206.323.4433 2115 - 23rd Ave. S, Seattle, WA 98144

Diabetes in Dogs and Cats: What You Need to Know

We usually think of diabetes as a human disease. But it’s becoming more prevalent in dogs and cats.

Diabetes in Dogs and Cats: What Pet Owners Need to Know | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

Diabetes in Dogs

Diabetes in dogs is usually classified as Type 1, where the body is not producing enough insulin, a hormone crucial to metabolism. Untreated, diabetes mellitus (DM) can be fatal.

Female dogs are twice as likely to develop DM than male dogs, as are older dogs, aged 7-9. Certain breeds are more predisposed to DM, including:

  • Australian terrier
  • Beagle
  • Bichon Frise
  • Cairn terrier
  • dachshund
  • Keeshond
  • miniature pinscher
  • poodle
  • Samoyed
  • Schnauzer

Diabetes in Cats

One in every 200 cats may be affected by DM. More male cats have DM, as well as cats aged 8-13 and Siamese cats.

Diabetes in Dogs and Cats: What Pet Owners Need to Know | AtlanticVetSeattle.com

Signs of Diabetes in Dogs and Cats

  • Always thirsty
  • Always hungry
  • Urinates frequently, or urinates in the house/outside of litter box
  • Good appetite and possibly overweight, yet continually loses weight (particularly over the back)
  • Cloudy eyes (dogs only)
  • Dry or dull coat
  • Poor skin condition (such as excessive dandruff)
  • Blindness
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy


Dogs and cats with diabetes usually require life-long insulin injections, careful bloodwork monitoring, and frequent re-evaluation.


We offer a Mini Diabetic Screening Panel (chem 6 and urinalysis) for dogs and cats. Please call us at 206.323.4433 if you’d like to have your pet screened for diabetes.

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Atlantic Veterinary Hospital in Seattle serves the following neighborhoods: Mt. Baker, Columbia City, Beacon Hill, Rainier Valley, Seward Park, Capitol Hill, Leschi, Central District, Madison Valley, International District, and Georgetown.