HHS) is an uncommon form of a diabetic crisis that can occur in dogs and cats that has the following characteristics: Severe hyperglycemia (>600 mg/dl) Minimal to absent ketones Increased serum osmolarity (> 350 mosm/kg – normal ~ 300) Like diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), HHS is caused by a lack of insulin with increased counter-regulatory hormones (glucagon, epinephrine, cortisol, growth hormone).  Unlike DKA though it is believed that there is not lipolysis so…

Read More

Nutrition for the Critical Dog and Cat

Lack of adequate food intake is a substantial problem in any veterinary intensive care unit (ICU).  This is because the diseases our patients have are often associated with significant anorexia or even an inability to eat.  Additionally, we schedule diagnostics or surgical procedures that lead us to withhold food from our patients.  We are all guilty of writing NPO on a treatment sheet because diagnostics MAY be done that MAY necessitate a fasted patient and…

Read More