Diabetes Mellitus in Dogs Part 2: What are the symptoms,and how is it diagnosed?

Posted by MyDogDoc on

  • Symptoms of diabetes in dogs include increased drinking and weeing, and weight loss despite a good appetite

  • Diabetic Ketoacidosis is a serious complication that can happen if diabetes is left untreated or not well controlled

  • Signs of diabetic ketoacidosis include weakness and collapse, vomiting and diarrhoea and lack of appetite.

  • Diagnosis of Diabetes is based on the symptoms and high levels of glucose in the blood and urine.

What is Diabetes Mellitus?

Diabetes is a hormonal condition which affects a dog’s blood sugar levels. It usually occurs due to the body failing to produce enough insulin. Insulin is the hormone responsible for controlling the level of sugar (glucose) in the blood.

What are the symptoms of Diabetes in dogs?

  • Increased thirst

  • Increased urination (peeing more)

  • Increased appetite

  • Increased weight loss

  • Low energy (lethargy)

  • Cataracts (eyes appear cloudy)

  • Repeated urine infections (cystitis)

If left untreated, diabetes can prove life threatening. When the body cannot produce enough energy from glucose, it starts to break down fat as an energy source. This breakdown of fats produces ketones. Ketones can build up in the bloodstream and result in a condition called Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA), which can be fatal.

The symptoms of DKA include:

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhoea

  • Lack of appetite

  • Lack of energy

  • Weakness

  • Appearing unsteady as if drunk

  • Collapse

  • Sweet-smelling breath

How is Diabetes diagnosed?

Diabetes Mellitus is diagnosed based on the symptoms, a persistently high level of glucose in the blood and the presence of glucose in the urine.

Your vet will want to run blood tests to check your dog’s blood sugar levels and will also need a urine sample so they can test the urine for the presence of glucose.

Sometimes, increased stress can cause an increase in blood sugar levels so your vet may want to run an additional blood test called ‘Fructosamine’ which will give an indication of the average blood sugar level over the last 2 or 3 weeks.

If you have a diabetic dog and would like any further advice or support, one of the vets at MyDogDoc would be happy to help.

Blood Glucose curve Cataracts Diabetes Diabetes diagnosis Diabetes Mellitus Diabetes symptoms Diabetic Diabetic Ketoacidosis Dog Drinking more Eating more Fructosamine Glucose Health Insulin Ketones Losing weight Sugar levels Urinating more Weeing More

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