Symptoms & Treatment of Diabetes in Dogs

Posted Apr 28th, 2020

As in humans, diabetes in dogs can be a complex disease leading to a range of unpleasant symptoms. Today our Memphis emergency vets share the symptoms of diabetes in dogs and how this condition can be managed.


What is diabetes in dogs?

Diabetes in dogs is a chronic disease which cannot be cured but can it can be managed successfully, allowing your dog to go on to lead a full and active life.

There are two types of diabetes in dogs:

  • Insulin-deficiency diabetes which occurs when your dog's body isn’t producing enough insulin. 
  • Insulin-resistance diabetes which results from the the dog's pancreas producing some insulin, but not utilizing the insulin as it should. This type of diabetes is common in older dogs and obese dogs.

What are the causes of diabetes in dogs?

Although it's uncertain what causes diabetes, dogs most at risk of developing diabetes include unspayed females, overweight dogs, animals being treated for other conditions with steroid medications and those diagnosed with Cushings disease or autoimmune disorders.

What are the most common symptoms of diabetes in dogs?

If your dog is displaying any of the following symptoms, make an appointment to see your vet as soon as possible. Early diagnosis is the key to successfully managing diabetes in dogs.

The early signs of diabetes in dogs include frequent urination (polyuria), drinking more water than usual, excessive appetite (polyphagia) and unexplained weight loss.

Once the disease is more advanced symptoms may become more severe and include failing eyesight, dull coat, vomiting, lack of energy and joint stiffness or weakness.

How is diabetes in dogs treated?

Once your dog has been diagnosed with diabetes your vet will be able to prescribe medications and ongoing treatments that will allow you to manage your dog's condition.

Ongoing treatment generally involves:

  • Insulin shots (up to twice a day)
  • Regular daily exercise to avoid spikes or sudden drops in glucose levels
  • Feeding your dog a special diet recommended by your vet
  • Closely monitoring your dog for changes in symptoms and overall health
  • Regular veterinary check-ups

If left untreated diabetes can lead to serious and life threatening side effects such as blindness, enlarged liver, urinary tract infections, seizures, kidney failure and ketoacidosis.

Taking your dog to see the vet for regular wellness exams once or twice a year can help your vet to monitor your dog's overall health and spot early signs and symptoms of the diabetes.

If your dog is showing symptoms of diabetes call your vet to make an appointment as soon as possible, or call our emergency vets at Animal Emergency Center in Memphis outside of your vet's regular business hours. 

Diabetes in dogs, Memphis Animal Emergency Hospital

In need of an emergency vet the greater Memphis area?

Our clinic is fully-equipped to provide all of the care and services your pet needs in an after hours emergency.

Contact Us

Related Articles View All

Managing Pain in Dogs After Neutering

May 11th, 2020

Our Memphis vets understand that deciding to have your dog spayed or neutered can be an emotional decision for you as a pet owner, but try to keep in mind that these surgeries are fairly routine for your vet, and easy to recover from for you dog. 

ACL (CCL) Injuries & Surgeries in Dogs

Apr 9th, 2020

ACL injuries often occur in athletes, but due to the anatomy of your dog's leg this injury is also very common in dogs. Today our Memphis vets explain the symptoms of ACL injuries in dogs, and the surgeries that can be performed to treat these common knee injuries. 

My dog has blood in his poop - what should I do?

Feb 26th, 2020

Our Memphis emergency vets know that responsible dog owners spend a lot of time picking up their dog's poop. For that reason, you likely have a pretty good idea of what a normal stool looks like for your dog. But what should you do if you notice blood in your dog's poop? 

Animal Emergency Center in Memphis

Comments About Our Care

  • "This place is great. Friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable staff. They were there and willing to help us with a hawk that was injured on our street when no one else was!"
    - Erin D.
Evening & Weekend Hours Regular Business Hours