How can I stabilize my diabetic dog’s blood sugar levels?

Original Question: I spoke with you on the radio this morning about my 11-year-old dog that has diabetes that we cannot control. He was diagnosed last year and his readings go from very low to high in a day. Should I expect to get him into a good cycle? We are currently giving him 7 units of Caninsulin twice a day and I have suggested to my vet that we switch to a different type but he said this is the best because it is longer acting. We have a glucometer to monitor him. I started cooking for him using a recipe I got from the internet (ruby's stewbie). Do you recommend a raw diet as some people have suggested? He is otherwise healthy and it doesn't seem to bother him unless his blood sugar is really low. He starts falling down and shaking and that happened a couple of nights ago when his reading was 1.8. I put corn syrup on his gums then fed him. I just feel I need a 2nd opinion. - Margaret

How can I stabilize my diabetic dog’s blood sugar levels? Mar 5, 2018

Hi Margaret,

Thanks for giving me a call on the radio and sending in your question. This is a little bit difficult to help you out over email or even over the phone. This is the type of problem I need to be treating personally to really provide accurate advice.

I remember on the radio the other night that the blood sugar was something like 28. Now in your email you’re mentioning a blood sugar level of 1.8 so this is quite a dramatic swing. It makes me think that we would have to have a significant discussion about how consistently you’re using the insulin. I’m sure that you’re using it very well but for some people who can monitor the blood sugar at home, they will sometimes see a low reading and then skip a dose. Doing things like this will only cause the blood sugar to become more unstable. The key to good control of any diabetic dog is consistency in diet and insulin delivery.

First, I would recommend a diabetic diet. You may already be using one but I want to mention it because it’s important. It’s also vital that it’s given consistently even if you see a high blood sugar level, don’t skip a meal because of it. If you want to see stability with the condition you really have to go be as consistent as possible.

I’d like to discuss insulin use but I believe that would be really irresponsible of me. To start talking about drugs and dosages over email is just plain dangerous.

So in the absence of the advice about insulin, I would recommend that you see an internal medicine specialist. Your veterinarian can refer you to one or you can just call one at a referral center. They’ll get this diabetes control quickly.

Sorry for the vague response. I’m going to ask my support group at the website to give me your email address so I could get in touch with you personally.

Thanks for your question. Good luck.

Dr. Clayton Greenway

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