Symptoms of Diabetes In Dogs

The adage, prevention is better than cure, is always true when it comes to your dog’s health. However, if your dog already is showing signs of something, would you recognize the symptoms of diabetes in dogs? Early detection can be a life saver.

Symptoms of Diabetes In Dogs

Sign board warning about the danger

Here are 10 common canine diabetes symptoms:

  1. Excessive thirst
  2. Frequent urination
  3. Increased appetite/Decreased appetite
  4. Weight loss
  5. Lack of energy
  6. Cloudy eyes
  7. Sweet breath
  8. Vomiting and Shaking
  9. A depressed mood
  10. Poor coat quality

Let’s discuss each of the symptoms of canine diabetes to some

1. Excessive Thirst

Low insulin levels in your dog’s body often make your diabetic dog try to supplement glucose levels in the blood. That could mean eating more or looking for sweet foods, creating excess glucose. 

Excess glucose attracts water, which is why your dog feels always thirsty and drinks water frequently.

2. Frequent Urination

There are two related causes of frequent urination in a diabetic dog:

  1. Excess glucose is stored when your dog tries to make up for missing blood glucose through excessive eating,. Your dog’s body will try to get rid of the extra glucose through frequent urination.
  2. Since glucose attracts water and your dog feels thirsty and drinks water frequently, urine volume in the body increases and has to be eliminated frequently.

3. Increases Appetite/Decreased Appetite

Diabetes destabilizes sugar levels in your dog’s blood. When the insulin in your dog’s blood is not enough, the cells crave glucose. As a result, your dog will eat more to supplement for missing blood glucose.

In the advanced stage of diabetes, however your dog may show a reduced desire for food.

4. Weight Loss

Your diabetic dog will lose weight for two reasons:

First, when the insulin levels in the body are low, the cells in your dog’s body are starved for glucose. As a natural response, the body starts to break down stored protein and fat to create the needed energy. This causes your dog to lose weight.

Second, unbalanced glucose levels in the body cause inefficient conversion of food into nutrients. This can mean insufficient nutrients in your dog’s body and the resulting weight loss.

5. Lack of Energy

A dog lying on the floor having low energy.

Glucose is the primary source of energy in your dog’s body. A diabetic dog has high glucose levels in the blood. However it is neither adequately converted into energy nor delivered to the body tissues. 

The insufficient energy supply makes your pet feel weak, often just preferring to lie down and sleep.

6. Cloudy Eyes

The high sugar levels in your dog’s body also enter the eye lens, causing cloudy vision. In addition, diabetic dogs can develop cataracts which advance quickly to cause vision loss.

7. Sweet Breath

Due to the high levels of glucose in your dog’s body, your dog may have a sickly, sweet smelling breath. Think of your breath after a very sweet drink.

8. Vomiting and Shaking

Vomiting in a diabetic dog is caused by low blood sugar, diabetic ketoacidosis, or the effect of medication. Your dog may also manifest shakiness due to hypoglycemia. Consult your dog’s vet immediately.

9. A Depressed Mood

A depressed mood is a common consequence of hypoglycemia. This is because the body is generally low in energy and unable to maintain normal function.

10. Poor Coat Quality

Blood sugar supplies all the body organs with the needed energy to function correctly. This includes the skin cells. Due to poor blood circulation and possible dehydration, your dog’s coat may lose its natural sheen.

Canine Diabetes Symptoms FAQs

You may have these questions regarding canine diabetes symptoms.

Diabetes Ketoacidosis is a medical crisis caused by insulin deficiency and the consequent lack of blood sugar control. Because the body cannot utilize glucose properly without the right amount of insulin, glucose levels become extremely high. 

As a reaction, the body produces ketone from body fat to supplement for required energy. If the levels of body glucose are not restored quickly, ketone upsets the body’s acid balance. High acidity levels (acidosis) can cause an abnormal heartbeat or muscle function and might be fatal if left unattended.

The primary symptom of diabetes insipidus is dehydration. Other dog diabetes insipidus symptoms include:

  • Excessive thirst (polydipsia).
  • Frequent urination (polyuria), almost appearing like urine incontinence.
  • A dry mouth.
  • Lethargy.
  • Vomiting.
  • Weight loss.

Summing it Up

Frequent urination, excessive thirst, loss of weight, increased or poor appetite, lethargy, and poor vision are signs of diabetes in dogs. Should you notice all or some of these signs in your dog, consult a vet immediately.