Teagan – Diabetes and Hypothyroidism

Teagan is an 8 year old male Irish Terrier that presented to the clinic with very bad skin and itchy skin (pruritis). On examination Teagan’s skin was red and inflammed and had a yeasty smell. Based on Teagan’s presentation and history it was treated as an allergy related problem. At first Teagan improved significantly with this treatment but after several months his symptoms deteriorated and he also started to become lethargic and gained weight and was also drinking excessively (polydypsia).

Unfortunately we do not have a ‘before’ picture of Teagan however the picture below is close example used to demonstrate.

3efb3f_e7b1d9bd78de4ebe906ef6cd3d980760After a discussion between the vet and Teagan’s owner the decision was made to do further investigation into Teagan’s condition as it was clear that repeating the same treatments as before would not be adequate.

The first step was to run blood tests to check Teagan’s overall health and to try and find a cause of the polydypsia. The list of reasons for polydypsia is long and includes certain conditions such as infection, diabetes, kidney disease and renal disease to name a few.

The blood test revealed that Teagan had high levels of glucose in his blood stream which was the first signal that he may have been a diabetic. The next step involved looking at Teagan’s urine to check for the presence of glucose and any signs of infection. Teagan’s urine did contain glucose and the combination for glucose in his blood and urine confirmed a diagnosis of Diabetes Mellitus.

Teagan’s owners were contacted and an appointment was made to discuss Diabetes and the treatment required. Diabetes is controlled using life-long treatment with insulin injections and a change in the lifestyle of your pet is often required in relation to diet and exercise regimes. Our nurse who specialises in diabetic clinics discussed at length the management of diabetes and the method of injecting insulin with Teagan’s owners. Over the next few months Teagan was monitored closely at the clinic to insure that adequate control of his glucose levels was achieved.

In addition to Teagan’s diabetes, investigation had also revealed that he had a concurrent condition called hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism can have profound effects on skin health, weight and energy levels. Its finding allowed us to understand why Teagan was gaining weight, lethargic and skin remained a persistent problem. Fortunately hypothyroidism is easily treated with medication in a tablet form which helps to increase the body’s level of thyroid hormone (thyroxine) restoring the normal levels in the body. As Teagan’s thyroxine levels increased his coat improved and his skin problems resolved. In addition, Teagan started to return to his old self as his energy levels started to improve.

It is now several months since Teagan was originally diagnosed and both his Diabetes and Hypothyroidism are now well controlled. To ensure Teagan remains in good health he requires regular visits to the vets for blood tests and reassessment . Teagan is very happy coming into the clinic and it is great to see him looking so well, happy and back to his normal self!

For more information on Diabetes or Hypothyroidism please see our pet advice pages.