Pets & Animal Veterinary Medicine

Dog Symptoms of Diabetes Disease

    • Any dog can develop image by Oleg Salamaha from

      According to Dr. Leah Cohn of the Pet Place website, diabetes mellitus is one of the most common hormonal diseases among dogs. Diabetes occurs when a lack of the hormone insulin impairs the body from being able to properly metabolize sugar. Diabetes can affect any size or age or breed of dog, but commonly occurs in females between 7 and 9 years old. If you notice any of the signs of diabetes in your dog, take it to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

    Thirst and Urination

    • Dr. Holly Nash of Doctors Foster and Smith states that a common sign of diabetes in dogs is an increase in thirst and urination. Diabetic dogs will spend a lot more time than usual at the water bowl and will ask to go outside to urinate more than what is common for the dog. This symptom is also indicative of other diseases, including kidney and liver failure, urinary infections and other hormone disturbances (such as Cushing’s disease, the production of too much adrenal hormone). Through a blood test, your veterinarian should be able to determine the cause of the excessive thirst and urination.

    Change in Appetite

    • A diabetic dog's appetite will often increase and even though it is eating more than normally, it may lose weight, states Cohn. The dog’s body will start to break down its fat for energy because it can’t obtain that energy from the food. As a result of the weight loss, the dog can also appear to have a poor body condition.

    Multiple Diseases

    • Often, dogs will develop other diseases in conjunction with the diabetes. Veterinarians will diagnose the diabetes on the basis of other problems present. For instance, if a dog has chronic urinary tract infections, the veterinarian may become suspicious of diabetes as an underlying factor. In addition, Nash states that hypothyroidism, cancer and acute pancreatitis can also appear in conjunction with diabetes. Their presence, however, can make treatment of diabetes more difficult.

    Sudden Blindness

    • Dogs with diabetes can become suddenly blind, states Cohn. Blindness caused by cataracts is often an indicator of diabetes. Cataracts will make an eye look cloudy and cause vision loss.

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