What Are the Treatments for Ketoacidosis in Dogs?

by Naomi Millburn
The dachshund is prone to diabetic ketoacidosis.

The dachshund is prone to diabetic ketoacidosis.

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If your dog has diabetes mellitus, a common ailment in the canine realm, then diabetic ketoacidosis is a hazardous possibility. Ketoacidosis is a metabolic disorder that's related to extreme hyperglycemia. When diabetic dogs develop ketoacidosis, ketones, a type of acid, accumulate in their blood. Veterinary care is vital for dogs with this condition.

Diabetic Ketoacidosis Background

When insufficient amounts of insulin bring upon the liver's inordinate manufacturing of ketoacids, ketoacidosis arises. Numerous factors can cause diabetic ketoacidosis in canines. The primary cause of the condition is reliance on insulin, although ketoacidosis is also linked to things such as urinary tract infections and skin infections. Dogs frequently experience diabetic ketoacidosis when their diabetes mellitus hasn't yet been identified or managed.

Key Diabetic Ketoacidosis Symptoms

If you notice any unusual symptoms in your diabetic pet, get him to the veterinarian for treatment immediately. Diabetic ketoacidosis is an urgent condition. Common symptoms of the ailment are throwing up, nausea, appetite loss, dandruff, fatigue, feebleness, dehydration, fast breathing, depression, decreased body temperature, frequent urination, inordinate thirst, weight loss and unusual-smelling breath: If your dog's breath has an odor that's reminiscent of nail polish remover, diabetic ketoacidosis could be the culprit. Since diabetic ketoacidosis is a medical emergency in dogs, immediate care is of the essence, no matter the time of day or night. If you notice these symptoms in your pet overnight, take him to a 24-hour veterinary hospital. Female dogs are particularly susceptible to the condition, as are elderly dogs.

Treatment Options

Some dogs with diabetic ketoacidosis need hospitalization, others do not. Attentive animals who are properly hydrated often don't have to be hospitalized. If a dog has diabetic ketoacidosis, his condition might be managed through intravenous fluid therapy, soluble insulin, supplements of phosphate, supplements of potassium and antibiotics. When dogs with diabetic ketoacidosis arrive at the hospital and are throwing up or are unusually exhausted, veterinarians aim to promptly replenish their electrolytes and body fluids. Veterinarians concentrate carefully on supervising the electrolytes, ketones and blood glucose of dogs with diabetic ketoacidosis. They also closely observe urination. Symptoms of the condition can vary based on the duration of the ailment. Only a veterinarian can decide which treatment options are appropriate and safe for dogs with ketoacidosis.

Treatment Process

When veterinarians treat dogs for ketoacidosis, they look for positive reactions such as boosts in appetite or decreases in both their ketones and urine glucose. Dogs with the condition often stay in the hospital for approximately six days, according to veterinarian David Bruyette. Treatment of ketoacidosis in dogs isn't always effective. Insufficient fluid therapy, for example, can be problematic. The emergence of acute kidney failure can also interfere with treatment success. Extreme cases of pancreatitis can thwart treatment, as well.

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