Low blood sugar in a dog’s pancreas can make your diabetic dog very sick. The pancreas is an important part of the body and is responsible for multiple body functions. They produce a hormone called insulin that helps in digestion.
Insulin helps to regulate blood sugar levels. When there is any problem in the pancreas, insulin production is affected. This happens when there is inflammation in the pancreas or some underlying illness in the body.
What happens when your dog has a low blood sugar level?
- Low blood sugar is dangerous. Sugar levels for dogs must be within the range of 100-250mg/dl. When due to any reason, the sugar level is low, the dog’s body doesn’t get enough fuel to perform. It can start shutting down its functions. (Read diabetic dog restless at night).
- When sugar levels are low, a condition called hypoglycemia can occur. In hypoglycemia, dogs can show symptoms like lethargy, fainting, and weakness. Also if the blood sugar is low for a long time, it will cause seizures or brain death.
- Low blood sugar also causes a condition called ketoacidosis. In ketoacidosis, when the body doesn’t get glucose to perform functions, it starts burning fats as fuel. As a result, the body will start losing fat and the dog will lose a lot of muscle mass.
In ketoacidosis, the acid balance is disturbed and the body starts experiencing symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting. ( Read diabetic dog diarrhea and diabetic dog throwing up).
What causes low blood sugar in dogs?
There are many reasons why your diabetic dog’s blood sugar level is low. Here are a few of them
- When your dog is doing excessive exercise. Always check the dog’s glucose level before activity time. So that you can feed him if his sugar level is low. (Read when to test dog blood sugar)
- Diabetic dogs can have excessive hunger. (Read why is my diabetic dog always hungry). When your dog is starved or not getting enough nutrients the blood sugar level drops. Feed him a good diet and consider adding supplements to your dog’s diet. (Read Nutra thrive for dogs reviews and is Freshpet food good for diabetic dogs)
- The delay between mealtimes. When your dog is diabetic, make a proper routine. Don’t miss a meal. Also, you must break down meals into three or four instead of feeding him once or twice. (read how to prevent diabetes in dogs).
- Overdose of insulin can also cause low blood sugar in dogs. (Read double dose of insulin dogs)
- During pregnancy. Mama to be dogs can have diabetes because hormones can mess up during pregnancy. Dogs can also develop insulin resistance during pregnancy.
- PancreatIc cancer and tumors.
- Inflammation in the pancreas (insulinoma) also affects sugar levels in a dog’s body.
- Antifreeze poisoning can cause low blood sugar levels in dogs. (Read dog stung by the yellow jacket).
- Artificial sweeteners can lower down blood sugar levels.
- Addison’s disease in which adrenal insufficiency occurs in the body. Adrenal hormones affect insulin hormones and can lower blood sugar levels.
H2:What to give a diabetic dog with low blood sugar?
Low blood sugar is an emergency for a diabetic dog because the condition can worsen quickly. Your dog must be fed something to take glucose levels to normal range. (Read glucose level 500).
- If your dog is having low blood sugar before exercise, feed him a snack or his normal food.
- You can also give him his routine diet. Always make sure that diabetic dog is fed well because diabetes can cause hunger.
- In case of hypoglycemia, if your dog is unconscious, rub something sweet on his gums as an emergency home remedy. When sugar levels are stable, take him to the vet.
H2: How Can insulinoma cause low blood sugar levels in dogs?
Insulinoma is a tumor in the pancreas. Tumors can also convert into cancer and spread in the liver and lymph nodes. The pancreas has two types of cells, endocrine and exocrine. Both cells can replicate to form endocrine or exocrine cancer in later stages. When the pancreas has a tumor, insulin production is affected.
Usually, when glucose levels are low in the body, Pancreas shuts down making insulin until the levels are normal again. However, any damage to the pancreas can alter the activity.
In insulinoma, due to excessive cells pancreas keep making insulin even when glucose levels are low. Increased insulin can cause blood sugar levels to a drop down. Symptoms include
- Faster heart rate
- Increased weight
- Trembling (read diabetic dog shaking and puppy front leg shaking).
In severe cases, insulinoma can cause seizures In your diabetic dogs too because they affect stress response in the body.
Insulinoma treatment is the removal of tumors from the pancreas through surgery. If there is a single insulinoma present in the dog’s body, a small incision will be done to take it out. However, if there are multiple tumors, the procedure can be a little risky. Maybe a part of the stomach, liver, or Pancreas is removed with it.
In rare cases, when insulinoma turns cancerous, the condition doesn’t get better even with surgery. A diabetic dog must be treated within two years of insulinoma so that it doesn’t get worse.
Pancreatitis and blood sugar in dogs?
Pancreatitis is inflammation in the pancreas.
We all know Pancreas produces a hormone, insulin which keeps blood sugar levels normal. In severe pancreatitis, the pancreas can stop making insulin at all. This can cause insulin resistance in your dog. Also, pancreatitis can cause type 3 diabetes in dogs.
Dogs who already have diabetes, are more at risk. The inflamed pancreas can secrete toxins that can cause damage to the lungs, kidneys, and heart of your dog. Antibiotics may be given to dogs to treat the condition at the early stages
What to feed a diabetic dog with pancreatitis?
The best way to prevent and fight pancreatitis is to maintain a healthy weight. You must feed your dog a healthy diet. Talk to your vet and decide what food is good for your dog. Reduce fats and carbs and increase protein and fibers.
Pancreatitis is reversible in the early stages but once the pancreas is damaged, it will lose its functioning. In severe cases, pancreatitis is fatal for a diabetic dog.
A diabetic dog can have low blood sugar due to inflammation or tumor in the pancreas. Early treatment can save a dog’s life. However, it is difficult for diabetic dogs to resist the adverse effect of such diseases.