Q: Do dogs get diabetes?
Dogs definitely can get diabetes. Dogs differ from humans in that they only get Type I Diabetes, and not type II.
Diabetes occurs when the beta cells of the endocrine pancreas can’t produce insulin, anymore. Type I (Insulin-dependent) occurs when the beta cells of the pancreas are destroyed. Type II (Insulin-resistant), occurs when the beta cells stop responding to insulin. Type II diabetes occurs in cats and people, is generally linked to obesity, and can in some cases be reversed. Type II diabetes is irreversible, and requires daily insulin injections to survive.
Signs of diabetes include: increased thirst (polydipsia), increased urination (polyuria), increased appetite (polyphagia). You may also notice weakness, changes in the appearance of your dog’s eyes, and abnormal behaviour. If you suspect that your dog might have diabetes, take it to see your veterinarian immediately. Diabetes is a life-threatening condition that requires early diagnosis and treatment to achieve the best outcome. If treated, diabetic dogs can still live normal, healthy lives, with the same expected life-spans.
Read Next: Q: Why isn’t it healthy to feed our dog the same food we eat as a family?