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Reptile Center

Diabetes Mellitus in Reptiles


Diabetes Mellitus in Reptiles


Reptiles suffer from hormonal disorders, although rather infrequently. But one of the most common hormonal disorders for reptiles is Diabetes Mellitus, usually occurring in turtle and tortoises. It affects the reptile's adrenal glands, causing them to secrete less insulin or rendering the insulin inactive in the blood. Much like humans, insulin is needed by the reptile to keep the sugar levels in the blood (blood glucose) at a normal range.




  • Increased appetite
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urinary output
  • Water retention, which is visible in its appearance
  • Lethargy




Captivity, a change in environment or a change in dietary habits can all bring on this hormonal disorder.




A veterinarian will diagnose the disorder through blood and urine tests. If there is an increase in the reptile's blood glucose levels or there is sugar found in the urine, then Diabetes Mellitus is confirmed.


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