Under normal circumstances I test Bender’s blood sugar every 3-4 weeks, all day, every 3-4hrs. From those numbers I adjust his insulin shot and that’s what he gets till the next time I test all day.
But why not test every day? Or Every week? The key is keeping your dog on a schedule and to get them regulated. At 8:00am and 6:00pm Bender is fed X amount of food. He gets up to X amount of treats a day. X units for a shot of insulin twice a day. And is run 3.5 miles almost ever day. Little changes with this schedule.
Diabetes for dogs is different for Humans. With humans, what you eat and do usually changes from day to day. Which can call for daily testing or testing more often because of how much blood sugar can fluctuate. Even though you need to pay attention to your dog and keep on close eye on their diabetes. You don’t need to be as diligent when it comes to testing as with a human. When regulated, your dog’s sugar levels shouldn’t fluctuate that much. Every 3-4 weeks is good. Any thing more than that can lead to problems.
With dogs that are on a schedule and are regulated, in theory little should change. Now when I say “in theory little should change”. Understand that diabetes has cycles. It cycles from High to Low or Low to High through out the day or several times a day but also from day to day and week to week. There is no way to stop it. But understanding it will help you regulate your dog’s diabetes.
If you start testing every day or every week, you will probably start to micro adjust their insulin shots because of the natural fluctuation. 25 units one day. 27 units the next. 20 units the day after. Is that regulated? No. Not to mention stress your dog out too.
I know Bender is low in the morning. Higher in the afternoon. Low in the even. Higher at night. Then low again for the morning. How high and how low I know changes every day. But not to the point that I need to check his blood sugar daily. Even from the start of the week to the end of the week the numbers will be different. But what’s the difference between a low of 120 one day and 150 the next? Nothing. Or a high of 200 and 240 the next? Very little. Those numbers and changes I can live with.
The next thing to understand is your dog needs time to adjust and for the body to adjust to the change in insulin. It takes about 1-2 weeks. Yes, you will see instant results if you give your dog 30 units compared to 20. But I guarantee the first day you adjust insulin levels, to a week or two later. The sugar levels will be different because the body has adjusted. Then the week or two after that, the body should normalize.
Now does it make sense under normal circumstances to test only every 3-4 weeks and adjust insulin levels at that time only?
What happens if your dog isn’t regulated? If you think about it, there are only a few reasons why your dog isn’t regulated. 1. it isn’t on a schedule. 2. what the dog is eating isn’t diabetic friendly (even so called diabetic dog food can cause problems). 3. lack of exercise 4. stressed. 5. there are internal problems like, liver or kidney problems, or Cushing’s disease. It could be several of these things too. Either way correcting these problems should lead to a regulated dog.