Pancreatic Cancer (Insulinoma) in Dogs

An insulinoma is a tumor of the pancreas that affects the regulation of dog’s sugar levels, causing hypoglycemia, also referred to as low blood sugar. 

Pancreas is an important organ of the body. Located behind stomach, this endocrine gland is responsible for maintaining sugar level and excreting digestive enzymes in the body. A special type of cells, known as islets of Langerhans, are scattered throughout the pancreas. These cells are responsible for making and releasing of insulin and glucagon in the body. Specific cells within islets of Langerhans, called beta cells, are specifically responsible for production of insulin in the body. 

Insulin is the primary hormone for regulating blood sugar in the body. In insulinoma, excessive amounts of insulin are produced without needing food in the stomach to trigger its release into the bloodstream. Consequently, blood sugar levels drop in the body causing different neurological disorders. Hence insulinoma is the condition that involves a tumor on the pancreas which causes increase in insulin and drop in the blood suger.

Primary symptom of insulinoma is physical collapse or loss of consiousness. Other neurological abnormalities like seizures and extreme weakness are also possible. Since insulin is secreted periodically, symptoms and their severity may be variable. 

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