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Does your pet have diabetes?

It is estimated that one in 200 cats and one in 500 dogs have Type I or Type II diabetes. But, similar to human diabetes, pet diabetes is manageable. With a few daily adjustments and proper management, a diabetic dog or cat can lead an active life.

Diabetes Risk Factors

Certain risk factors increase the chances of a pet getting diabetes. Ask your vet whether your pet needs a diabetes screening if it has one or more of the diabetes risk factors.

  Older age
Keeshond, Samoyed, Yorkshire Terrier, Australian Terrier, Cairn Terrier, Lhasa Apso, Miniature Poodle, Toy Poodle, Miniature Schnauzer, Bichon Frise, Spitz, and Fox Terrier
  Unspayed female dogs
  Older age
  Domestic, Siamese, and Burmese
  Neutered male cats
  Indoor lifestyle or physical inactivity

Diabetes Signs and Symptoms

High levels of glucose in the blood pull fluid out of the tissues creating an
increased fluid load on the kidneys, which results in the pet urinating more
often. Frequent urination leads to increased thirst. A diabetic pet lacks
energy and may appear weak or tired. Your diabetic dog or cat may appear
hungrier than usual; however, eating more food will not result in weight gain
since the food is not being processed properly by the body.

Contact your vet if your pet is showing any of the signs and symptoms of


  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Being sluggish and less playful
  • Appearing sick, or not well
  • Poor body condition or poor coat


  • You have been filling the water bowl more than usual
  • Your pet has been drinking water out of the faucet or the toilet


  • Your pet has been eating more but has not gained weight


  • Your pet has been asking to go out more
  • Your pet has been having accidents in the house
  • You have to change the litter box more often than usual

Signs of diabetes may recur after your pet is diagnosed and begins
treatment. Always watch for signs of diabetes and let your vet know if any of
these reappear. Reappearance of signs may indicate that your pet's diabetes
is not regulated.