Hypoglycemia

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Hypoglycemia refers to levels of blood sugar below the normal canine range of 2.5 - 6.0 mmol/L (80 - 120 u/L).

This differs from euglycemia (normal blood sugar levels) and hyperglycemia commonly observed with stress or diabetes mellitus.

Transient hypoglycemia may be due to stress, or, more commonly, is observed clinically in dogs with insulin overdose and concurrent diseases such as insulinoma.

Hypoglycemia typically occurs as a result of excessive use of glucose by normal cells such as occurs during periods of hyperinsulinism, but can also occur as a result of neoplastic cell activity, impaired hepatic gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis, deficiency in diabetogenic hormones, inadequate dietary glucose intake or sepsis.

Clinical signs associated with hypoglycemia are a result of neuroglycopenia and hypoglycemia-induced stimulation of the sympathoadrenal nervous system. Neuroglycopenia results in seizures, weakness, collapse, ataxia, lethargy, and in extremis, blindness, behavior changes and coma.

Causes include:

- hepatocellular carcinoma, hepatoma
- leiomyosarcoma, leiomyoma
- hemangiosarcoma
- carcinoma
- leukemia
- plasmacytoma
- melanoma

Hepatic insufficiency

- portosystemic shunt
- chronic hepatitis
- Neonatal hypoglycemia
- Juvenial hypoglycemia
-Hunting dog hypoglycemia
- Insulin therapy
- Sulfonylurea therapy
- Ethanol ingestion
- Ethylene glycol ingestion
  • Artefact
- Portable glucose-monitoring devices
- Laboratory error
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