Can Turtles Have Diabetes?

Can turtles have diabetes? You have heard of people with diabetes, you probably know someone who has it or maybe you have it, but did you know that pets get diabetes?

Hormonal disorders such as diabetes are pretty rare in pets, but there have been some cases of reptiles with Diabetes Mellitus. Of all the rare disorders in reptiles, Diabetes Mellitus is the most common. It is most common in turtles and tortoises, so if you have a snake or lizard they are probably safe.

Diabetes Mellitus affects the adrenal glands and leads to less insulin secretion or inactive insulin in the blood. Reptiles, like humans need blood sugar levels to be in a healthy range. Without enough insulin blood sugar levels don't stay at their normal level and the person or pet usually has symptoms of this.

Symptoms of Diabetes Mellitus in reptiles include being extra hungry and thirsty. If your turtle all of a sudden has an increased appetite and increased thirst you may want to monitor them for any other symptoms. Other signs of Diabetes Mellitus include water retention that is quite visible in their appearance, increased urination, and lethargy. Without the normal level of blood sugar, the reptiles have less energy.

Sudden drastic changes in diet or environment can actually cause Diabetes Mellitus in reptiles. If you suspect your turtle or tortoise has this hormonal disorder you can take it to a vet. They can test for the disorder through blood and urine tests. An increase in blood glucose levels can confirm the disorder. In urine tests, sugar found in the urine will confirm the hormonal disorder.

Your vet can prescribe a medication that will control blood glucose levels in your pet. A vet will probably also give you recommendations on dietary habits that you will need to start.

The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your veterinarian or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment.