Diabetes mellitus is a medical condition resulting in an excessive amount of sugar (glucose) in the blood. This is caused by a deficiency of insulin, which is a hormone secreted by the pancreas. 

Diabetes mellitus affects an estimated one in four hundred dogs and cats, and is seen more frequently in middle to old-age animals.

What are the clinical signs of diabetes mellitus?

1.     Weight loss

2.     Increased water consumption

3.     Increased appetite

4.     Increased urination

How is diabetes mellitus diagnosed?

The diagnosis of diabetes mellitus is made based on clinical signs, persistently elevated blood glucose concentration and the presence of glucose in the urine. However, a diagnosis of diabetes cannot be made on a single blood and urine sample as other conditions such as particular stress may also cause a transient rise in glucose levels. Confirmation of diabetes may therefore require more than one blood sample collected over a period of one to five days.

How is diabetes mellitus treated?

Diabetes mellitus is a treatable condition, and typically requires the injection of insulin on a once to twice a day basis. Although long-term treatment requires commitment, it can be very rewarding to successfully manage this condition.

 

Click here to see our "Boarding a Diabetic Pet" Handout for more information in Diabetes management at VAH.