Diabetic Dog

Our 10 year old dog was diagnosed with Diabetes this week. She has begun insulin treatments and will be going back next week to get her levels checked and any adjustments needed to her insulin. I have friends who have a diabetic cat that after about a year they were able to stop the insulin and manage it solely through diet. Has anyone had similar success with a dog? I know the reality is that she will probably always need insulin, but I hate the thought of having to poke her twice a day for the rest of her life.

Dogs typically don’t go into diabetic remission with treatment or dietary management, since diabetes in dogs is generally accompanied by a pancreas that just cannot produce insulin anymore. When it does happen, it’s usually due to the resolution of a triggering condition for the diabetes.

It’s definitely worth joining one of the diabetic pet groups on FB (with the caveat that some are not respectful of veterinary advice).


thank you, that was my understanding but I am always hopeful for healing! Sounds like this is just what we do now. At least she doesn’t seem to mind the shots

I had a diabetic cat. .

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My dog was that exact age when she was diagnosed. The best thing I did was get my own meter and test strips and eliminate taking her to the vet. That was highly stressful and her blood tested through the roof.

She was a big dog and I saved a boatload of money by getting her on human insulin from Walmart/ with my vets ok ( i can’t remember the name now)( i lost her to cancer).

Once I got her regulated I only checked her once a day ( morning). I kept her diet and activity pretty constant. She hated being poked but she took it like a trooper.

It can seem overwhelming…

Thanks! She is getting a monitor next week at her follow up visit. Right now we are just giving her 3 units every 12 hours, and she seems to be doing okay on that, but the monitor will let us know for sure! I am somewhat used to dealing with humans with diabetes from working in healthcare, but humans are usually not compliant with diet so this actually seems a little simpler (she can only eat what we provide her!)

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My husband is a diabetic as well as my BIL so it wasn’t as hard but it is difficult when they don’t want to eat or only eat some of their rationed food.

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Be prepared for her to go blind.

I had a dog come down with diabetes. We euthanized after a few months because she could not stay well controlled and was becoming dangerously reactive when she went blind.

Ours is already blind in one eye with limited sight in the other, she’s done pretty well figuring out life that way but I agree, she’s easily startled and we really are so careful of how we wake her etc.


She probably won’t mind as much as you will.

MANY decades ago (well before I was born) my grandmother had a diabetic Samoyed. Supposedly he was the first dog diagnosed with diabetes in England. In those days, syringes were glass and metal, and needed to be sterilized (in boiling water for 3 minutes). Meena would boil the syringe, and give him his insulin, immediately before feeding him.

As soon as he heard the syringe boiling, he would start getting excited, and salivating, anticipating his food. He didn’t care at all about the shot.

Many decade later, in the 1990s, by father also had a diabetic Samoyed (the breed is susceptible to it). She didn’t mind the shots at all, and lived for many more years, eventually dying of liver cancer.

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awwww. So far, she doesn’t mind the needle (it’s tiny). She’s a 21 pound pug, her glucose was 423 at the initial testing. She doesn’t seem to be bottoming out at all (she is perky and definitely seems happier since starting treatment). I’m excited for the sensor to remove the guesswork and ensure she is on the right dose!


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It’s a FreeStyle libra, it’s glued on and lasts 2 weeks. It will help us to dial in her daily insulin. Currently we are using Vetsulin (because that’s what they had and gave us) but I will definitely be asking for the freedom to shop around!

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My mistake.

I’m curious what your hesitation with Vetsulin is? I’m just learning about all this in dogs so trying to get as much information as possible.

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We have both maple and Caro syrup at hand in the event she needs it. Are there other considerations?