blood glucose level in non-diabetic dogs usually runs between
about 70mg/dL and 140 mg/dl. In those fortunate dogs, pancreatic
beta cells are continuously monitoring blood sugar levels and
releasing insulin into the system as required. But dogs that have
blood glucose levels persistently greater than 200mg/dL have diabetes.
the medicines of today, there is no way you can duplicate the
normal situation with injected insulin. The best you can hope
for is to keep your pet's blood sugar level between 100mg/dL and
150mg/dL. Occasional owners can attain that, but most will find
that their dogs peak (spike) considerably higher.
or more frequent doses of insulin will drive down these glucose
spikes. But that can be dangerous. You do not want the valleys
(nadirs) in your dogs daily glucose levels to be too low (lower
than 80mg/dL) because at slightly less than that, the dog will
become hypoglycemic. With AM and PM injections, their should be
two nadirs. The morning one is usually the lowest.
safest Low Nadir Point for a dog in insulin therapy is about 90
- 100. That is because, after the insulin injection, glucose follow
a skateboard track downward and you will never know from your
last glucometer reading how close you are to the bottom. So fudge
on the side of caution.
your pet is persistently running over 200 - 250 mg/dL you should
at least try to modify its treatment procedure to gain better
control and regulation.
obtain tighter regulation, will probably require quite a bit of
home blood glucose testing and effort on your part – at
least at first. No matter how hard you try, it is not always possible.
But please try not to get exasperated or make rash decisions on
your own. You get to choose your veterinarian. But the veterinarian,
not you, is the one who is trained to make these decisions.
the glucose curves
Your dog needs to stabilize 7-10 days on any given dose to get
an accurate curve. You must make the graph during a period of
home tranquility and stability or it will be of little value.
Some veterinarians suggest they do it at their animal hospital.
That's OK if, for some reason, you can not do it at home. But
that will be more stress on your pet and the insulin/glucose curve
you get there will not be identical or as accurate as the one
you make at home.
you prepare the graph at home, you know the pet ate and what it
ate. You know its insulin needs were not lower do to an empty
stomach, or higher due to stress. You
can add significant events of the day to the graph to try to help
interpret the curve e.g. injection points, meal points, exercise
questions to consider
long did the dose of insulin have an effect? No effect might mean
that your injection technique was inappropriate, the medication
was old (expired) or improperly stored, or the dose was insufficient.
low a nadir might mean that the dose was too large or your feeding
plan needs alteration. Keep track of when they occur - you don't
want potentially dangerous nadirs occurring during times of the
day when you are preoccupied or aren't around.
long did the injection keep my pet's blood glucose in an acceptable
range? Was there evidence of a post-injection spike (Somogyi
Was the dose too low or could a different mix of insulins have
produced a more lasting control?
Too long a lag-time until the dip might mean that the insulin
was poorly absorbed or destroyed by the pet's immune system.
out if and when urine overspills of glucose are occurring (about
180-200 mg/dl) by checking your pets urine with a glucose dipstick
30 minutes after the peak blood glucose graph point.
proper dose of insulin should keep your pet's blood glucose levels
in an acceptable range for about 12 hours (10-14hrs). Low point
(nadir) should occur about 8 hours after the injection.
dog's graph is affected by what it eats. most likely, feeding
your pet two equal size meals, each just after its insulin injections,
will give it its best blood glucose control. Food and insulin
work in tandem, affecting each other and blood glucose in your
pet. But you can make whatever healthy variations that might be
required to obtain the most stable and acceptable blood glucose
levels that you can.