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10 Warning Signs of Diabetes in Dogs & Cats

10 Warning Signs of Diabetes in Dogs & Cats


A growing epidemic amongst our pets, recognizing and spreading awareness about diabetes in dogs and cats is vital to helping pet owners spot and treat the disorder early.

10. Weakness or Fatigue

Diabetes can cause wasting of back muscles or weakness in the back legs of cats. With dogs there may just be a general sense of lethargy, being less active, or sleeping more.

See Also: Top 10 Signs of Cancer in Dogs and Cats


9. Increased Thirst

Drinking more water than usual, known as polydipsia, is an early warning sign of diabetes.

Related: 8 Common Myths About Dehydration

8. Increased Urination

Urinating more frequently, producing more urine throughout the day, or having “accidents” in the house may mean your cat or dog has developed polyuria, another early warning sign of diabetes that goes hand in hand with polydipsia.

See Also: Neutralize Pet Odors

7. Increased Hunger

If your cat or dog suddenly acts as if it is always starving, despite eating the usual amount (known as polyphagia), and maintains or loses weight despite increased food intake, this can be a sign of diabetes as well.

Related: Is Your Pet Hungry or Does She Just Want More Food?

6. Sudden Weight Loss

Though a diabetic pet may show signs of being hungrier than ever, sudden weight loss is a common occurrence because diabetes can cause an increased metabolism.

Also Check OutDog Food Allergy Myths

5. Obesity

Obesity can actually cause diabetes to develop; therefore, if your pet is obese you should keep an eye on it to determine if it is developing any symptoms of diabetes.

See Also: Dangers of Pet Obesity


4. Thinning or Dull Hair

Thinning, dry, or dull hair, particularly along the back. Thinning hair is generally a symptom of some illness, diabetes included, so it is best to visit your veterinarian to determine the cause.

Image Credit: Debi/via Flickr

Related: Why Do Cats Lose Their Hair?

3. Cloudy Eyes

A common complication of diabetes in dogs is cataracts, or cloudy eyes. Cataracts can lead to blindness if not monitored.

Related: Blind Dog’s Remarkable Spirit (video)

2. Depression

A later sign of diabetes in dogs and cats is ketoacidosis, metabolic acidosis caused by the breakdown of fat and proteins in the liver in response to insulin deficiency. Ketones in the body in high amounts are toxic, and this imbalance in the body of your pet can cause depression.

See Also: Senior Cat Care

1. Vomiting

Another side effect of ketoacidosis, if your pet’s diabetes has escalated to this point before it’s been recognized, is vomiting. Ketoacidosis is more commonly found in older pets and in females. Dachshunds and Miniature Poodles are also predisposed to it.

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petMD is a leading online resource focused solely on the health and well-being of pets. The site maintains the world's largest pet health library, written and approved by a network of trusted veterinarians. petMD was founded to inspire pet owners to provide an ever-increasing quality of life for their pets and to connect pet owners with pet experts and other animal lovers. For more information, visit


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6:11PM PDT on Aug 25, 2014

My dog pees all the time and its getting worse...I am at my end with this....I have him on a nutro natural choice and he is getting worse.....he peed on my couch where I lay tonite and would not come in the house like he was scared.....he pees on everything and pees all the time and its completely out of control....I picked him up to put his nose in the pee on the couch and he peed on me.....!!!!!!!!!I Iam afraid to let him back in the house...I cant keep up with the washing linen and floors ....what should I do? put him to sleep?

7:25AM PST on Mar 7, 2014

symptoms of diabetes know more visit

9:15AM PST on Feb 1, 2014

Good to know!

9:59AM PDT on Oct 20, 2013

My dogs are diabetes that is why I have a blog about them. It will make 2 years since my dogs got diabetes. Diabetes isn't a death sentence, it can be managed. Love your blog.

Veronica Smith

5:48PM PDT on Sep 27, 2013

I knew someone with a Diabetic dog. Cats have a high risk of getting it too.

9:58AM PDT on Sep 26, 2013


7:10AM PDT on Sep 26, 2013

Yep, my cats are in that danger range. Testing soon for elevated sugar and its time to reduce the weight!

6:20AM PDT on Sep 14, 2013

Thank you. It seems the signs are so varied though that I would think if a pet had any of these symptoms it would be best to see a vet anyway.

5:25AM PDT on Sep 12, 2013


7:15PM PDT on Aug 30, 2013


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