Diabetes Mellitus


What is Diabetes? Glucose (‘blood sugar’) provides the cells in the body with the energy they need and cells absorb glucose from the blood in the presence of insulin. Insulin is a hormone produced by an organ called the pancreas. Sometimes the pancreas becomes unable to produce enough insulin or the cells in the body fail to respond to insulin properly. This condition is called ‘diabetes mellitus’.

What are the signs of Diabetes?

  • Lethargy
  • Poor coat condition
  • Cataracts later on


  • The signs listed above suggest that diabetes could be present, but they can also be caused by a number of other diseases.
  • Therefore, blood and urine tests are run to look for a persistently high level of glucose.


Insulin; by the injection of insulin under the skin generally given at a fixed time once or twice a day.

Each dogs’ requirement for insulin is different and it will need to be tailored to your dogs’ needs. This can take a few months to stabilize, during which time your dog will need frequent visits to the vets for glucose blood tests.

Insulin is very fragile. It needs to be kept upright, in the fridge (never frozen) and be rolled before use (not shaken).

Method of injection;

  1. Draw up into the syringe slightly more insulin than needed. Expel any air bubbles by tapping the upright syringe with your finger and then gently press the plunger until the correct dose remains. Pull the skin of the scruff of the neck upwards and form a depression with your forefinger.
  2. Insert the injection needle at right angles gently through the skin in the depression you have formed. Gently draw back the syringe plunger and if blood appears remove the needle from the skin and start again with a fresh syringe (this will very rarely happen). Release your hold on the skin. Slowly depress the plunger.
  3. Diet and exercise; a regular routine of feeding and exercise and weight control is vital for successful treatment. Ideally your dog should be fed the same diet every day at the same time avoiding titbits and snacks.


Looking after a diabetic dog is a challenging, yet rewarding undertaking. It must be accepted that regular injections, a fixed routine and frequent visits to the vet will become a way of life.

However, with the right care, dogs can enjoy a full and happy life after the diagnosis of diabetes.

https://www.vetedit.com/images/filetypeicons/16x16/doc.png Diabetes Mellitus In Dogs
Owner instruction sheet.

At the Ardmore Veterinary Group we aim to provide the highest standard of professional veterinary care. If you find any of the information displayed incorrect please do not hesitate to call us. We are here to listen and assist in any way we can.

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