Signs & Treatments for Hypoglycemia in Diabetic Pets
Sometimes it’s good to go back to basic diabetes topics. Many of our readers are very educated in diabetic pet care, but I need to remind myself that we get new readers all the time. One of the greater concerns of treating diabetes, as we aim to achieve the proper insulin dosage, is hypoglycemia. If we accidentally expose the pet to too much insulin because a pet doesn’t eat as much as usual, or perhaps even vomits, then we could end up with a low blood glucose. Or, if we start at too high of an insulin dosage we could cause the blood glucose to go too low. I like to “sneak up” on the insulin dosage when we start a pet on insulin for this very reason. It’s good for pet owners to know how hypoglycemia might look and what to do in this event.
Before we talk about what is low blood glucose, let’s first discuss what a normal blood glucose level is.
The normal range for blood glucose in dogs and cats depends on several things. If the pet is at home, where white coat syndrome doesn’t play a role, a pet’s blood glucose is usually around 100 mg/dl, give or take a 30 points or so, for NON-diabetic pets. I think reference labs take stress hyperglycemia, anxiety while at the vet clinic, into account when they make their “normal range” for dogs and cats. One of the largest reference laboratories in veterinary medicine in America is Antech Labs. For dogs, the reference range for blood glucose at Antech is 70 to 138. For cats the normal reference range for blood glucose at Antech is 64 to 170. Cats are a bit more prone to stress hyperglycemia than dogs but it can happ Continue reading