Dog Blood Glucose

"Dog blood glucose or Dog low blood sugar levels refer to cells in the body that aren't receiving the amount of glucose needed. Cells require energy to function normally, and glucose supplied by the blood in a dog’s body is a source of energy. The level of dog blood glucose is controlled by different hormones which are secreted by the pancreas. Two of them are of primary importance, insulin and glucagon. Insulin increases the cellular consumption of glucose from the blood or helps in excretion of extra glucose, while glucagon on the other hand releases cellular glucose into the blood stream and helps in the recovery of glucose from the pelvis of the kidney. Thus, both forms of the condition i.e. dog low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) or dog high blood sugar (hyperglycemia) can occur. Different factors are involved in causing either condition, which should be diagnosed precisely and in a timely manner so that treatment can commence quickly. The treatment plan in either case is relatively slow depending upon the underlying cause. "

Facts about Dog Blood Glucose:

Blood glucose or sugar is obtained from the digestion process, which circulates in the body and is supplied to cells in order to fulfill energy needs. The respiratory mechanism associated with the mitochondria of each living cell converts this sugar into energy. Dog blood glucose can be stored in the liver, in the form of glycogen, which can be converted into fat, which accumulates within and on muscles.

Energy is essential to not only maintain the physique of the body, but also is a basic need to fulfill the overall requirements of a dog's physiology. A normal and healthy dog should have 2 – 2.5 mmol/L of blood glucose to keep its body functioning normally in order that the dog's energy requirements are met and the physique is maintained. If the optimal level of dog blood glucose is decreased or increased, in either case it should be considered to be a dog blood sugar disorder.

Measurement of canine blood glucose is an indicator of carbohydrate metabolism and is a valid phenomenon or way to determine the level of pancreatic endocrine function. Thus, determining high or dog low blood sugar can also help in confirming the presence of an underlying disease.

dog blood glucose

dog blood glucose

>Dog blood glucose test using a test strip. Readings on the left indicate negative for blood sugar. Bottom line of color measures ketones which is also showing as being negative.

Dog blood glucose test showing more sugar in the dog urine. This sample is also showing negative for ketones. Ketones are produced when fat is burned by the body instead of glucose.

Dog Low Blood Sugar (Hypoglycemia):

Starvation and mal-absorption are considered to be the main causes of low blood sugar in dogs, but other factors such as a hepatic problem (liver), insulin treatment, hypothyroidism, increased excretion in the urine (renal glucosuria) and idiopathic conditions (unknown cause) in some toy breeds of dogs are also associated with this glucose problem.

Symptoms of Dog Low Blood Sugar

Dogs with low blood sugar or simply hypoglycemia appear lethargic, weak and unable to perform normal functions due to a lack of energy. Dogs may experience unconsciousness, or a severe seizure of the brain and nervous system leading to shock and coma, which occurs only in severely starved and complicated cases.

Treatment of Canine Low Blood Sugar

Treatment usually involves an initial assessment of the degree of the low dog blood glucose level. The dog should not be given sugar or administered intravenous glucose or lactose infusions, as it may cause a sudden circulatory collapse. Honey and syrups containing low sugar should be offered to lick initially and then followed by systemic treatment. The underlying cause of dog low blood sugar whether it is malnutrition, disease or any therapeutic mismanagement should only be treated once the normal level of dog blood glucose is attained.

Dog High Blood Sugar (Hyperglycemia):

There are many causes associated with high blood sugar in dogs,including obesity, diabetes mellitus, pancreatitis, glucose treatment, or prolonged use of corticosteroids and morphine. Diabetes mellitus and obesity are the most common and frequently occurring reasons for increased dog blood glucose.

Dogs with high blood sugar may experience bacterial infections more frequently. Cystitis, bronchopneumonia and dermatitis are more common in such dogs. Affected dogs appear obese and have problems with extra fats accumulation on the liver and other vital organs, which leads to the inability of these organs to function normally. Intolerance, lethargy and progressive weakness are some common signs noted in dogs with high blood sugar.

Treatment for such dogs usually takes years, or even life long treatment plans may be required in the case of diabetes mellitus and irrecoverable pancreatic damage. Use of hypoglycemic agents as glipizide can help in maintaining blood sugar levels at nearly normal levels. Lifelong dietary management with low sugar diets and use of insulin may be required in some cases.

Natural Remedy for Dog Blood Glucose

In addition to "base" treatments prescribed by a veterinarian, the addition of a homeopathic remedy could act as an additional supportive treatment.  Products such as GlucoEnsure contain ingredients that seek to help the body maintain normal blond sugar levels.  Ingredients target the pancreas, immune system, circulatory and cardiovascular systems.  

Typical ingredients include Bilberry (supports the blood), Chromium picolinate (for sugar and fat metabolism), Goat's Rue or Galega (pancreatic support), Fenugreek (blood sugar levels) and Huang qi (blood sugar levels and natural energy).

Consult with your veterinarian to determine the impact this type of approach might have on your dog's health and so that he or she can monitor any progress your dog is making.


The Merck/Merial Veterinary Manual

D. R Lane, B. Coop’s “Veterinary Nursing” (Elsevier Health Sciences, 2003) 3rd Edition

Leslie Ernest, Veterinary Endocrinology & Reproduction (Lea & Febiger, 2003)

Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine


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