Canine diabetes is almost exclusively caused by a decrease in insulin production by the pancreas. It is thought to be an autoimmune condition in which the dog’s immune system attacks and destroys the pancreas’ insulin-producing cells. It can also be caused by severe pancreatitis and, in rare cases, estrus cycles in intact females.

Diabetes generally affects older to middle-aged dogs and is more common in females. Certain breeds are predisposed, including:



As the symptoms of diabetes are very similar to other disease processes, such as Cushing’s disease, hypothyroidism, kidney in addition to a thorough history and physical examination, your veterinarian will likely recommend:


Insulin replacement is the single most important treatment of diabetes in dogs. Various insulins have been successfully used to manage Canine diabetes, the most common being medium-acting insulins such as Humulin N or Novalin. There is also veterinary-approved insulin commercially available, called Vetsulin.

Dietary management is not as critical in dogs. Most dogs do well when fed a complete and balanced diet. Meal feeding is preferred as food intake can be more closely monitored and timed with insulin administration.