How did my pet get diabetes?

The most common form of Diabetes is called Diabetes Milletus.


Cells of the body require sugar. Diabetes Mellitus is a disease where the pancreas has an inability to secrete insulin (Insulin Dependent Diabetes), or from the decreased action of insulin in the tissues (Non insulin dependent, insulin resistant) Insulin is a hormone that causes blood sugar (glucose) to go back into cells. It is produced by the pancreas. When there is lack of insulin, then the blood glucose elevates in the blood. This causes the classic symptoms such as increased urination, drinking, appetite and weight loss.


Dogs: genetics, infection, other endocrine diseases such as Cushing’s disease, certain chronic medication such as steroids


obesity, immune complex deposition in the pancreas, certain medications such as Depo Medrol, pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)


Increased drinking and urination, increased or decreased appetite, weight loss, blindness, abnormal posture or gait


Measuring a blood glucose and urine glucose at the same time to confirm elevated blood glucose and glucose in the urine, a full laboratory panel is usually done. Sometimes we will do other diagnostics such as an ultrasound or special lab work to look for pancreatitis.



The treatment for dogs is insulin. We usually start at a low dose, and check serial blood sugar curves to see what the most appropriate dose is. Treatment is always life long. We often change their diet to a higher fiber diet.


we usually also start with insulin therapy and dietary change. If we catch the disease early enough, sometimes by changing their diet, we can reverse the process. We can also often put them in remission by a combination of insulin therapy and a diet change to a low carbohydrate/ high protein weight loss diet such as Purina DM , Purina DCO , Or Royal Canin DS


The prognosis is very variable. The prognosis highly depends on the response to treatment. Some patients regulate quite easily, however other patients are very difficult to manage.

The prognosis is good for cats if we can get them into remission.


  1. increased quality of life
  2. absence of clinical symptoms such as increased drinking and urination
  3. preventing diabetic complications such as low blood sugar, infections, cataract formation, pancreatitis


(due to too much insulin given, changes in diabetis status such as remission)

  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Stumbling
  • Tremors
  • Dazed appearance
  • Dementia
  • Seizures
  • Coma

What's Next

  • 1

    Call us or schedule an appointment online.

  • 2

    Meet with a doctor for an initial exam.

  • 3

    Put a plan together for your pet.