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What Is Dog (and Cat) Diabetes

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Patrick Miles, DVM is owner and veterinarian at Priceless Pet Clinic in Normandy Park WA. He has worked in emergency medicine since graduating veterinary school and spent seven years at Animal Critical Care and Emergency Services.

What is dog and cat diabetes?

So in veterinary medicine, we see a number of diseases that are very, very similar if not actually the same as in human medicine. An example of that would-be diabetes mellitus which in essence is dysregulation of the body’s blood sugar. So, what happens in that situation, the body’s pancreas which produces insulin, doesn’t produce enough insulin where there may be other concurrent problems that the body doesn’t react to the insulin appropriately resulting in a very high blood sugar. And what pets may come in for an evaluation on would be for weight loss, increased thirst, increased urination. We may also see some hair coat changes or changes even within the eye as cataracts may develop from diabetes mellitus.


What Are the Symptoms of Diabetes in Dogs?

The following symptoms should be investigated as they could be indicators that your dog has diabetes:

  • Change in appetite
  • Excessive thirst/increase in water consumption
  • Weight loss
  • Increased urination
  • Unusually sweet-smelling or fruity breath
  • Lethargy
  • Dehydration
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Vomiting
  • Cataract formation, blindness
  • Chronic skin infections

Always contact a veterinarian with any medical or behavioral changes to eliminate any illness.