VCA Alexandria Animal Hospital

Dog and Cat Diabetes: The Overview

Dog and Cat Diabetes Overview

Similar to humans, dogs and cats can get diabetes and there are also two different types. The form in which a pet has absolutely no insulin is called Type I Diabetes (the inability to produce insulin). The other form, Type II Diabetes, occurs when a pet's body makes insulin, but either not enough, or there is a condition present that interferes with the function of the insulin (an insensitivity or resistance to insulin). While virtually 100% of dogs with diabetes mellitus have Type I Diabetes, this form of diabetes is actually considered rare in cats. Approximately 80% (or more) of cats have Type II Diabetes. Due to the differences in these types of diabetes, dogs and cats with diabetes are treated and managed differently.

Could your pet have Diabetes?
As a pet owner, you will likely be the first to spot the symptoms of diabetes. The most common symptoms of dog and cat diabetes are:
  • Increased Hunger or Appetite (called polyphagia)
  • Excessive Thirst (called polydipsia)
  • Increased Urination (called polyuria)
  • Weight Loss
  • Weakness or Fatigue

Initially the signs of diabetes are not terribly concerning to most pet owners as their pet is often just eating or drinking more than usual. However, it is important to notify your veterinarian if you detect any of these changes. As with most medical conditions, early detection and treatment of diabetes is recommended for the best possible outcome for your pet. Dogs and cats with diabetes can live happily and healthfully with the proper treatment and monitoring by both you and your VCA veterinarian.

If you recognize any of the symptoms of diabetes in your dog or cat, contact your veterinarian right away to schedule an exam to test for diabetes and other potential causes.

Request My Appointment
Learn more about diabetes in dogsLearn more about diabetes in cats

To learn more about diabetes in dogs and cats, check our Pet Health Library.

Special thanks to our partners

CLOSE CLOSE

Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

As part of the VCA family, we have over 83 specialty hospitals across the US and Canada which provide referral specialty care, so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: behavior, cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, integrative medicine, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology, rehabilitation, reproduction, and surgery.

Find a VCA Specialty Care Animal Hospital near you:

 

See all VCA Animal Hospitals >

CLOSE CLOSE

Emergency Care

OUR EMERGENCY NUMBER - 703-823-3601

VCA Alexandria Animal Hospital is here for you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can count on our critical care team to be here when you need them the most.

Your pet's health deserves the finest care. Each member of our team strives for the advancement of veterinary medicine. When you bring your pet to us, you can be certain you will receive the dedication and compassion that makes our hospital stand out in patient care. 

Please call us at 703-823-3601 immediately if you believe your pet is experiencing an emergency.

Find out what might constitute an Emergencyor read more about our Services.

CLOSE CLOSE