Animal Diabetes: Glucose Tolerance Levels in Dogs

Written by tracy hodge
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Animal Diabetes: Glucose Tolerance Levels in Dogs
A dog's glucose level is constantly fluctuating. (two dogs image by Bruce Amos from

Diabetes is a condition that can affect dogs as well as humans. A dog's glucose level is constantly fluctuating and can be affected by diet, the dog's individual glucose requirements and exercise, according to There are diagnostic tests that may be performed by a veterinarian to determine a dog's glucose tolerance level.


Glucose is sugar that is made by the body from the foods the dog eats. Glucose is carried through the bloodstream, to provide energy for the body. The cells in a dog's body cannot use glucose without insulin, a natural hormone that's made by the pancreas and controls the levels of glucose in the body, according to

Glucose Levels

The glucose levels in dogs are much like the glucose levels in humans, according to A dog with normal blood sugar will have glucose levels that fall between 75 mg and 120 mg per decilitre (mg/dl). Dogs that have glucose levels lower than 80 mg/dl are considered to be hypoglycaemic (low blood sugar). Blood glucose levels lower than 60 mg/dl are considered to be critically low and need immediate medical attention. High levels of glucose are over 180 mg/dl and will cause the dog to spill glucose into the urine. These dogs are considered diabetic and may need the help of insulin injections to keep glucose levels at a normal level.

Glucose Tolerance

Glucose tolerance may vary with each dog. High glucose levels in dogs are uncomfortable for the dog and may damage the dog's body over an extended period of time, according to Blood glucose levels that become very high can lead to a life-threatening condition called ketoacidosis. Low blood glucose levels in dogs are also very serious. Blood glucose levels that become too low can quickly deprive the dog's brain of the oxygen it needs to sustain life.

Managing Glucose Levels

In dogs that need help managing their glucose levels, it is important to consult a veterinarian. A glucose curve test may help determine the appropriate glucose level for your dog. According to, a glucose curve test takes a series of blood glucose tests, over a period of 24 hours. The results of the test will determine the appropriate dosage for insulin for the dog. If the dog's blood glucose levels remain high during the test, despite being on insulin, the dosage of insulin must be increased. If the blood glucose is low, the dosage of insulin must be lowered.


Each dog has a different glucose tolerance level. However, it is important to monitor your dog's glucose levels if they have been diagnosed as hypoglycaemic or diabetic. This is especially important for dogs that are alone during the day. The ideal glucose level in dogs is a glucose level that does not drop below 100 mg/dl and that does not exceed 150 mg/dL.

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