Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Canine diabetes questions

  1. What are polydipsia, polyuria, and polyphagia?
  2. What other conditions have the same signs as diabetes?
  3. What is the expected life span for a diabetic dog?
  4. Is canine diabetes similar to human diabetes?

What are polydipsia, polyuria, and polyphagia?
You’re likely to encounter these terms as you learn more about your pet’s diabetes. These definitions will help:

  • Polydipsia is the medical term for excessive thirst, usually noticed when a pet seems to be drinking excessive amounts of water.
  • Polyuria is the production of large amounts of urine in a given period, such as per day. It is often the result of polydipsia.
  • Polyphagia refers to eating more food than usual per day or eating more frequently.

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What other conditions have the same signs as diabetes?
Dogs with diabetes mellitus drink more water and urinate more than normal. They usually have good or increased appetites, but may be losing or not gaining weight. Other common conditions with these signs include Cushing’s condition (hyperadrenocorticism) and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI).

To diagnose diabetes, your veterinary surgeon will measure your dog’s blood glucose concentration and test your dog’s urine for glucose and ketones.

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What is the expected life span for a diabetic dog?
If a diabetic dog’s blood glucose concentrations are well-managed and it doesn’t develop other health problems, it should have a normal life expectancy.

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Is canine diabetes similar to human diabetes?
Yes, the two conditions (type 1 or insulin-dependent diabetes) are very similar. In fact, your veterinary surgeon will be using medication, equipment, and monitoring systems that are similar to those used for diabetic people. The main difference is that diabetic dogs always require insulin treatment and cannot be treated adequately with human oral hypoglycemic medications.

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Canine Diabetes
Did you know?

Pets whose diabetes is under control have normal thirst and urination, normal appetite, stable weight, normal activity levels, and are less likely to develop long-term complications of diabetes.

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