Symptoms And Treatment For Canine And Feline Diabetes

Choosing This Subject For Today Post:

Today we are going to explore symptoms & treatment for canine & feline diabetes. Many of us are pet lovers, myself included. We have an obligation to our little ones and making sure that they don’t get sick from diabetes is an important job we must do.

This will keep them healthy for many years to come. We will investigate the various symptoms and treatment in this post. There will also be a video I will have set up from a veterinarian. When I did my research on this subject, I found that there is a lot of people looking for more of this out there on the internet but you have to hunt for it.

I have tried to condense everything down and give the reader as much as I can to help them with there pet. I have also found a great reference book to help you use natural healing remedies that have been effective at healing your Canine naturally. It is written by Sara Rooney a Research Scientist & 
Zoologist. You can go head over and pick up your copy today! Please be sure to subscribe to my email, like the post, and make any comments at all at the end of this post. Have a wonderful day and come back by anytime.

Canine & Feline Diabetes:

Diabetes mellitus occurs when your dog or cat has stopped producing insulin, has either too high or too low levels of insulin, or has an abnormal response to insulin. Learn more about what insulin is.

It is estimated that 1 out of every 100 dogs that reaches 12 years of age will develop diabetes. In cats, it’s estimated that between 1 in 50 – 500 will develop diabetes mellitus.

In dogs, diabetes mellitus is common in middle-aged to older animals, especially in females, but it is also seen in young dogs of both sexes. When seen in younger animals, it can be a sign that your cat or dog is genetically predisposed to diabetes. Certain breeds of dogs will also experience above-average rates of diabetes. 

The breeds we have noticed that are more at risk of developing diabetes later in life are Toy Poodles, Terriers, Cocker Spaniels, Dachshunds, Doberman Pinchers, German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, and Golden Retrievers, 

Some drugs, when taken long-term, may interfere with insulin and lead to diabetes mellitus in your pet. These include glucocorticoids (cortisone-type drugs) and hormones that may be used to control heat cycles in female dogs.

In cats, diabetes mellitus is more common in middle to older-aged animals as well, also in cats that are overweight. Neutered male cats are at a greater risk than females. Breeds, such as Siamese cats, experience an above-average rate of diabetes.

It is important to note the difference between diabetes mellitus and diabetes insipidus. Diabetes insipidus, or water diabetes, occurs when the kidneys are unable to regulate fluids in the body, and large amounts of diluted urine is produced.

This condition is far less common than diabetes mellitus. Diabetes insipidus is caused by problems in part of the brain or in the kidneys, and there is no glucose (sugar) present in the urine of these animals. Diabetes insipidus is very rare in dogs and cats, and is only diagnosed after extensive testing of your pet’s blood and urine.

Some common signs of diabetes insipidus include excessive thirst and drinking of water, increased urination, and dilute urine.

Just like any routine, getting used to this will take a little time , you’ll both find the process fairly simple, painless, and quick.

Along with insulin therapy, your veterinarian will set up a management program that will include recommendations for feeding your dog or cat (what type of food, the quantity, and timing of meals). Diabetic pets also benefit from regular exercise, especially if they are overweight.

Because diabetes is caused by a lack or shortage of insulin, your dog or cat may also require management with insulin such as Vetsulin which is an FDA-approved veterinary insulin.

Diabetes can usually be controlled by learning to give your pet daily insulin injections to control blood glucose level. If your pet has other problems, your veterinarian will suggest the appropriate treatment.

The mainstay of diabetes treatment in pets has always been a high-fiber diet, which slows digestion and maintains a steadier blood glucose level.

Recent research in cats has dramatically reversed this thinking, with high-protein, high-fat, very low-carbohydrate-fiber diets such as Purina DM or even canned kitten food providing the best results in terms of reduced insulin levels, normalization of weight, and symptom control.

Hill’s makes two diets that take the prize for fiber at 20 percent protein, 5 percent fat, and 26 percent fiber, and w/d (weight diet) with 15 percent protein, 6 percent fat, and 20 percent fiber.

IVD’s Hifactor comes in at 23 percent protein, 10 percent fat, and 13 percent fiber. Purina makes DCO (Diabetic-Colitis diet), which is 23 percent protein, 10 percent fat, and 10 percent fiber, and OM (Obesity Management) diet at 26 percent protein, 4 percent fat, and 16 percent fiber. Waltham offers its High Fiber diet of 18 percent protein, 6 percent fat, and 5 percent fiber as fed.

Eukanuba has taken the boldest step with its frankly named Glucose Control diet, with 25 percent protein, 5.5 percent fat, and 5 percent fiber as fed. Its Restricted Calorie diet (generally considered a weight reduction diet at 22 percent protein, 5 percent fat, and 7.5 percent fiber as fed) is also a good choice.

Treatment For Canine & Feline Pancreatitis:

Pancreatitis can be fatal, regardless of veterinary intervention.

