There are a number of factors that can result in your pet developing diabetes, these can include;

Age – diabetes can occur at any age, however it is more commonly diagnosed in our senior patients. Most pets who are diagnosed are typically 5 years or older.

Obesity – Obesity can play a part in the development of insulin resistance which can result in diabetes.

Gender – Unspayed females are twice as likely to be diagnosed with diabetes in comparison to male dogs.

Chronic or repeated pancreatitis –  the pancreas is the organ that makes insulin. Repeated inflammation of this organ can cause damage which can result in diabetes.

Steroid medications – Patients on long-term steroids must be checked by their veterinary team regularly, as prolonged use of these medications can trigger diabetes.

Cushing’s disease – This condition can trigger the body to overproduce steroids, as a result patients can develop diabetes.

Important factors in caring for your diabetic pet;

Diet – Once diagnosed with diabetes your veterinary team will be able to  recommend the most appropriate type of diet and feeding amounts for your pet. This diet should include fiber, high quality protein, and complex carbohydrates to aid in the slow absorption of glucose into your pets system. Your diabetic pet must be fed at the same time every day with the same type of food, and a set amount. Consistency is key! A helpful tip is to keep a food journal for your pet as it can be a beneficial way to monitor their food and water consumption.

Exercise – When it comes to exercising your diabetic pet a balanced and regular routine is favorable. This can prevent sudden drops or spikes in glucose levels. It is vital for your diabetic pet to maintain a healthy weight, whilst getting regular exercise, as consistent exercise can stimulate appetite and reduce stress.

Insulin– Most diabetic patients will require injections of insulin. These injections are given under the skin. This may sound like a daunting task for owners. However this process, when explained and demonstrated by your veterinary team, will quickly and easily become a part of your daily routine.

Glucose Monitoring – Your veterinary team will provide support and information in order to create the best treatment plan for your pet. When your pet is initially diagnosed with diabetes it will be vital for you to visit your vet for testing and any necessary adjustments to your pets medication. Once an effective treatment plan is in place you will have all the tools to keep your pets blood sugar consistent.

Important signs to be aware of in your diabetic pet;

Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels)

Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels)


Signs of hypoglycemia;

  • loss of appetite
  • trembling
  • weakness
  • seizures
  • muscle twitching
  • discoloration of skin and gums.
  • lack of coordination
  • extreme lethargy

 Signs of hyperglycaemia;

  • increased thirst
  • dehydration
  • nausea
  • frequent urination
  • increased appetite
  • fatigue
  • sweet smelling breath
  • vomiting


Here at Rockhall Veterinary, we understand that caring for your diabetic pet can be both worrying and demanding, but with ongoing support from our veterinary team your pet can have a happy and balanced life.