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Signs of Diabetes in Dogs

Madhura Pandit Nov 23, 2018
You need to watch out for the warning signs of diabetes in dogs in order to get it treated quickly. Here is a detailed information on canine diabetes.
Diabetes mellitus is as common in dogs as it is in human beings. Although diabetes is common in older or middle-aged dogs, nowadays, younger dogs are also found to suffer from it. It should also be noted that all dog breeds are susceptible to canine diabetes.

Canine Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is caused due to insufficient production of insulin in the body, whereas type 2 diabetes is caused due to lack of response of the body to insulin. As the pancreas do not secrete insulin, glucose is not absorbed in cells.
This results in increased amount of sugar in the blood and urine. For the same reason, frequent urination and frequent thirst is observed when suffering from diabetes.


Diabetes is a condition that is caused due to improper functioning of the pancreas. However, the exact reason for this is unknown. Certain factors like dog obesity and canine pancreatitis can contribute in increasing the risk of canine diabetes. Similarly, it can also be hereditary up to some extent.
On the other hand, hormonal changes can be one of the reasons, and hence, middle-aged female dogs are at a higher risk of suffering from diabetes. It is very essential to identify the early signs of diabetes in order to prevent the resulting complications and death.


We know that frequent urination and excessive thirst are the classic symptoms of diabetes. Apart from these, the other signs and symptoms include:
  • Weight loss/weight gain
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Dehydration
  • Thinning hair
  • Lack of activity
Sometimes, if the symptoms remain unnoticed, life-threatening conditions like blindness or kidney problems can develop. On the other hand, ketoacidosis can also develop if diabetes is not controlled. Clouding of the eyes and cataract are also common symptoms of diabetes in dogs.


If the mentioned symptoms are observed, you should immediately take your pet dog to the vet. A complete physical examination of the dog along with blood and urine tests will help in diagnosing the condition. Presence of excess glucose in blood and urine confirms diabetes. Remember that diabetes can be controlled, if immediate steps are taken.
The treatment depends upon the severity of the condition. In more severe cases, hospitalization may be required. If the dog is excessively dehydrated, IV may be used. On the other hand, if diagnosed early, mild diabetes can be controlled by following certain steps. A change in diet and daily insulin injections help in bringing it under control.
The vet will advise you about diabetic dog food and also about the number of insulin injections (1 or 2) required every day. Once canine diabetes is diagnosed, regular monitoring of the dog's health and diet should be carried out.
Owners should remember to keep a check on the dog's health and look out for signs of diabetes (specially if the dog is middle-aged). Although diabetes cannot be completely cured, it can be regulated and the dog can lead a long and happy life!
Disclaimer: This is meant for informative purposes only.