Does Your Dog Have Diabetes?

Did you know the occurrence of canine diabetes has been steadily increasing over time!

In 1969…

  • 19 out of every 10,000 dogs visiting veterinary hospitals were diagnosed with diabetes.
  • Thirty years later (1999), the prevalence in the same veterinary hospitals tripled to 58 out of every 10,000 dogs.

If those same hospital records were reviewed in 2012, 13 years after the last review, I bet we would see another increase.

So, how can you tell if your dog has diabetes?

While all dogs are susceptible to diabetes it is most commonly seen in:

  • Middle-aged to older dogs
  • Females
  • Certain breeds — Samoyed, Australian Terrier, Miniature Schnauzer, Miniature Poodle, Toy poodle and Pugs

The most common signs indicating your dog may be diabetic include: 

  1. Lethargy
  2. Excessive water consumption
  3. Increased urination
  4. Unexplained weight gain or weight loss
  5. Weakness in hind legs
  6. Recurrent infections

While these symptoms are not exclusive to diabetes, they are often the earliest signs noticed by most pet parents.  Obviously, a trip to the vet is called for to determine if diabetes is the problem or is it something else.

The diagnosis of canine diabetes is based on apparent symptoms and elevated blood and urine glucose levels. Keep in mind, a single blood test may prove inaccurate — it is possible for the blood to show elevated glucose levels as a result of stress (transient hyperglycemia). You may want to ask your vet to perform several blood & urine tests over a short period of time before starting any medications.

Rest assured, like humans, a diabetic dog can live a normal, healthy, active life if diagnosed early and treated properly.

If you have anything to share with pet parents who have or may have a diabetic dog, we’d love to hear from you!


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