About blood glucose curves

Your veterinarian may want to make a blood glucose curve for your diabetic dog.

What is a blood glucose curve used for?

A blood glucose curve will help determine:

  1. If and when the insulin given to your dog starts working.
  2. How efficient the insulin dose is at reducing the blood glucose concentration.
  3. How low your dog’s blood glucose falls and when this occurs.
  4. How long the insulin works in your dog.

This information is used to:

  1. Monitor the response to an insulin dose – especially at the start of treatment or after a change in insulin dose.
  2. Determine whether once daily treatment is sufficient or if twice daily treatment is needed.
  3. Investigate dogs that appear not to be responding to insulin treatment – sometimes after a period of stability.

How is a blood glucose curve made?

  1. Your dog may be hospitalised for up to 24 hours.
  2. Food and insulin injection(s) will be given according to the schedule you use at home.
  3. A blood sample will be taken prior to feeding and insulin injection.
  4. Blood samples will then be taken every 2-4 hours for up to 24 hours.
  5. Blood glucose will be measured in each of these samples
  6. The blood glucose levels are plotted against time to produce a curve. This curve indicates the changes in blood glucose levels after the insulin is injected.

As stress plays a role in glucose and insulin metabolism, your veterinarian might request that you collect blood samples from your dog at home over a certain period of time. This means that your dog remains in his usual routine and a more realistic blood glucose curve is produced. Small, affordable handheld glucometers are readily available and your veterinarian will advise on the best to purchase for your needs.

Ideal blood glucose curve

Below is an example of how an ideal blood glucose curve would look in a stable diabetic dog.

Click on the thumbnail sketch for the full sized curve.

ideal blood glucose curve