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Tiger's Story

Tiger Pearl’s Story
17/04/2018 The Neighbourhood Vet

“My dog’s lost weight, and quickly”

Weight loss can be a concerning problem in our older pets. So when Tiger-Pearl lost weight extremely rapidly, her owners brought her in to see us. From our records we could see she had dropped from a healthy 28kg to 16kg in a matter of weeks. The rate of her weight loss was extremely alarming, and our team advised blood tests to work out why.

The blood tests revealed that Tiger-Pearl had a very high level of blood glucose (sugar) suggesting she was suffering from diabetes mellitus. Diabetes can be a difficult to manage condition in many animals, requiring life long intensive medication, frequent blood tests and close monitoring. The unusual aspect of Tiger-Pearl’s case was the rate with which she had dropped weight.Sometimes certain conditions can cause what we refer to as “insulin resistance” which causes diabetes. One such situation is hormones during the oestrus cycle (seasons). Tiger-Pearl had never been neutered; therefore I suggested we could get the diabetes under control by neutering her.

The decision to operate was not an easy one, as with her weakened body she would not be ideal for an anaesthetic. However there would be little chance of stabilising her diabetes with treatment alone. After discussions with the rest of the vet team and the owner, Tiger-Pearl underwent surgery.

Fortunately Tiger-Pearl is a tough girl and the operation was successful and she recovered well. With the owners hard work, she then was kept on insulin at home to stabilise her blood glucose levels and she rapidly started to gain weight again. With time we have been able to decrease the insulin dose and now have managed to wean her off the insulin completely. To achieve remission from diabetes mellitus is a very rare occurrence. Even with this specific condition, only about 5% of dogs will achieve true remission. We are very glad that Tiger-Pearl is one of them, and I am sure you will agree she is now looking fantastic again.

Written by Dr Chris Wilson
Veterinary Surgeon

Reference:

Pöppl, A.G., Mottin, T.S., and González, F.H.D., (2013) ‘Diabetes mellitus remission after resolution of inflammatory and progesterone-related conditions in bitches’ Research in Veterinary Science,  94(3),  pp. 471-474 

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