Pancreatitis treatment is aggressive, supportive care including intravenous fluids, antibiotics, anti-nausea and anti-vomiting drugs, and pain medication. Another type of treatment may involve “resting” the stomach and intestines to give them time to heal and rebound.

Your veterinarian may recommend withholding food and water until the pet is no longer vomiting. During that time, the patient can receive fluids by injection, some veterinarians provide additional nutrition through intravenous feeding or placement of a feeding tube. If the pet does not respond to medical treatment, there are also surgical procedures to treat pancreatitis.

Signs and Identification:

Diagnosing pancreatitis is difficult because the symptoms can be so broad. To make identification even more complex — and contribute to the disease’s ranking among the more commonly under-diagnosed diseases in small animal medicine — dogs and cats often suffer different symptoms. Clinical signs in dogs can include:

  • Anorexia/no appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dehydration
  • Diarrhea
Cats with pancreatitis, there clinical signs are more likely to include:
  • Anorexia
  • Lethargy
  • Dehydration
  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting and hypothermia
  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal mass

No single test can diagnose pancreatitis in all cases. X-rays, ultrasound examinations, and blood work provide supportive information. More specific blood tests include a test called the PLI (pancreatic lipase immunoreactivity test), SPEC CPL (specific canine pancreatic lipase), and FPL (feline pancreas-specific lipase).


Severe pancreatitis can be fatal, regardless of veterinary intervention.

Pancreatitis treatment is aggressive, supportive care including intravenous fluids, antibiotics, anti-nausea and anti-vomiting drugs, and pain medication. Another aspect of treatment may involve “resting” the stomach and intestines to give them time to heal and rebound.

Your veterinarian may recommend withholding food and water until the pet is no longer vomiting. During that time, the animal can receive fluids by injection; some veterinarians provide additional nutrition through intravenous feeding (directly into a vein) or placement of a feeding tube.

If the pet does not respond to medical treatment, there are also surgical procedures to treat pancreatitis.


Pancreatitis in dogs is correlated with dietary fat, so the IBD diets may be particularly well-suited to treating that condition. Hill’s i/d (intestinal diet) is considered a good diet for pancreatitis, and is often the first choice of veterinarians for just about any digestive problem. Failure of the pancreas to produce sufficient enzymes for digestion can result in incomplete digestion and assimilation of food. IVD’s Select Care Neutral, Sensitive, and Vegetarian formulas all contain digestive enzymes that may be helpful. Purina EN is also recommended for these problems due to its low fiber and high digestibility.

Diabetes is sometimes a consequence of primary pancreatic disease, so the diabetes diets might also be appropriate.

Understanding Insulin For Your Pet: 

Insulin is normally produced by the beta cells of the pancreas and is required by the body to transport glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream into the cells of the body for energy.

During digestion, your dog or cat’s food is broken down into smaller parts for use by the body. Carbohydrates are converted into various sugars, including glucose. Glucose is absorbed from the intestines into the blood and provides the body’s cells for energy. However, glucose can only enter into most cells if insulin is present.

In diabetic dogs and cats, these cells in the pancreas produce little or no insulin, or there is an abnormal response to the insulin that is produced. When this happens, glucose cannot enter into the body’s cells and therefore begins to accumulate in the blood. In addition, the cells of the body are starved for energy. This combined effect is known as diabetes mellitus. Diabetes results from a shortage of insulin.


Always hungry

Always begging for food.

Has Excessively lost weight

Urinates frequently

Your dog or cat wants to go outside often. Your dog may urinate in the house; your cat may urinate outside of the litter box.

More or is less active.

Drinks a lot of water

You must fill the water bowl more often than before, or notice your cat or dog drinking from unusual places, like the toilet bowl

Eyes appear cloudy, this sign is only present in dogs.

Coat has deteriorated, your cat has stopped grooming, and fur becomes dry and dull.


Most cases, diabetes cannot be cured. If you should establish a good lifestyle for your dog or cat, including great glycemic management with a diabetes products such as Vetsulin, your pet will likely be capable of leading a happy, healthy life.

Some cats have transient diabetes and can go into remission, but it is more likely that a cat will have diabetes for life. I personally do not agree with this statement.

Final Thoughts:

I hoped you enjoyed our latest post on Symptoms & Treatment For Canine & Feline Diabetes.We really dug in and researched all the more detailed information on diabetes for canines and felines. By writing this post, we tried to put the most relevant information out there for you so you don’t have to waste all kinds of time.We also have just added a new feature to our posts and have linked them together so you can go back and read anything if you missed it. 

Thanks again for joining us and Please feel free to like us , share this page and sign up for our email updates.

Brian Elliott


Healthy Feline
Healthy Canine

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  1. Shellie says:

    Thank you, Brian, for a great post. All of my fur babies are rescues, each with their own challenges, so I greatly appreciate the amount of research and information that you share here, helping to easily identify symptoms of diabetes in both dogs and cats. I found your video to be helpful, as well, and will be passing this along to a few friends.

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