General Information

Diabetes mellitus is a disease caused by a deficiency of insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, and is necessary for body tissues to use blood sugar. Without insulin, sugar remains in the blood and eventually passes into the urine. This causes increased urine production and thirst. Hunger increases because the body cannot use the sugar in the bloodstream. As the disease progresses chemicals called ketones accumulate, resulting in vomiting and dehydration. Coma and death ensue in untreated animals. Diabetes is not a curable disease, but with proper insulin administration, the disease can be controlled.

The amount of insulin required each day may be subject to change depending on various factors such as changes in diet, exercise, other medical problems and environmental stresses. Therefore consistency in these factors minimizes the need for frequent changes in insulin dosage.

Hospitalization is very important for initial insulin regulation. This allows for determination of insulin dosage and frequency of administration. Hospitalization is often recommended every 3 to 6 months for re-evaluation of insulin dosage and frequency because insulin requirements change for many reasons and proper dose and frequency is important for the long term health of your pet.

Insulin should be refrigerated at all times and the bottle should be swirled gently before removal of insulin with the syringe. The injection must be given subcutaneously (under the skin).


1. Feed 50% of the total daily intake of ____diet only.

2. Administer__________units of insulin subcutaneously.


1. Feed 50% of the total daily intake of same diet only.

2. Administer the evening dose of insulin of _____units

(if twice daily injections are needed)​

  • If your pet will not eat or has vomited, you can try baby food. If the vomiting or lack of appetite persists don’t give any insulin and call our office.
  • If you attempt to give the morning injection and your pet gets only part of its dose due to sudden movement, do not attempt to deliver the lost amount by giving another injection. Simply wait until the next scheduled injection and give the standard dose.
  • If you have a female pet, we highly recommend she be spayed prior to her next heat, since loss of diabetic control frequently occur during the heat period.
  • Again, consistency of diet, exercise and insulin treatment is important for the long term health of your pet.

Infrequently your pet may experience an insulin reaction due to marked decrease in its blood sugar. This reaction can occur anytime from 3 to 18 hours following insulin injection depending on the type of insulin being used and your pets individual metabolism of insulin. The signs accompanying such a reaction will mimic a drunken state: your pet will be weak and walk with a wobbly, uncoordinated gait. Should this occur, administer Karo Syrup orally (approximately 2 tablespoons for a 20 pound animal). If no improvement is seen after 15 minutes or if the signs worsen, come to the hospital immediately for emergency treatment.

Should your pet become ill or show signs such as increased thirst and urination, lethargy, weakness, loss of appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss or gain, etc. Please call our office.

Request an appointment for our Annual Care Checkup and help your pet fight parasites and other diseases. Call today 408-996-1411.