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Effects of exogenous insulin on glucose tolerance in alpacas

Christopher K. CebraDepartment of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331-4802.

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 VMD, MS
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Shaun A. McKaneDepartment of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331-4802.

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 BVSc, PhD
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Susan J. TornquistDepartment of Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331-4802.

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 DVM, PhD

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the effects of exogenous insulin on clearance of exogenous glucose in alpacas.

Animals—7 adult castrated male alpacas.

Procedure—Prior to each of 2 trials, food was withheld for 8 hours. Glucose (0.5 g/kg of body weight) was then administered by rapid IV infusion. During 1 of the trials, regular insulin (0.2 U/kg, IV) was also administered 15 minutes later. Blood was collected immediately before (0 minutes) and 15, 20, 25, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, 180, and 240 minutes after glucose administration. Plasma concentrations of glucose and lactate were determined, and glucose fractional turnover rate and plasma half-life were calculated.

Results—Insulin treatment caused a significant increase in fractional turnover rate of glucose and plasma lactate concentration. Plasma glucose concentrations were less in insulin-treated alpacas from 30 minutes after glucose administration (15 minutes after insulin administration) until the conclusion of each trial, compared with nontreated alpacas. In addition, plasma glucose concentration in insulin-treated alpacas returned to baseline values 1 hour sooner than in the nontreated group.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Glucose uptake in alpacas improves after insulin treatment, suggesting that administration of exogenous insulin will increase the therapeutic and decrease the pathologic effects of exogenous glucose administered to hypoglycemic alpacas. However, alpacas and other New World camelids should be monitored carefully during treatment with glucose or insulin, because these species appear to be partially insulin resistant. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:1544–1547)

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the effects of exogenous insulin on clearance of exogenous glucose in alpacas.

Animals—7 adult castrated male alpacas.

Procedure—Prior to each of 2 trials, food was withheld for 8 hours. Glucose (0.5 g/kg of body weight) was then administered by rapid IV infusion. During 1 of the trials, regular insulin (0.2 U/kg, IV) was also administered 15 minutes later. Blood was collected immediately before (0 minutes) and 15, 20, 25, 30, 45, 60, 90, 120, 180, and 240 minutes after glucose administration. Plasma concentrations of glucose and lactate were determined, and glucose fractional turnover rate and plasma half-life were calculated.

Results—Insulin treatment caused a significant increase in fractional turnover rate of glucose and plasma lactate concentration. Plasma glucose concentrations were less in insulin-treated alpacas from 30 minutes after glucose administration (15 minutes after insulin administration) until the conclusion of each trial, compared with nontreated alpacas. In addition, plasma glucose concentration in insulin-treated alpacas returned to baseline values 1 hour sooner than in the nontreated group.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Glucose uptake in alpacas improves after insulin treatment, suggesting that administration of exogenous insulin will increase the therapeutic and decrease the pathologic effects of exogenous glucose administered to hypoglycemic alpacas. However, alpacas and other New World camelids should be monitored carefully during treatment with glucose or insulin, because these species appear to be partially insulin resistant. (Am J Vet Res 2001;62:1544–1547)