How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr Scott Nimmo Your Own Question
Dr Scott Nimmo
Dr Scott Nimmo , Small Animal Veterinarian.
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 18616
Experience:  BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
Type Your Dog Question Here...
Dr Scott Nimmo is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

my dog who has diabetes still has very high glucose levels.

Customer Question

my dog who has diabetes still has very high glucose levels. I give him vetsulin twice a day with his meals. He''s on w/d. He''s gotten very skinny except for his belly which seems swollen. He drinks a lot. Should I increase the vetsulin? he gets 2.5 units twice daily. Thank you.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 8 years ago.
Thanks for the question,

While I cannot advise you directly in the case of a diabetic dog I can talk things over with you. When you have a diabetic dog you need to establish a close relationship with your vet as diabetic dogs need constant monitoring and you will need to ask for advice now and again.

In direct answer to your question : The insulin levels should only be raised when you know the blood sugar levels are high on a constant basis because you have run a blood test or checked the dog's urine glucose levels. If you have some means of measuring the blood or urine glucose levels on a daily basis you could safely raise the insulin dose by a unit a day until it came within the normal range.

As you know diabetes is a disease of constants, there are three factors to consider two of which ideally should be kept constant.

1. Food which raises blood sugar - Feed the same amount of the same food at the same time each day.

2. Exercise which burns blood sugar - Try to keep your dogs walks etc. for the same distance at the same time each day.

3. Insulin which burns blood sugar - you vary this depending on the blood or urine sugar levels plus an estimate of other factors such as how much your dog is drinking or how active he is.

The dangers with diabetes are :

1. Hyperglycaemia { too much blood sugar } one day of a high blood sugar will not make much difference if that happens it is no big deal. Problems come with month upon month of unremitting high blood sugar which leads to secondary changes such as blindness and liver damage.

2. Hypoglycaemia { too little blood sugar } you will have been warned about this already, the dog may become sleepy, staggery and incoordinated, and have little tremors. This is treated by giving the dog a sweet biscuit or sugar by mouth. If this does not work get to the vet quick. This will happen if you give too much insulin.

Two suggestions here, one is to get a little note book and record the times, and the insulin dosage, and the meals, and whether the dog is drinking a lot etc. Also you can show it to the vet when he does his checks, I always insisted my clients kept records like this, it is a big help.

Suggestion two is to get some urine glucose dip stick tests from the chemist. Your vet most likely checks things out via a blood test which is more accurate than the sticks. The sticks are not bad though and they will at least give you some indication of how things are going on a daily basis. Some of my clients check the urine glucose levels each day just before the give the insulin injection for that day but just after the dog has eaten.

If I can advise you further get back in touch.

Scott Nimmo BVMS
Dr Scott Nimmo, Small Animal Veterinarian.
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 18616
Experience: BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
Dr Scott Nimmo and 3 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
thanks so much, it was very helpful... have increased his insulin, this morning the strip turned dark brown again, and has ever since he's been diagnosed. Don't know if it's the strip or the pee which I try to collect haphazardly and don't really get a good go, but it's concerning enough that I'm scheduled to see the vet next week. Thank you.
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 8 years ago.
Hello again,

Collect a small amount of urine with a clean saucer and test it that way. Collect the urine in the morning before you give the insulin but inject the insulin after the dog has eaten.

My clients increase the insulin by one unit per day until the strip changes from brown to blue or green { depending on the strip } That then will be the daily insulin dose provided the exercise and food are constant. Of course you keep checking it every day as fluctuations will occur.

If the strip is brown increase the insulin if it is too blue or green reduce it.

A good tip is to cut the urine test strips length wise into as many smaller strips as you can with a pair of sharp scissors. They will still be OK to check the urine with, it will save you some money !



JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • You are a light at the end of scary tunnel when $ are tight, but people need professional help to turn to for help with their dear pets! Linh Charleston, WV
< Previous | Next >
  • You are a light at the end of scary tunnel when $ are tight, but people need professional help to turn to for help with their dear pets! Linh Charleston, WV
  • $1,000 spent at his vet, and I finally get the correct diagnosis from Nancy Holmes for $15 Carol Cedar Hill, MO
  • I think this is the greatest web site in the world. Thanks to all! Judy New Haven, CT
  • I have referred several friends to your web site. I'm impressed with how easy it is to use your site, the Experts available and the quickness of answers. Nina USA
  • I am completely pleased with the quick response that I received in our time of need for our dog, Jasmine. I couldn't believe how quick the response was and I thank you. It's good to know you're there!! Jasmine's Mom USA
  • Please let everyone involved with your site know that your Expert, Dr. Lucy, has saved my dog's life. I will recommend your site to all my pet loving friends. Thank you again for simply being there! Sonya G Easley, SC
  • Last night my Expert spent close to 3 hours working with me on my dog's illness. Thank you so much for this opportunity to share in her care and knowledge! Cathie M Pompano Beach, FL

Meet The Experts:

  • Dr. Gary

    Dr. Gary

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
< Last | Next >
  • Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
  • Joan's Avatar


    Vet Tech

    Satisfied Customers:

    Vet Tech for over 35+ years working w/Dogs/Rescues
  • Candy's Avatar


    Veterinary Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
  • Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    UC Davis Graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
  • Theresa's Avatar


    A Voice for Your Pet

    Satisfied Customers:

    19+ years experience in small animal medicine
  • 's Avatar

    Satisfied Customers:

  • Dr. Drew's Avatar

    Dr. Drew


    Satisfied Customers:

    Small Animal Medicine and Surgery