Canine and Feline Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus is a common endocrine disease of dogs and cats. Diabetes is caused by a relative or absolute deficiency of insulin.

Consequences of insulin deficiency

  • Glucose cannot be transported from the bloodstream into the cells
  • Extracellular hyperglycemia and intracellular hypoglycemia results - diabetics are always hungry
  • The renal threshold for glucose is exceeded causing osmotic diuresis (polyuria and polydipsia are seen)

For more details see glucose metabolism and pathophysiology of Diabetes mellitus.

Managing canine and feline diabetes

Canine and feline diabetes can be managed successfully and easily with correct diagnosis and treatment, which includes insulin therapy.

Pet owners play a crucial role in the successful management of their diabetic pets. Client education and good communication between you the veterinarian and pet owners is vital. Your attitude to diabetes will largely determine the pet owners' motivation and compliance with treatment.


The prognosis for canine or feline diabetes is good provided that it is diagnosed early and treated adequately.

Diabetes mellitus in dogs and cats

Diabetes can usually be treated successfully with insulin injections accompanied by dietary and lifestyle adjustments.