Signs of Diabetes in Dogs: Symptoms and Treatments

Signs of Diabetes in Dogs: Symptoms and Treatments

Diabetes in dogs in one of complex diseases that been caused by less of hormone insulin or insufficient response to insulin. Keep in mind that, however, diabetes is considered as the manageable illness and there are many diabetic dogs can live healthy and happy as well. Even, diabetes is also a chronic illness that can affect cats and other animals, such as horses, monkeys and pigs. Although this illness cannot be cured, as mentioned before that it’s manageable disease.

After a dog get eating, the digestive system will break down the meals into several components, including of glucose which is brought to the cells by insulin as a hormone that is released by pancreas. When a good cannot produce insulin or cannot use it normally, then the blood sugar level will increase. Then the result is hyperglycemia, if this thing untreated, then can cause several complex health problems in a dog. The diabetes mellitus or known as sugar diabetes, is a type of diabetes that most common occur in dogs. This is also metabolism disorder. Metabolism that refers to the on how the body transforming the food become energy.

Before you will learn about signs of diabetes in dogs, it’s better to understand what diabetes is and understand several of this process as well.

The connection between glucose and insulin

The alternation of food nutrients become energy in order to generate the cells inside a body involving two things:

Glucose: This is an essential fuel for cells inside a body. When the food is being digested, then a body will break down the nutrients become glucose, a type of sugar which is important source of energy for several parts of body and cells as well. Glucose was absorbed from the bowels to the blood, then bring the glucose in whole of body.

Insulin: it has responsibility of fuel delivery inside a body. While the pancreas also releases insulin hormone into the body. Insulin can be considered as the “gatekeeper” that tells cell to bring glucose and other nutrition in the bloodstream, then use them as a fuel.

Then the connection between glucose and insulin is not working as it should then occur diabetes in dogs in these forms:

Type 1 (lack of insulin): this is happen when a dog’s body cannot produce enough insulin. It can occur when the pancreas is defective or cannot be functioning in right way. A dog with this type 1 diabetes will need to take daily shots to replace the loss insulin. This type is very common type that occurs in dogs.

Type 2 (resistance insulin): this is occurs when pancreas produces the insulin, however a dog’s body does not use insulin as it should. So, the cells cannot respond the insulin’s message, so that the glucose will pull out of the blood and come into the cells. This type 2 diabetes is often occurred on obese and older dogs.

Here, several symptoms of diabetes in dogs

There are several symptoms that must be suspected as indicators that your dog might get diabetes:

–       Lethargy

–       The changing of appetite

–       Vomit

–       Dehydration

–       Fruity breath or unusually sweet smell

–       Increasing of urination

–       Suddenly weight loss

–       Persistent skin infections

–       Urinary tract infections

–       Blindness

–       Cataract formation

However the exact cause of diabetes in dogs was still unknown. But, there are several factors that should be considered, such as chronic pancreatitis, obesity genetics, abnormal protein deposits and particular medications can play important roles to develop this disease.

Which dogs are more prone with diabetes?

It was considered that female and obese dogs have bigger risk of being prone with diabetes later in their life (between 6 to 9 years). There are several breeds might also play bigger roles, including of Samoyeds, Australian terriers, mini schnauzers, poodles and keeshonds. However, juvenile diabetes can be found and very common in keeshonds and golden retriever as well.

How is a dog diagnosed with diabetes?

To get proper diagnose diabetes, then your veterinarian will gather all of information related to clinical signs of your dog, such as performing the physical examination and blood checking and urinalysis as well. Your vet will perform simple test to check the diabetes, including of testing for the excessive glucose in a urine and blood as well. Having sooner diagnose diabetes, then you will get better chance for your dog of having normal life.


The treatments for diabetes was based on how severe the symptoms in your dog and is there any other health problems that can make more complicate during the therapy. Keep in mind that every dog has slightly different responses to therapy or treatment, so it should be adjusted with their life as well.


You vet is usually recommended the best type of diet for your dog with diabetes. Usually, it is including of complex carbohydrates and fiber which is helps your dog to slower the glucose absorption. Your vet will also recommend a diet that contain of low fat content as well.


Most of diabetic digs will require daily insulin injection under the skin, this is also something that pet owner should learn on how to do it properly. Although, it sounds terrifying, but its not that complicated as it may sound. It can be your daily routine that does not cause any traumatic for dog or pet owner as well.

Taking exercise

Exercise can help to prevent sudden increasing or decreasing of glucose level, it is very important that diabetic dogs should keep their routine exercise. The exercise is moderate but it should be consistent.

Although there are several cases which might be more challenging, diabetic dogs are usually can be managed successfully without any complication as well. Start from providing daily shoot and monitoring the glucose level every day, pet owners play important role in a dog’s care and treatment. You should be commitment to follow the daily shots and always monitoring the glucose level. Of course, your vet will work with you to decide which best management plan for your beloved one.

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