Symptoms and Causes of Diabetes in Dogs and Cats

Symptoms and Causes of Diabetes in Dogs and Cats

Canine and feline diabetes is caused by insulin deficiency or insulin resistance (AKC, 2019). Insulin deficiency occurs when your pet’s body isn’t producing enough insulin and insulin resistance occurs when your pet’s body isn’t using insulin effectively. Insulin deficiency is the most common form of diabetes in dogs while insulin resistance occurs more in older dogs. For cats, insulin resistance is the most common form of diabetes (Feline Diabetes, 2018).

Symptoms of diabetes may include:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Weight loss
  • Increased or decreased appetite
  • Tiredness
  • Depressed attitude
  • Vomiting

Just like for humans, diabetes can lead to further health complications like enlarged liver, urinary infections, seizures, kidney failure, and ketoacidosis.

Causes of diabetes may include:

  • Age
  • Gender – Unspayed female dogs are more at risk of getting diabetes than male dogs
  • Inflammation of the pancreas
  • Obesity
  • Steroids
  • Genetics
  • Autoimmune disorders

While there is no cure to diabetes, you can still control your pet’s diabetes with a healthier diet, exercise, and medications. One crucial aspect of controlling your pet’s diabetes is monitoring their blood glucose levels so that you can be aware when their glucose level is too high or too low.


– Staff, A. (2019, November 05). Diabetes in Dogs: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, & Treatment. Retrieved January 26, 2021, from
– Feline Diabetes. (2018, July 23). Retrieved January 26, 2021, from,they%20become%20starved%20of%20energy.



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