Why Is My Dog Or Cat’s Blood Insulin Level Low Or High?

Ron Hines DVM PhD

See What Normal Blood & Urine Values Are

Causes Of Most Abnormal Blood & Urine Tests

See How Tests Are Grouped

Your Pet’s Blood Insulin Level

Veterinarians rarely if ever order this test. So, I can’t tell you how it snuck into my DxMe webpages other than that many of my laboratory information sources concern human medicine as well as veterinary medicine.

Instead, we veterinarians infer what your pet’s insulin level probably is by tracking your dog or cat’s blood glucose level. But if a veterinarian did run a blood insulin level test, it would most likely be because he or she was worried about diabetes or an unexplained hypoglycemia in your pet. It might also be helpful in judging the degree of insulin resistance in a dog or a cat that had failed to respond to typical therapeutic doses of injectable insulin.

Insulin is the hormone your pet’s pancreas secretes in response to eating, or an elevation in blood sugar or the release of certain hormones such as glucagon,   growth hormone or adrenaline. Insulin is necessary for your pet’s blood sugar to be utilized by cells throughout its body. Without enough insulin, too much sugar will be present in your pet’s blood.

Reason’s Why Your Cat Or Dog’s Blood Insulin Level Might Be High:

Insulin injections that were too large can result in that. So can Cushing’s disease. Oral or injectable corticosteroids can raise your pet’s insulin level as well.  Acromegaly, the presence of excess growth hormone, can also raise insulin level. Acromegaly is seen most often in cats when their pituitary gland has a tumor or is in a pre-tumorous state. Insulin resistance due to a variety of causes can also increase blood insulin level. Excessive insulin release from the pet’s pancreas due to an insulinoma tumor will also result in an abnormally high insulin level. Although insulinomas can occur in dogs and cats, they occur more often in pet ferrets

Reasons Why Your Dog Or Cat’s Blood Insulin Level Might Be Low:

Uncontrolled or poorly controlled diabetes or fasting are likely to result in lower than normal insulin levels.

Complementary Tests:

Blood glucose level,   fructosamine test,   plotted blood glucose curves,   C-peptide,   Pro-insulin levels, ACTH stimulation test for Cushing’s disease


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