Can Reptiles Get Diabetes

Diabetes in Reptiles is rare compared to dogs and cats. But diabetes is most common in turtles and tortoises.

November is considered diabetes month.

Definition of Hyperglycemia

Hyperglycemia is known as elevation of blood glucose level, which is rare in reptiles.


Diabetes in reptiles occurs due to various reasons. It may be because of poor nutrition, irregular diet, dietary changes, environmental triggers., liver diseases, or infections.

There will be less insulin output because of a lack of glucose in the blood; it happens the same as in humans.

If you want to now about can reptiles get diabetes then you should read our post and understand more about diabetes and reptiles.

Your veterinary doctor will be able to help you with how and why your reptiles have diabetes.

Symptoms That Reptiles Show

  • Reptiles show the symptoms like lethargy and weakness. They start moving slowly.
  • There will be frequent urination.
  • Reptiles feel thirsty
  • Increased appetite
  • Pupils will dilate
  • Especially turtles and tortoises will not be able to move on their shells.
  • These symptoms may also be related to other diseases, so it’s better to get checked with your veterinary doctor so that he can guide you and save your reptiles.

The plasma glucose will vary depending on several factors; it may from species to species, based on seasons, nutrition, environment, diet, and health status.

Hypoglycemia And Hyperglycemia in reptiles


Hypoglycemia means too little or less plasma glucose, which results from a high protein diet, starvation, and malnutrition.

May get diseases like endocrine system disorders and pancreatic disorders.


Causes for Hyperglycemia in reptiles are not precisely known, whereas, in humans, it may be due to pancreatic disorders or autoimmune responses to the pancreas. 

Lack of enough insulin production, poorly used insulin, excessive intake of sugars, obesity. Continuous plasma glucose levels of more than 200mg/dl are rare in reptiles. In this condition, glucose will pass in the urine.

Reptiles will not eat sugar much; They consume more plant sugars. Hence diabetes mellitus in reptiles is usually related to endocrine or pancreas disorders.

Few symptoms of Hyperglycemia

  1. Excessive intake of water consumption
  2. Excessive urination
  3. Excessive eating pattern
  4. Weight loss

Since many symptoms are common in other disorders or stress, a veterinary doctor should better examine the reptiles’ social and physical environment; should take care of environmental problems if possible. 

Glucose levels vary depending on the time of blood checkup. 

The results will be high if blood sugar testing is done shortly after eating. 

If you check the blood sugar levels on an empty stomach, the results will be different, so the blood glucose levels should be cross-checked.

Treatment And Management Of Diabetes In Reptiles

If you feel the reptile has diabetes, your veterinary doctor will take urine and blood samples to check its sugar levels.

If the result is positive, then medicines or insulin injunctions are necessary to treat the reptiles. 

Glucose monitoring is needed to keep your reptile healthy.

In a few conditions, dietary and lifestyle changes are essential to maintaining a reptile’s health.

Since diabetes may lead to severe complications, regular monitoring is needed. 


Yes, Reptiles will get diabetes and should be monitored and taken care of to keep them healthy.