High Blood Sugar in Dogs

Hyperglycemia is the medical term for high levels of sugar (glucose) in the blood. Glucose is form of sugar originating from carbohydrate and a major source of energy in the body. Normal levels of glucose in canines range between 75 and 120 milligrams per deciliter of blood. 

Level of glucose in the body is maintained insulin, a hormone produced and released by beta-cells of pancreas when glucose levels are high in the blood. A complete deficiency or low levels of insulin in the body results in elevated levels of blood glucose, termed as hyperglycemia. 

Hyperglycemia is among the first signs of diabetes mallitus. It is mainly caused by inflammation of pancreas (pancreatitis) and the resulting inability to produce insulin. Other causes include cushing's syndrome, unusual hormone-secreting tumors, pancreatic cancer, certain medications, and severe illnesses.

The condition mostly affects middle to old age dogs and is more common in females than male dogs. Although any dog of any breed can be affected, certain breeds seem to be predisposed to hyperglycemia. These include  beagles, cairn terriers, dachshunds, miniature poodles and schnauzers.

The signs and symptoms depend on the underlying cause of this condition. More common symptoms include

Increased thirst (polydipsia)

Increased urination (polyuria)


Weight loss


Excessive hunger



Bloodshot eyes (due to inflamed blood vessels)

Liver enlargement

Nerve damage in legs

Severe depression (in cases of very high blood sugar levels)

Non-healing wounds;infection is increased as the excess sugar feeds fungal and bacterial invaders

Tissue damage (due to oxidizing [burning] effect of the excess sugar in the tissue)

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