Canine Diabetes Wiki
Acarbose structure

Chemical structure of acarbose [1], the only oral antidiabetic that can be used in conjunction with insulin for dogs with diabetes.

Oral medications are not used to attempt to regulate dogs, only as an adjunct to insulin therapy. The most commonly used adjunct in dogs is Acarbose (Glucobay, Precose, Prandase), which slows down digestion of starches and therefore moderates post-prandial glucose levels. [2]

There are unpleasant side effects, one of which is that attempting to use complex carbohydrate containing "starchy" foods for a hypoglycemia attack won't work. The drug is designed to inhibit the digestion of them. Only the use of simple carbohydrates like sugar will successfully bring blood glucose levels up. [3][4]

It's only used in difficult canine cases. Chromium Picolinate has been tried, because it seems to boost the use of insulin in normal dogs, though it fails in this task with diabetic dogs. [5][6]

The reason oral diabetes medications are not successful in dogs is because some of them are designed to stimulate the beta cells of the pancreas into producing more insulin. Others are meant to allow the body to effectively use the insulin it produces. Most dogs have insulin-dependent diabetes, which means their beta cells are not capable of producing insulin--with or without medication stimulations. Basically, there's nothing in the endocrine pancreas able to be stimulated or any insulin being produced for the system to make use of. [7][8] I16


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