Is my dog at risk of diabetes?
Risk factors in dogs
- Age (middle-aged to older dogs are more affected)
- Unspayed females
- Breed – these breeds have a higher risk for developing diabetes
- Cocker Spaniels
- Doberman Pinschers
- German Shepherds
- Golden Retrievers
- Labrador Retrievers
- Miniature Schnauzers
- Samoyeds and Keeshonds
- Toy Poodles
Assess your dog's risk with Our questionnaire
No one knows your dog better than you do. Diabetes can cause visible changes in your dog's behaviour and health. It is important that your dog is thoroughly examined by a vet at least once a year. For dogs at risk, more frequent visits may be advised.
Knowing the signs of diabetes is the first step in protecting your dog's health. Below are some examples to keep an eye on. You can also watch a video here.
Or download the Pet diabetes risk checker
If any of these signs apply to your pet, take your dog to your vet for a check-up.
Is diabetes in my dog the same as diabetes in people?
Diabetes in dogs can resemble diabetes in humans. However, your vet will be using medication, equipment, and monitoring systems that are designed specifically with diabetic pets in mind.
Can diabetes lead to other health problems?
Yes. Dogs with diabetes can develop other health problems.
A common complication of diabetes is cataract formation. Persistently high blood glucose levels can make the lens of the eye opaque, causing blindness. In addition, dogs with diabetes have a general increased susceptibility to infections, most commonly of the urinary tract1.
Controlling high blood sugar levels may lead to a healthier life for your dog. That is why an early diagnosis of diabetes is important.
Will diabetes affect my dog’s life expectancy?
With good control, many dogs can live for many years and lead a happy and healthy life. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment helps pets with diabetes maintain a good quality of life.
If your dog shows signs of diabetes, your vet will ask about them, and check your dog’s general health to rule out the possibility of other conditions or infections. Your vet will first test your dog for the presence of glucose and ketones in the urine. If indicated, your vet may run a panel of blood tests which will include a measurement of blood glucose. Diagnosis is confirmed if high levels of glucose are found both in urine and a fasted blood sample.
Watch the video Sugar and Spike visiting the vet.
To learn more about diabetes and how to best care for your diabetic dog speak to your veterinary practice. You can also find out more about managing diabetes here.
1. Forrester SD, Troy GC, Dalton MN, Huffman JW, Holtzman G. Retrospective Evaluation of Urinary Tract Infections in 42 Dogs with Hyperadrenocorticism or Diabetes Mellitus or Both. J Vet Intern Med, 1999; 13:556-560