is my fanciful drawing and simplified explanation of how diabetes
affects your dog.
compounds are involved, the Glucose molecule (drawn
to the far upper left) and the much larger insulin
molecule next to it. Both compounds circulate freely in your
pet’s blood. The glucose came from the foods your dog
ate or was produced in its liver from stored carbohydrates (glycogen)
and proteins. The insulin molecules were produced in its pancreas.
is the primary energy source for the estimated 5-50 trillion
cells that compose your dog’s body.
the upper right is a fanciful image of one of those cells. Glucose
molecules can not pass into these cells without the aid of insulin.
And in Type I diabetes, there is much less insulin around. Once
inside the cells, the glucose is taken up by the cells many
or single mitochondria
represented as oval yellow bodies with honeycomb compartments.
dog's mitochondria function as microscopic “power plants”
generating the chemical energy all cells need - much of it by
the lower right of the illustration, I drew the dog's liver
and intestines, with the pet’s pinkish pancreas snuggled
between loops of its small intestine. Within its pancreas are
many small island, the islets
of Langerhans. These are the portions of your dog’s
pancreas that secrete insulin.
microscopic view of these island-areas that I drew, shows one
with a normal functioning islet and another, to the left of
it, in which the islet is no longer producing insulin. Chronic
inflammation has replaced the dog's ß-cells
with scar tissue.