Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Glycosylated hemoglobin

Contributor(s): David Bruyette, Dr Linda Fleeman


  • Glycosylated hemoglobin (GHb) results from non-enzymatic chemical binding of glucose to the amino-terminal of valine of the beta-chain of the hemoglobin molecule.
  • This reaction is irreversible and the amount of GHb can change depending on the blood glucose concentration and the life-span of erythrocytes (approximately 110-120 days in dogs).
  • GHb concentration is therefore believed to reflect the mean blood glucose concentration during the lifetime of erythrocytes.
  • In normal animals only a small proportion of hemoglobin molecules are glycosylated this increases as exposure to glucose increases.
  • Changes in mean blood glucose concentrations may be detected within 2 weeks.
  • The stable form of GHb is measured and expressed as a percentage of the total hemoglobin.
  • Measurement of GHb concentration in blood may assist in monitoring control of diabetes mellitus in dogs.
  • A veterinary GHb assay (A1CARE, Baycom Diagnostics) became commercially available for the first time in 2017.
  • Glycosylated serum protein (fructosamine Blood biochemistry: fructosamine) is well established and currently is more commonly used than GHb.


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  • A1Care, Baycom Diagnostics.



  • This is not a sensitive test because it reflects the mean blood glucose concentration over a long period. It takes at least 2 weeks of abnormal glucose concentration to affect the GHb concentration.


  • Not very specific.
  • Anemic dogs will have significantly lower values.
  • GHb results in diabetic dogs can be in the normal range.

Result Data

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Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from VetMed Resource and PubMed.
  • Behrend E, Holford A, Latham P, Rucinsky R & Schulman R (2018) 2018 AAHA Diabetes management guidelines for dogs and cats. JAAHA 54, 1-21 Full Article.
  • Rudinsky R, Cook A, Haley S et al (2010) 2010 AAHA Diabetes management guidelines for dos and cats. JAAHA 46(3), 215-224 Full article.
  • Gulikers K P & Munroe W E (2003) Monitoring diabetic dogs, Part 2: Fructosamine and Glycoslyated Hemoglobin Concentration. Vet Med 98(12), 1034-1036.
  • Haberer B & Reusch C E (1998) Glycated hemoglobin in various pathological conditions - investigations based on a new fully automated method. JSAP 39, 510-517 PubMed.
  • Elliot D A, Nelson R W, Feldman E C et al (1997) Glycosylated hemoglobin concentrations in the blood of healthy dogs and dogs with naturally developing diabetes mellitus, pancreatic beta-cell neoplasia, hyperadrenocorticism, and anemia. J Vet Intern Med 211, 723-727 PubMed.
  • Dennis J S (1989) Glycosylated hemoglobins in dogs. Comp Cont Ed Pract Vet 11, 717-720.
  • Delack J B, Stogdale L (1983) Glycosylated hemoglobin measurement in dogs and cats. Implications for its utility in diabetic monitoring. Can Vet J 24, 308-311.