Symptoms of diabetes in dogs include changes in appetite, excessive thirst, weight loss, reduced urination, lethargy, urinary tract infections, dehydration, fruity or sweet-smelling breath, vomiting, chronic skin infections and blindness or cataracts. Dogs with these symptoms should be evaluated by a veterinarian right away, since untreated diabetes can cause secondary health issues or even diabetic coma and death.
Like their human counterparts, dogs may develop type 1 diabetes, which is caused by the pancreas' inability to secrete or produce sufficient insulin. These dogs require insulin therapy in order to live. While the exact causes of diabetes in dogs are unknown, it has been linked to obesity, genetics and autoimmune disorders. Female or obese dogs are more prone to developing diabetes in their later years. Certain breeds are also predisposed to the condition, including dachshunds, poodles, miniature schnauzers and Australian terriers.
Oral medication and a high-fiber diet may be all the treatment required to stabilize a dog's glucose level, although some may require intensive hospital care and ongoing insulin injections. Because sex hormones have an impact on female dogs' blood sugar levels, spaying diabetic females is generally advised. Ensuring a proper diet and regular exercise can also prevent the condition, especially in older dogs.