Glucose Curves and Charts for Diabetic Dogs
When your dog is first diagnosed with diabetes mellitus, it's critical that your veterinarian performs a glucose curve to ascertain the correct dosage of insulin that your dog needs. A glucose curve procedure involves a veterinarian giving small insulin doses to see how quickly your dog metabolizes the insulin, how long the insulin lasts, and how long it takes for the insulin to exit their system.
Though it's important to have your veterinarian do an initial glucose curve,
it's also important that you know how to do one as well. In fact, many
diabetic dog owners chat their dog's glucose every single day. To do this,
you first need to purchase a glucose monitor.
Why You Should Chart a Glucose Curve for Your Dog
There are a few important reasons to chart your dog's glucose regularly:
1) It let's you know if/when the insulin you give your dog is working as you
2) You will find out how effective the insulin is at reducing blood glucose in
3) How quickly your dog's blood glucose rises and falls based on meals and
4) When you need to plan your shots
How to Perform a Glucose Curve for Diabetic Dogs
If you are performing a glucose curve at home instead of at the veterinarian's office, here is a step-by-step program for performing the test:
1) Be prepared to perform regular blood tests every 1 to 2 hours.
2) Have a spreadsheet prepared to write down the results. You can then easily turn the spreadsheet into a graph to visualize how their body is breaking down glucose and responding to insulin treatment
3) Feed your dog on their normal schedule and make sure to eliminate any spontaneous snacks or treats
4) As soon as you and your dog wake up, test their glucose levels. Then, test them every 1 to 2 hours for at least 24 hours, or up to 48 hours.
At the end of the test, the chart of your dog's glucose levels should look like rolling hills. If they spike precipitously up or down after injections, this may indicate that your dog is experiencing a Somogyi Rebound and you'll need to decrease their insulin doses. If their glucose levels increase significantly after meals and don't maintain a rolling pattern, it may be time to increase their insulin doses.
Here is what a normal glucose curve looks like:
While some diabetic dog owners only perform glucose curves every few weeks with their dog's or only have their vet perform them, there are many owners who recommend regularly testing your dog every 2 hours for the rest of their lives. This decision is up to each diabetic dog owner depending on their work schedule and financial ability, but you should test your dog at least twice a day--before you give them their food. Otherwise, you may over or under-feed them.
*Reminder: Before making any changes to their insulin doses, you should consult with your veterinarian.
Dogabetix is a community for diabetic dog owners--we are not licensed professionals. Before making any important decisions for treating your diabetic dog, please consult a veterinarian