What Are the Symptoms of Diabetes in Dogs?

What Are the Symptoms of Diabetes in Dogs?

The following symptoms should be investigated as they could be indicators that your dog has diabetes:

1.Change in appetite

Your pet might grow hungrier over time because the amino acids and glucose needed inside the cells aren’t getting there, or aren’t being used appropriately.

2.Excessive thirst/Increased Urination

These two signs are hallmarks of a diabetic condition, so you’ll want to watch closely for them, especially as your pet ages.

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Unfortunately, increased thirst and urine output are also signs of other serious health problems, so regardless of the age or condition of your dog or cat, you should make an appointment with your veterinarian (and bring a urine sample) if you notice these symptoms.

3.Weight loss

When the cells of your pet’s body are being starved of essential nutrients, the result is often an increase in appetite. But because the energy from food is not being used efficiently by the body’s cells, your pet can lose weight even though he’s taking in more calories.

4.Unusually sweet-smelling or fruity breath

Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA), the unavoidable complication of untreated diabetes and kidney disease, a frequent  disease of diabetes both may cause your diabetic dog bad breath. DKA comes from the increasing concentration of ketones in the blood that inevitably results in a strong acetone odor coming from your animal’s mouth. Chronic Kidney disease cause the accumulation of uremic toxins in the blood that cause your dog exhibit a strong bad smell.


Lack of energy and increased need for sleep. When the cells of your pet’s body are deprived of blood sugar, he’s apt to show a general lack of desire to run, take a walk with you, or engage in play.

 6.Diabetic dog shaking and trembling

When your diabetic dog displays the symptoms of leg and muscle weakness, weak legs, dog trembling, shivering, shaking head, it means that it is hypoglycemic. This is a side effect of the treatment. Insulin is acting too strongly. The dose may be not adapted anymore to your dog’s condition, or you injected too much insulin or your dog didn’t eat its entire ration. In this case you have to provide your dog with carbohydrate rich food. If the symptoms do not resolve contact your vet without delay: hypoglycemia is quite a dangerous condition.


 7.Urinary tract infections

It’s not at all uncommon for diabetic dogs and cats to acquire secondary urinary tract infections. This happens because the more sugar there is in the urine, the greater the likelihood that bacteria will grow in your pet’s bladder.

8.Vomiting/refusing to eat

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Your dog refusing to eat and/or vomiting are important symptoms of canine diabetes. They may warn you that your dog is now suffering from Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA), which is the most dangerous complication of diabetes. You should contact your vet with no delay.  Vomiting can also be caused by the underlying presence of pancreatitis that is the cause of dog diabetes in more than 30% of the cases.

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9.Cataract formation, blindness

Another symptom of diabetes in companion animals is blindness, which is seen primarily in dogs, but cats can also develop blindness as a result of diabetic cataracts.

A cataract is a cloudiness or opacity in the normally transparent crystalline lens of the eye. This cloudiness can cause a decrease in vision and may lead to eventual blindness. Cataract will be detected by the owner because of the dog’s more composed attitude than when it was younger. Fortunately, cataracts can be treated by surgery, and many of the dogs recover vision.

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10.Chronic skin infections

A diabetic dog may have skin problems. Its hair coat may be affected: it becomes dull, rough and dry. A common diabetes concomitant disease, Cushing’s symptom (hyperadrenocorticism) causes more severe skin conditions such as hair loss and itchy skin.


Seizures and coma are signs that your diabetic dog is hypoglycemic. Insulin is acting too strongly. These are severe symptoms that require that you feed at once your dog with a treat or syrup with high carbohydrates content (for example honey or maple being put on the gums if the dog cannot eat). Then call your vet or an emergency veterinary service.


Your diabetic dog has diarrhea: it may mean that it suffers from Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA). Diabetic Ketoacidosis comes from the fat being used as source of energy in the body instead of glucose. It produces an excess of ketones in the blood that act like a poison. DKA is a dangerous condition that shows that your dog’s diabetes is not controlled well enough. Contact your vet.

Other causes of diarrhea: Change in diet, food intolerance, ingestion of poisonous or toxic substances allergic reaction, bacterial or viral infection, internal parasites, such as roundworms, coccidia and giardia, inflammation of the bowel , kidney disease, liver disease, cancer or other tumors of the digestive tract, drugs, colitis, stress, gastroenteritis.

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13.Blood in urine

Your diabetic dog may have blood in the urine as a consequence of a urinary tract infection (UTI) which is a common complication of diabetes in dogs. Bacteria growth benefits from the presence of glucose in the urine. It results sometimes in microscopic hematuria. You will need to consult your vet who will probably prescribe an anti-infective.  In more rare cases, blood in urine comes from kidney disease, another complication of canine diabetes. This is a serious condition that also requires you consult your vet.

Other causes of blood in the urine: urinary tract infection, kidneys infection, bladder or kidney stones, enlarged prostate, kidney disease, cancer, inherited disorders.

If you have any information,questions, or feedback you would like to include in this post.

Please email momo19@diabetessupportsite.com or leave your comments below.

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