According to Pet Guardian Angels of America, hyperglycemia, or diabetes mellitus, is the most common canine hormonal disorder. The disease can be regulated, but it must be recognized first. Hyperglycemic dogs often display a number of symptoms; one must simply know what to watch for.
Hyperglycemia can appear in two types: Type I (insulin dependent), occurring due to the body's inability to produce enough insulin or any insulin at all, and Type II (non-insulin dependent), occurring due to the body's inability to properly respond to insulin. Most dogs with diabetes have Type I.
Some conditions place dogs in an at-risk category for hyperglycemia. These include breed (Cocker Spaniel, Beagle, Poodles, Keeshounds, Cairn Terrier, Dachshund, Schnauzer), female gender, obesity and age of five to seven years.
Because a hyperglycemic dog has a high blood glucose level, her body attempts to expel some of the sugar by urinating frequently. "Diabetes mellitus" translates to "sweet urine" for this reason. A housebroken dog who begins to urinate in the house may have diabetes mellitus.
Dogs with hyperglycemia often consume increased amounts of water as a result of their frequent urination. An excessively thirsty dog may indicate the presence of hyperglycemia.
Diabetic dogs may suddenly develop cataracts, demonstrate an increase in appetite yet experience weight loss and appear dehydrated (check for a dry nose). General change in mood or behavior is also a potential indicator.
Diagnosis and Treatment
If you suspect that your canine companion is hyperglycemic, consult a veterinarian. The vet will perform blood and urine tests and, if diabetes is diagnosed, will prescribe insulin injections and a special diet for your dog.