The Dog Owners Guide to Diabetes in Dogs

Diabetes in dogs is actually a fairly common disease especially in some breeds. On this page we have provided information on the causes, diagnosis and symptoms but for advice on its treatment you will find a link at the bottom of the page.

There are two types of Diabetes, Insipidus and Mellitus (sugar Diabetes). The Insipidus form will normally cause your dog to start passing large amounts of urine. This is due to a deficiency of Vasopressin (an anti-diuretic hormone). The other form i.e. Mellitus is caused by the Islet cells in the Pancreas not producing enough Insulin. This type is actually three times more likely to affect females than males and is more common in dogs aged from six to nine.

Causes of Diabetes

Another cause of this condition can be through Pancreatitis where the Islet cells have been destroyed. Other causes of this disease can be due to viruses destroying pancreatic cells, too much Cortisone can also be a contributing factor. Just like in humans obesity can also cause diabetes in dogs through the Pancreas becoming diseased.

As previously mentioned some breeds are more genetically predisposed to the condition including Golden Retrievers, Poodles, Keeshondens, Miniature Schnauzers and German Shepherds. Due to the fact that Insulin is needed to help convert the Glucose into energy (it can also be stored) this can result in Glucose being collected in your dogs blood stream and then passed out in the urine.

So to conclude Diabetes Mellitus is due to or symptomised by excessive glucose (Hyperglycemia) causing insulin deficiency. Due to the Insulin deficiency your dog will experience high blood sugars (Hyperglycemia) and high urine sugars (Glycosemia).

Symptoms of Diabetes

Due to there being large amounts of glucose in the urine the dog will start passing large amounts of urine which will then cause your dog to become more dehydrated and wanting (and needing) to drink large amounts of water to get rehydrated. Other symptoms of this condition are restlessness, sudden fits of trembling, your dog may also start circling around the same area (lor just ooking out of sorts). Due to obesity also being a cause if you notice any of the aforementioned symptoms then you should suspect that your pooch might be diabetic.

Another symptom of diabetes in dogs is an increased appetite however as much as your dog eats he or she will continue to lose weight. As your dog starts to become more malnourished then his or her appetite may decrease.

In really bad cases of diabetes in dogs your pooch might become really lethargic, vomit, show weakness and even fall into a Coma. Another very common symptom of the disease is Cataracts.

Remember that Diabetes actually affects all of your pets organs and can make the liver swell and also make your dog more susceptible to infections – in fact symptoms can be so bad that your pooch may develop neurological problems.

Diabetic ketoacidosis

This condition is linked with Hyperglycemia where acid (ketones) build up in the blood stream. The acid is actually a by-product of the metabolism of fat. Basically the dog will start using the fat as energy as no sugar is being made available.

This condition will cause a number of symptoms including vomiting, weakness, rapid breathing – your dog’s breath may also have a smell of acetone. This type of diabetes is life threatening and will need urgent veterinary treatment.

The diagnosis of diabetes in dogs is achieved through blood tests (taken no less than five hours after your dog has eaten). If your dog is diagnosed as being diabetic then the blood tests will show high blood glucose levels there might even be glucose in the urine.


1. A Guide to treating Diabetes in dogs: Discover how this condition is treated.


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