We remain open to provide care for your pets. We are following the direction of government and regulatory authorities and have implemented hospital and visit protocols to keep both you and our team safe. For regular updates on our hours and visit protocols, please follow our social media platforms.

902.477.4040

Diabetes Mellitus

To better understand this condition, we must first introduce some background as to how the body regulates blood sugar levels.

For the body to function properly, tissues and cells require fuel, also known as sugar. Sugar is ingested through the food we eat, via carbohydrates and starches. These sugars are then converted into glucose to be absorbed and used by the body. Insulin, a hormone that is released by the pancreas, is needed to allow glucose to be stored and burned by the body. Without insulin, glucose remains in the bloodstream to where it can reach extremely high levels.

When a pet is diagnosed with diabetes, it means that their pancreas is producing little to no insulin; therefore, glucose is not burned or stored by the body. One can think of insulin as the gatekeeper to body tissues and cells where glucose is granted entry. Without the presence of a gatekeeper, glucose cannot enter and engage with the cells on the opposite side.

What happens to the body?
Blood sugar levels will continue to rise and will not be removed from the bloodstream. Due to this, the kidneys will try to compensate by acting as buckets to conserve some of the vast amounts of sugar. However, it ultimately spills over into the urine as the kidneys can only handle so much. Glucose can act like a sponge and draw in large volumes of water, which in turn increases the pet’s thirst, and they urinate excessively. As well, urinary tract infections are common as the glucose in the urine provides a desirable growing environment for bacteria.

As the body is starving due to the lack of glucose to cells and tissues, fat stores are being utilized and breaking down muscle. However, fat does poorly without insulin. Therefore, pets have increased appetite and weight loss.

Treatment
Typically treatment will include syringes and a bottle of insulin that the owner will have to administer. Many pet parents are apprehensive at first about giving their pet injections, however, it is quite simple and owners will be shown how to administer the medication.

The veterinarian will select the type of insulin and the initial dosing. It may be trial and error to see what works best for the pet and to decrease the risk of hypoglycemia. Most injections will be two doses per day, ideally 12 hours apart and administered after a meal. Insulin will need to be stored in the fridge as it needs to remain cool and rolled gently in your hands before each injection.

It is important the owner does NOT alter the dose! If adjustments need to be made or a different insulin type needs to be selected, then a glucose curve will need to be performed. The first few curves can be performed at your veterinary clinic where the pet will have their initial dose of insulin and meal at home before spending the next 12 to 24 hours where their glucose will be checked with a glucometer every 2 to 4 hours. After the completion of these readings, a veterinarian will evaluate the results and discuss any changes that need to be made with the owner.

If you suspect that your pet is displaying symptoms of increased thirst, increased urination, increased appetite, and weight loss, please contact your veterinarian to schedule an appointment.

Written by: Meghan Toope, RVT

Category:

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COVID-19: Additional measures we are taking

Dear Clients,

Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.

The following changes are effective as of Monday, March 23, 2020:

1. We are currently operating a “closed waiting room” policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and use your cell phone to call us at 902-477-4040. We will take a history from outside of your vehicle, and bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. We will then return to your vehicle with your pet to discuss our recommended treatment plan. If you do not have a cell phone please knock our door to let us know you have arrived and then return to your vehicle.

2. We are continuing to accept appointments for urgent or sick pets, as well as time-sensitive puppy/kitten vaccinations. All other services will be scheduled for a later time.

3. We are still OPEN with the following hours:
Monday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday: 1:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Wednesday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thursday: 1:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Friday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

4. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 2-4 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive to pick up your order, but do not enter the hospital. Our staff will bring your order to your car and take payment over the phone. You can also use our online store and have your food delivered directly to your home. To sign up for the online store, visit our website.

5. For the time being, we are not accepting cash as payment. Credit cards and debit card payments are still available.

Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our roles. As such, we have taken measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus.

Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid and any updates will be provided as changes occur.

- Your dedicated team at Spryfield Animal Hospital