Obe, a 14 year old female neutered border collie cross came to visit Vetwest in January 2015 when, after lacking energy and being a little off her food for a few weeks, she became very unwell with lethargy, vomiting and blood in diarrhoea. She also had a very noticeable strange smell to her breath.
When examined by the Veterinarian, Obe was assessed to be very dehydrated, depressed, and nauseous. She was admitted into hospital, had blood collected for preliminary testing and was immediately placed on intravenous fluids. The blood tests showed many changes, all of which pointed towards one definite diagnosis - Obe was a very unwell Diabetic.
Further samples were collected for additional testing to determine more about her condition. Obe’s treatment included specific fluid replacement to assist with stabilisation of her diabetes, pain management, anti-nausea medication and insulin injections.
The additional tests revealed that Obe’s diabetes had progressed to the very severe condition Diabetic Ketoacidosis (a condition which develops when a Diabetic becomes unbalanced and starts producing large amounts of ketones in their body, making them feel very unwell and causing a strange smell on their breath) – a critical and life threatening condition if left untreated.
Obe’s treatment continued and after three days she had significantly improved. Once her nausea, diarrhoea and dehydration were well managed, Obe was able to return home under the very close supervision of her dedicated family. She was re-examined on a daily basis for the first few days and continued to steadily improve.
It took five days for Obe’s ketoacidosis to resolve, and two weeks for her Diabetes to be well controlled with dietary management and insulin injections. As her diabetes stabilised, Obe soon returned to her old self, with her activity levels, drinking habits and appetite getting back to normal. Obe has proven to be very strong, with a will to be well again. Her family have had to make some adjustments, the largest of which is her twice daily insulin injections, but they do this will great commitment, encouraged by Obe’s daily kisses and bursts of energy.
Obe continues to be stable with her ongoing Diabetes management, and is no longer looking like the old girl her owners had come to know over the previous months.
Some early indicators of diabetes include reduced energy, drinking more than normal, and losing weight while still eating normal or sometimes larger amounts of food.