Alternatives to Insulin Treatment in Diabetic Dogs

Written by melinda weaver
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Alternatives to Insulin Treatment in Diabetic Dogs
(dog image by Ramona smiers from

Diabetes is one of the most common hormonal disease afflicting dogs. There are two types: Type I, in which the dog does not produce enough insulin; and Type II, in which the dog produces enough insulin but something interferes before it can be used. Symptoms include increased thirst and urination, weight loss despite normal eating patterns, sudden blindness and lethargy. Daily insulin shots are the most commonly recommended treatment, but there is currently no cure for diabetes. Following are three alternative treatments for this canine disease.

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Herbal Treatment

Bejak has been used for centuries to regulate blood sugar to treat diabetes and other illnesses whereby proteins or sugar are released through urine. Karela is another herb that helps maintain glucose levels in the blood and stimulates the production of insulin in the pancreas. Gurmar has been used successfully in maintaining blood glucose levels as well as regulating urinary irregularities in dogs.


Many veterinarians are now recommending a prescription pill that regulates blood sugar in humans and has been used effectively in pets as well. The active ingredient is sulfonylurea, which stimulates insulin production in the pancreas. Glipizide can be an alternative to insulin in dogs that do not produce enough insulin; however, it is not effective for Type II canine diabetes.


Additional supplements may be available to help improve health in dogs with diabetes. Galega Officinalis improves general pancreatic health, and chromium improves the effectiveness of insulin available in the dog's system. Bilberry is a natural ingredient that can improve the health of dogs with Type II diabetes by stimulating insulin production and lowering blood sugar levels.

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