Insulin - Companion Animals


Dog, cat




Plain (red top) tube

Collection protocol:

  • Collect both a serum sample and a fluoride oxalate tube.
  • Ideally measure blood glucose concentrations in-house to confirm the dog/cat is currently hypoglycaemic. Blood glucose should be preferably < 2.8 mmol/L for a concurrent insulin measurement to have the most power in diagnosis.
  • Fasting may be necessary to induce hypoglycaemia. This should be performed in-hospital with blood glucose concentrations measured hourly during the fast until blood glucose reaches the desired level. A few small meals should be fed over 2-3 hours afterwards to help the animal recover.
  • Ideally separate the serum from the clot prior to sending as this removes any risk of haemolysis, can invalidate insulin measurement.
  • Send samples with gel ice packs to the laboratory.

Special handling/shipping requirements:

Serum insulin is unstable at room temperature and must be kept chilled. Send the separated serum samples with gel ice packs to the laboratory as soon as possible. If testing cannot be performed within 24 hours, freeze the separated serum.