Friday, December 2, 2016
Hypoglycaemia is commonly seen in veterinary emergency rooms and may be caused by a multitude of disease processes. Patients with hypoglycaemia may display symptoms of weakness, ataxia and in severe cases, seizures. Hypoglycaemia is often described when serum blood glucose levels fall below 3.5 mmol/litre. The veterinarian must rule out potential causes of hypoglycaemia including sepsis, hepatic disease, hypoadrenocorticism, insulin overdose, cancer and toxin exposure. If the patient is sub-clinical it is important to rule out a lab or sampling error and consider the possibility of an insulinoma. Although rare in canines, the triage nurse should be familiar with the complications that can arise when treating these patients. This article will discuss the aetiology and physiology of a disease that may be overlooked in a busy emergency room.
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