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

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