PetMeds® Regulating Blood Sugar Levels in Pets (Diabetes)

Diabetic pets require insulin and glucose monitoring to help control their blood sugar Increasing numbers of dogs and cats are being diagnosed with diabetes mellitus, which in most cases in both species is due to a relative lack of insulin production in the pet.  This can have many causes from dietary to secondary complications from diseases like pancreatitis, hormonal diseases like Cushing’s disease, or genetic in origin. Once a diagnosis of diabetes is made by documenting both high blood and urine sugar, most pets are usually started on one of the many available types of insulin.

However, after teaching animal guardians about insulin injections, there is far more that needs to be done over a long period of time to try and insure optimal health for their diabetic animal companions.  For many years veterinarians have relied on measuring blood sugar levels throughout the day after AM insulin injection at the animal hospital, initially quite frequently after the diagnosis in the coming weeks and months.  Usually a 12 to 24 hour sugar curve is generated and recommendations for insulin dosage adjustments are made.

In recent years a blood fructosamine test was made available which is a single blood measurement which allows veterinarians to assess the average blood sugar for the previous 3 weeks. However, both of these techniques have several shortcomings, including not accounting for the daily fluctuation in blood sugar levels. Especially in a veterinary hospital environment many factors from dietary inconsistency to emotional stress can affect the accuracy of these sugar curves. Over the past year or so more and more animal guardians are now purchasing blood sugar devices for at-home monitoring of blood sugars to allow for more accurate management of their pets and adjustments of dosages by the veterinarian.

Veterinarians can teach clients to get a drop of blood from various capillary sites on the body from the ears to the oral mucous membranes to areas on the pads to measure blood sugar levels at home. With these newer technologies, sugar levels are better able to be monitored and diabetic complications such as cataracts, neurological issues and secondary infections can be minimized and/or better managed over time.

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  7. i am concerned with my yorkie 11.5 years old she is now dieabetic taking novo insulin she was taken 2 units now 8 units theyre now saying she may have cushing disease but no test was done my question one is she on dry royal canine dieabetic food and she stopped eating it can she be given chicken and greenbeans and brownrice the other question is how can i check her levels a home funds are not that great right now

  8. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMay 20, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    They do make at home blood sugar monitors for dogs which you can ask your vet about. Also I would consider home made diet for diabetics. See book by Donald Strombeck phd on home canine diets which you can find on line. Also see website for home recipes for pets and ask Chef Loreen about diets. Tell her I referred you.

  9. My Yorkie is 7 and1/2. She was just diagnoized with diabeties, pancreatitis and colon problem. He has never been sic and I think the cause is the junk we give him. The vet bill was $1538 and neded one more day of blood testing, We are older dog owners and this amt of money is killing us. Please help me with some homeopathic remendies. Pat Odonnell

  10. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianOctober 1, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    Hi Pat. Best to start by feeding a “proper” home made diet, such as ones in book Dr Pitcairns guide to natural health for dogs and cats by Richard Pitcairn, dvm, phd. I also would refer you to home recipes by my friend Chef Loreen, whom you can reach at Loreen has OUTSTANDING recipes for these conditions. Use my name as referral. These fresh diets are SO much better than processed expensive commercial foods, and can help improve health. I would also put her on good supplements such as naturevet enzymes and fast balance probiotic from 1800petmeds. I also strongly recommend a GREAT antioxidant called Canine Health by Life Vantage. They also make a wonderful antioxidant for people called Protandim. To learn more about these products see the video on To order Canine Health or Protandim, go to

  11. 10 yo min-pin recently diagnosed diabetes. Doc desires to do a glucose curve. vet put dog on w/d prescription diabetic good. I don’t like o many ingredients usually try to stick 4 or less. Also, according to hill’s site, dog should do 1 1/4 c. food, vet said 3/4 c. I told her other day dog seems to be starving, and se reassured me not. I just don’t have confidence in vet any longer. yesterday, diagnosed UTI. Do you recommend at home glucose curve? I am going to try recipes on site in one o the responses rom you.

