ISSN 2398-2985      

Hypoglycemia

Jreptile
Contributor(s):

Sonya Miles

Sarah Brown

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

Podcast:


Introduction

  • Cause: drugs in certain species, starvation, inappropriate diet for the species, endocrine disease, organ dysfunction, systemic infections, sepsis, iatrogenic trauma.
  • Signs: marked lethargy, dilated pupils, loss of righting reflex, tremors, torpor.
  • Diagnosis: clinical signs, low blood glucose levels, baseline biochemistry/hematology, abdominal imaging (CT/US).
  • Treatment: find and treat the underlying cause. Nutritional support Assisted feeding.
  • Prognosis: dependent on the underlying cause.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Benzimidazoles in Hermann’s tortoises, alongside leukopenia, hyperuricemia and hyperphosphatemia at normal doses.
  • Malnutrition/starvation: >2 months when kept at temperatures under 21°C/69.8°F.
  • Diets too high in protein for the species.
  • Endocrine disease (poorly documented in reptiles).
  • Liver disease.
  • Pancreatic disease.
  • Systemic infections.
  • Sepsis/septicemia.
  • Iatrogenic pancreatic damage: performed in laboratory setting.
  • Normal low blood glucose states can occur during hibernation or brumation in some species.

Pathophysiology

  • Most commonly seen in reptiles due to anorexia Anorexia/starvation or sepsis.
  • It is thought that depleted glycogen stores, impaired gluconeogenesis and peripheral glucose uptake may contribute to the development of hypoglycemia in sepsis.

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.
  • Bardi E, Noviello E & Hofmannová L (2019) Protozoa and protozoal infections in chelonians. J Exotic Pet Med 31, 5-12 SciDirect.

Other sources of information

  • Heatley J J & Russell K E (2019) Clinical Chemistry. In: Mader’s Reptile and Amphibian Medicine and Surgery. Eds: Divers S J & Stahl S. Elsevier. pp 319-332.

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