Diabetes mellitus is a chronic endocrine (glandular) disorder that occurs in dogs and cats characterized by persistent high blood sugar (hyperglycemia). Diabetes results when the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin to adequately signal red blood cells to take glucose out of the serum and use (metabolize) it for energy and growth. Without insulin in the cells, the cells starve for energy and far too much glucose circulates in the blood stream causing a variety of life threatening problems.
The major predisposing factor for Diabetes is obesity. Female dogs are affected twice as often as males, and male cats twice as often. Weight loss is key.
An animal with diabetes mellitus will exhibit some or all of the following symptoms:
Frequent urination (PU/PD)
Depression and Weakness
Pets may also show either increased hunger or lack of appetite. In some, the sudden development of blindness due to cataract formation indicates diabetes.