Dog Diabetes Mellitus

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Dog Diabetes MellitusA sweet Pit Bull named “Sugar” came to the veterinary clinic one afternoon. She was so weak and lethargic that she could barely walk on her own. After an evaluation we diagnosed her as having dog diabetes mellitus. “Sugar” needed some sugar!

Dog diabetes mellitus is a growing worldwide epidemic.  Approximately 1 out of 500 dogs are affected with dog diabetes mellitus in the U.S.  If dog diabetes mellitus is left untreated it can lead to kidney failure, blindness and even death.

Dog diabetes mellitus occurs when the pancreas produces insufficient insulin. Insulin is used to regulate blood glucose (sugar). This leads to chronically high levels of glucose in the blood and urine.

Dog diabetes mellitus is classified as Type I and Type II. Type II is the most common form of dog diabetes mellitus. Type II will respond with diet and exercise.

Dog diabetes mellitus can occur at any age, but is most common in older dogs. Female dogs are diagnosed more often with diabetes mellitus than male dogs.

Symptoms of dog diabetes mellitus

  • Your dog is drinking excessive amounts of water (polydipsia)
  • Urinates frequently (polyuria)
  • Increased appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Increased appetite (polyphagia)
  • Weight loss despite increased appetite
  • Cataracts

Exercise your dog regularly. Exercise will cause the blood sugar to decrease.

Feed the same high quality dog food in the same quantity at regular intervals. Your veterinarian will usually recommend a prescription diet.

Insulin administration is the most common way to manage dog diabetes mellitus. Your veterinarian can show you how to give injections and explain the proper way to store insulin. Insulin needles are so small that your dog won’t even notice he got an injection.

If you suspect your dog may have diabetes mellitus you can get either a blood test or urine test at your veterinarian.


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