ISSN 2398-2985      

Blood biochemistry: glucose

4ferrets

Overview

  • Physiological plasma levels of glucose are maintained by glucagon (raises glucose) and insulin Insulin (lowers glucose) to ensure that a continuous supply of glucose is available as an energy source for cell metabolism.
  • Absorbed via small intestine.
  • Stored as glycogen in liver and muscle and liberated when plasma levels fall.
  • It is the only monosaccharide present in significant amounts in blood and body fluids.
  • Glucose is the major source of energy through the process of oxidative metabolism.
  • Other hormones can raise plasma glucose by increasing gluconeogenesis or glycogenolysis or increasing/decreasing utilization.
  • Any condition which affects these hormones will influence plasma glucose levels.
  • Hypoinsulinism (diabetes mellitus) → hyperglycemia.
  • Epinephrine Epinephrine (adrenaline), cortisol, growth hormone, progesterone, hyperinsulinism (insulinoma) → increase glucose levels.
    • Glucose in the blood is derived from three main sources:
      Intestinal absorption. Increased blood glucose concentrations occcur 2 to 4 hours after a meal.
      Hepatic production: gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis. Produced when metabolically necessary.
      Kidney production. Produced when metabolically necessary.

Sampling

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Tests

Methodologies

Screening

  • Dextrostix used with whole blood only, gives a semi-quantitative indicator of gross changes in plasma glucose.
  • In-house glucometers (calibrated for dogs and cats) may be used.

Specific assays

  • Glucose oxidase reaction - results said to approach true glucose value under reliable laboratory conditions.
  • Ortho-toluidine - also measures galactose and mannose, but these are considered insignificant; simple, fast test.

Non-specific assays

  • Nelson-Somogyi and Folin-Wu - may give slightly higher than true levels, the former more specific than the latter.
  • Ferricyanide - approaches true glucose level.

Technique (intrinsic) limitations

  • Some laboratory methods affected by presence of enzyme inhibitors/activators.

Result Data

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Hess L (2012) Insulin glargine treatment of a ferret with diabetes mellitus. JAVMA 241 (11), 1490-1494 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Fox J G & Marini R P (eds) (2014) Biology and Diseases of the Ferret. 3rd edn. Wiley Blackwell, USA. pp 835.
  • Mayer J & Donnelly T M (2013) Clinical Veterinary Advisor: Birds and Exotic Pets. Elsevier, USA. pp 752.
  • Fudge A M (1999) Laboratory Medicine. Avian and Exotic Pets. W B Saunders Co. ISBN 0721 676 790.

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