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High Blood Sugar (Hyperglycemia) in dogs and cats

Hyperglycemia is the medical term for high blood sugar. Hyperglycemia is the presence of a high concentration of glucose in the blood. Glucose is a sugar, derived from carbohydrates. It is the major source of energy in the body.

Additional information

  • High concentration of glucose in whole blood, plasma, or serum
  • Pathophysiology
  • Hyperglycemia may result from absolute or relative insulin deficiency, reduced utilization of glucose in peripheral tissue, increased gluconeogenesis in the liver, and increased glycogenolysis. Insulin antagonists or counterregulatory hormones (e.g., cortisol, adrenocorticotropic hormone [ACTH], growth hormone, epinephrine, and glucagon) also contribute to hyperglycemia.

    Systems Affected
  • Endocrine/metabolic--primarily because of regulating carbohydrate metabolism
  • Renal/ urologic--osmotic diuresis caused by hyperglycemia causes polyuria with secondary polydipsia
  • Nervous--severe hyperglycemia may cause CNS dysfunction by increasing serum osmolality
  • Ophthalmic--persistent hyperglycemia (e.g., diabetes mellitus) can cause cataracts in dogs
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