Meet Marvellous Monty!
Six-year old Monty presented to the clinic earlier this month for rapid weight loss and excessive thirst and urination. Monty had been on a strict diet for quite some time as he did tend to love his food just that little bit too much! However, within the 3 months since we had last seen Monty, he had lost a massive 31% of his bodyweight despite being absolutely ravenous! Monty was drinking much more water than a dog of his size required, and as a result he was urinating a lot more than he normally did, and having a few ‘accidents’ around the house. Dr Andrew was suspicious Monty could have diabetes mellitus and performed some blood and urine tests.
In dogs, diabetes mellitus is typically caused by a reduction in insulin production by the pancreas. Without sufficient insulin, glucose can’t enter the body’s cells to be used for energy and instead accumulates in the bloodstream. The body breaks down its fat stores as an alternative source of energy by a process known as ketosis. Untreated, diabetes can be fatal.
Clinical signs of diabetes include:
- Ravenous appetite
- Increased thirst
- Increased urination
The diagnosis of diabetes mellitus requires a persistently elevated blood glucose (hyperglycaemia) and the presence of glucose in the urine. The treatment of diabetes can seem daunting to pet parents at first – twice daily subcutaneous insulin injections, but with a bit of practice most owners are surprised at just how easy it is!
Monty’s clinical signs were typical for diabetes mellitus and his blood and urine tests confirmed this. Last week Monty commenced twice daily insulin injections and is doing well. It is still early days for Monty, but we are hopeful that with a few dose adjustments we will be able to control his diabetes and minimise his clinical signs.