ISSN 2398-2985      

Hypoglycemia

6guinea pig
Contributor(s):

Sonya Miles

Sarah Brown

Synonym(s): Low blood sugar, Low blood glucose levels


Introduction

  • Cause: insulinomas reported in this species, as have extrapancreatic neoplasia. Anorexia, starvation and malnutrition, sepsis, metabolic diseases such as liver disease and pregnancy toxemia.
  • Signs: neurological signs (seizures, twitching, unilateral paralysis, ataxia, paddling when in lateral recumbency, circling), lethargy, weight loss, low blood glucose levels, hypothermia
  • Diagnosis: clinical signs, low blood glucose levels, baseline biochemistry/hematology, abdominal imaging (CT/US).
  • Treatment: find and treat the underlying cause. Nutritional support.
  • Prognosis: dependent on the underlying cause.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

Pathophysiology

  • Islet cell disease: tumors secrete insulin resulting in profound hypoglycemia:
    • Insulin increases tissue uptake of glucose and decreases hepatic gluconeogenesis which results in low blood glucose, which the central nervous system needs to function.
    • Absorption of glucose stimulates the neoplastic beta cells to secrete more insulin, which will further drop blood glucose. This may become so low that the brain is unable to function, resulting in convulsions and unconsciousness.
  • When considering extrapancreatic neoplasia Neoplasia overview it is thought that the tumors disrupt glucose metabolism or that they increase the release of insulin or insulin like substances. Decreased gluconeogenesis due to liver dysfunction as a result of the neoplasia, has also been postulated. There is also the possibility of the production of suppressor or counterregulatory hormones by the tumor.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Vannevel J Y & Wilcock (2005) Insulinoma in 2 guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus). Can Vet J 46 (4), 339-341 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Siegel A & Walton R A (2021) Hematology and Biochemistry of Small Mammals. In: Ferrets, Rabbits, and Rodents. Clinical Medicine and Surgery. 4th edn. Eds: Quesenberry K E, Orcutt C J, Mans C & Carpenter J W. Elsevier. pp 569-582.
  • Johnson-Delaney C A (2017) Ferret Medicine and Surgery. CRC Press, USA. pp 207-214.

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