It’s important to keep a check on your dog’s overall health. Monitoring glucose levels is one of them. In this article, we will discuss everything about dog blood sugar levels and tips to monitor and control them.
Why monitoring blood sugar levels is important?
Blood sugar level tells us how well the body is functioning actually. If the levels are high, it means the pancreas is not making enough insulin to convert glucose into energy. That is why glucose is present in the bloodstream. High-level glucose is dangerous for a dog’s health and is a threat to life.
If the blood sugar level remains high, condition hyperglycemia can occur. This can cause multiple organ failures and seizures in dogs. High glucose level also means diabetes. If the sugar level is low, either your dog is not getting proper nutrients or you have given them a double dose of insulin. (Read our article double dose of insulin dogs to know more).
With a consistent low sugar level, condition hypoglycemia can occur. If the condition persists, body functions start shutting down. Continuous low blood sugar levels can also cause ketoacidosis in your dog. Ketoacidosis means your dog’s body is using fats instead of glucose. So dogs will start losing weight and get weaker.
The symptoms of ketoacidosis include diarrhea, vomiting, and trembling. In severe cases, ketoacidosis can also cause brain death.
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Blood sugar levels must stay within the normal range. If the levels are up or down, your dog is in a threatening situation. So it’s important to monitor blood sugar levels regularly. It helps you to determine
- whether your dog is diabetic?
- If the diabetic dog’s sugar level is disturbed.
When you should consider testing your dog’s blood sugar level?
There are two situations here.
You don’t know your dog is diabetic
Blood sugar levels can tell if your dog is having diabetes. But why would you consider it? Well, your dog will start showing symptoms that might worry you. Although these symptoms may look harmless but never ignore even the slightest change in your dog’s routine behavior. These symptoms include
- Frequent urination
- Excessive thirst
- Increased hunger
We fully understand that many owners ignore these symptoms because they don’t pose any seemingly threat to dogs’ health. These harmless symptoms can slightly turn into more severe situations. So we advise keeping a regular check on blood glucose levels anyway. Check once a month to ensure normal glucose level. (Read glucose level 500)
Your diabetic dog blood sugar levels
It’s important to keep diabetic dogs’ blood sugar levels in control. Diabetes is all about careful management. If your dog is diabetic, make a proper chart and record levels regularly. This will help you to track your dog’s insulin management, sugar levels, and overall condition. Managing Diabetes is sensitive and risky.
When to test dog blood sugar level?
To get a better insight into glucose levels, ita important that you check glucose levels
- before the meal. Blood sugar level before a meal is called “fasting sugar level” and it must be within 85-110 mg /dl.
- After the meal. It will help you to determine how much insulin is required and what is the effect of insulin on the body. The normal glucose level throughout the day should be between 100-250 mg/dl.
- Before the exercise or physical activity. If the glucose level is down before physical activity, you have to feed your dog to keep up the energy levels.
- When your dog is sick. In sickness, the body acts differently.
- If you feel your dog is under stress as stress hormones interfere with insulin production and affect glucose levels in the body.
- Before giving your dog any snack or treat.
- If your dog is showing symptoms of high or low blood sugar levels.
Maintaining a glucose curve for dogs?
Keeping a regular record of dog glucose levels helps you to control how much diabetes affects his body. For this, you have to maintain a glucose curve for your dog.
The glucose curve helps you to know
- High and low limits of dog blood sugar level.
- Glucose nadir (the low glucose level goal)
- How fast insulin affects the glucose level to go on the normal range.
- And How long the effect remains.
How to test dog blood sugar level at home?
Glucometer is used to test a dog’s blood sugar level at home. There is no big science behind it. You have to draw a droplet of blood from your dog’s body on the strip and take a reading on the glucometer. But
Where to draw blood on a dog for a glucose test?
Mostly to test sugar level, draw blood from your dog’s inner area of underlip. Fold the lip outwards and draw blood by pricking or using a lancet device. However, dogs can resist this.
Another place to draw blood is the inner fold of the ear. Before drawing blood use your finger to gently rub on the area. It increases blood circulation and makes it easy to draw droplets of blood.
Can you check the dog sugar level from your meter?
Blood glucose meters for humans are comparatively low cost than those made specifically for pets. Although many people will suggest yes you can do it at home with your meter. We suggest NO!.
A dog and a human doesn’t share the same anatomy. Both instruments are made to check plasma and dogs’ plasma is different from humans. You can check your dog’s glucose level from your meter, but the results will not be accurate.
What is a saliva glucose test for dogs?
Owners who don’t want to draw blood by pricking method go for a saliva test.
In a saliva test, the dog’s saliva is taken on a tab and the color of saliva tells sugar level. This is a no painful method to check the dog sugar level. Although we are not much sure about its accuracy but it’s better than not checking at all.
- The advantage of a saliva test is that it is easy to do and the dog doesn’t feel stressed while giving samples.
- However, the disadvantage is that you can’t rely much on saliva for accurate sugar levels.
You should check your dog’s sugar level before and after the meals and keep a regular record of it. Maintaining a glucose chart helps you to monitor and control diabetes in dogs.