November Is Pet Diabetes Month: Is Your Pet Diabetic?

November 1st, 2016 by Daniel Mudrick

Pet diabetes is more common than many people think – about 1 in 100 to 1 in 500 pets develop diabetes (and the number is rising as more pets suffer from obesity!).

The condition is very similar to human insulin-dependent diabetes; dogs and cats with diabetes need the same types of medication, care, and equipment that diabetic humans use. And like humans, the earlier pets are diagnosed and treatment can begin, the better.

What Are the Signs of Pet Diabetes?

The top symptoms to watch out for are:

  • Lethargy (excessive tiredness and fatigue)
  • Drinking lots of water, more than previously
  • Frequent urinating

Other symptoms can include:

  • Thinning, dry, or dull fur
  • Acting constantly hungry but maintaining or losing weight
  • Having “accidents” outside of acceptable areas (typically being the litterbox for cats and outdoors for dogs)

As you can see, diabetes isn’t always obvious when you first start to see the signs. It can look like a lot of other illnesses based solely on these symptoms. That’s why it’s important to bring your pet in to see a vet if you notice any of these symptoms – whether it’s diabetes or another condition, the earlier we can catch it, the better chance your pet has of receiving the care they need when they need it. Diabetes is easier to manage if it’s caught early, but can lead to serious complications if not diagnosed and treated.

Although there is no cure for diabetes, the great news is that with proper, consistent care and treatment, diabetic cats and dogs can live just as long as pets without the condition!

Signs and Symptoms  of Pet Diabetes?

Is My Pet At-Risk for Diabetes?

Some pets, like some people, are more predisposed to develop diabetes.

In general terms, pets are more at risk who are:

  • Overweight or obese
  • Physically inactive
  • Older
  • Already diagnosed with other insulin-resistant disorders
  • Specific breeds (e.g. Golden Retriever, Labrador Retriever, Poodle, Burmese cats, etc.)

To find out your pet’s risk of diabetes, click here to take this great risk assessment quiz!

Visit to read more information about diabetes in dogs and cats, and some stories about pets living with the condition.

Regular check-ups allow us to diagnose conditions like diabetes early! Book your pet’s next appointment now.

Help get your cat in the carrier and to the vet without anxiety. Get our free tip sheet on stress-free cat travel.

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About Daniel Mudrick

I'm the owner and founder of Clarkson Village Animal Hospital, a state-of-the-art veterinary hospital that's open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Clarkson Village Animal Hospital has always been a dream of mine, and by caring for one patient at a time, the hospital has continued to grow. During those rare times when I'm not at the hospital, I'm at yoga, hiking, gardening, and spending time with my family. I also enjoy reading to stay current on the most recent advances in veterinary medicine.

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