  12. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianNovember 19, 2014 at 4:56 pm

    I personally dont have clients do at home sugar curves. I also strongly recommend a better quality low carb, low grain or starch free diet like Wysong epigen diet from 1800petmeds, or a proper home made diet which pets do much better on these type of foods than processed commercial kibbles from these companies.

  13. My poodle/Toy 10 years old, he went blind has no teeth and lost almost all of his hair, all this happen when I was diagnosed with cancer. He was diagnosed with diabetes the Vet him put on Humulin- N (NPH) U-100 and w/d prescription diabetic food. How do I get his hair to grow back? This has cost me a lot of money and still is and I don’t have a lot of money. But I love him.

  14. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianDecember 6, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    Sometimes dogs with hormonal issues like Diabetes can have hair loss issue. I would also ask your vet to check him for Cushings disease, which can more commonly cause hair loss in dogs, and sometimes can be present at same time as Diabetes. There are a few great natural supplements in melatonin at dose of 3 mg once or twice daily and Lignans i.e that can sometimes help with hair growth in dogs with hormonal issues. Also a good quality fish oil like nordic naturals pet omega 3 from 1800petmeds and adding one teaspoon of coconut oil to food also may help. I am NOT a big fan of W/D diet, and much prefer low carb, low grain all natural diets like wysong epigen diet from 1800petmeds.

  15. My 6 yr old schnauzer, was diagnosed with sugar. What is the normal range of sugar once the blood has been tested? Currently, he is at 427, vet has increased it to 12 units, was ten. How long does it take to regulate him. He is 25.4 lbs.
    Thank you,
    Carolyn from Uniontown ,

  16. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianDecember 25, 2014 at 10:00 am

    Every pet’s regulation differs. Often much patience is required over many months as doses of insulin are adjusted, etc. I would strongly recommend a NONcarb starch free diet like wysong epigen diet from 1800petmeds. I prefer this way over the processed commercial diets at vet offices. Normal blood sugar is 80 to 120, but in diabetes we simply try and keep sugars under control between this range and 250 or 300, so that symptoms of diabetes are adequately controlled.

  17. Just received a diagnosis of diabetic on our 11 year old chocolate lab (65. lbs). Been instructed to give 30 units of Humiln N twice a day. Can we switch to Vetsulin or Novolin N to save on costs? Is Novlin N the 24 hr injectable?

  18. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianMarch 18, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    I dont think changing insulins would be a problem, but check with your vet. Novolin N is acceptable alternative in many cases but is usually a twice daily insulin shot in most dogs.

  19. I have an 11yr old Cairns Terrier he was diagnosed with Cushings Disease about 4-5 years ago. He had blood done in April and everything was fine. By the end of May he was diagnosed with diabetes. I started giving him insulin twice a day about 9 days ago. I switched him to a Raw Food diet (Instinct by Natures Valley). Today he had his glucose tested all day at the Vets and his glucose is extremely high 549. Vet wants him on a diabetic diet, but, I don’t feel comfortable with Hill’s Science diet. I need help in finding a diabetic diet. Can you recommend something? I want to pass it by my Vet. I would appreciate any help you can give me. Thank you in advance

  20. I have a 14 yr. Dachsy,13lbs., 2 shot a day novolin 8 units ea., was on Hill’s but does not like. Trying Cores high protein, no grain, no gluten, levels in morn,460, 4pm 325, eve 516, still trying to adjust food, Dr. ck ups but no real counseling. I do glucose curve testing, as too $$$ for Dr. to do it. I am trying to get the reading lower, but having a hard time adjusting food. Veterinary Nutritionists are hard to locate for a better education. Has been tested for Cushings, I was told he does not have it. No ultrasound on pancreas, or questions as to why the failure.
    In closing, their are competent Drs. and their are ones that are not, one has to get educated and do deep search!!

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