VCA Animal Hospitals

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.

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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.

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General Practice

We have over 540 animal hospitals in 41 states that are staffed by more than 2,000 fully qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, with more than 200 being board-certified specialists. The nationwide VCA family of general practice hospitals give your pet the very best in medical care, providing a full range of general medical and surgical services as well as specialized treatments*: Wellness, Spay/neuter, Advanced diagnostic services (MRI/CT Scan), Internal medicine, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Cardiology, Neurology, Boarding, Grooming

*services may vary by location.

Our family of pet hospitals stands out by delivering the greatest resources in order provide the highest quality care available for your pets. By maintaining the highest standards of pet health care available anywhere, we emphasize prevention as well as healing. We provide continuing education programs to our doctors and staff and promote the open exchange of professional knowledge and expertise. And finally, we have established a consistent program of procedures and techniques, proven to be the most effective in keeping pets healthy.

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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.

We have twenty-eight specialty hospitals across the US so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology and surgery.

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Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately. If it is after hours, check with a local animal hospital emergency clinic.

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