Data Shows Growing Prevalence of Diabetes Among US Pets

Zoetis Provides Pet Care Tips as Part of National Diabetes Month

Nov 18, 2015, 07:07 ET from Zoetis

FLORHAM PARK, N.J., Nov. 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- November is National Diabetes Month, and while this month was originally designed to increase awareness of this common endocrine disease in humans, it also is recognized as Pet Diabetes Month based on the growing prevalence of diabetes in our families' pets. Since 2011, diabetes diagnoses in pets have increased by 32 percent in canines and 16 percent in felines1 and just like humans, cats can be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Understanding diabetic symptoms for your pets is critical – especially since diabetes left untreated can be fatal in dogs and cats. Diabetes affects one in 308 dogs and one in 230 cats 2,3 yet pet diabetes is often underdiagnosed.

Just as important as knowing the symptoms is understanding how to care for a diabetic pet at home. The treatment plan should include checking your dog's or cat's blood sugar on a regular basis with at-home monitoring meters specifically calibrated for pets. You can help your pet by learning more about the condition from your veterinarian.  

Identifying Diabetic Symptoms in Dogs
Knowing the signs of pet diabetes is essential in protecting a dog's health. Consult your veterinarian about the possibility of diabetes if your dog shows any of the following symptoms:

  • Drinks more water than usual (polydipsia)
  • Urinates more frequently, produces more urine per day, or has "accidents" in the house (polyuria)
  • Always acts hungry (polyphagia) but maintains or loses weight
  • Has cloudy eyes

Identifying Diabetic Symptoms in Cats
Diabetes is even more common in cats. The disease is more typically diagnosed in older cats and neutered male cats, but diabetes has been diagnosed in cats of all ages, both sexes (intact and neutered) and all breeds. A cat with diabetes will display the following symptoms:

  • Drinks more water than usual (polydipsia)
  • Urinates more frequently, produces more urine per day, or has "accidents" outside the litter box (polyuria)
  • Always acts hungry (polyphagia) but maintains or loses weight
  • Is less active or sleeps more (lethargic)
  • Has thinning, dry and dull hair

Routine Care for Diabetic Pets Starts at Home
If diagnosed, your veterinarian will recommend a routine treatment plan of insulin, diet modification and blood glucose monitoring that may lead to a better quality of life for your diabetic pet. Studies also have shown that the love you have for your pet will assist in treating this disease. 

"The unconditional bond between humans and pets is truly unique and is demonstrated on a daily basis through the care we provide for our four-legged family members," said Matthew Krecic, DVM, senior technical services manager, U.S. Diagnostics Strategic Growth Platforms for Zoetis. "That bond becomes even more apparent when life throws us a curve, such as a diabetes diagnosis. Families incorporate daily health care routines for their pets, and living with diabetes becomes more manageable."

Part of that at-home management includes at-home monitoring and using an at-home monitor specifically calibrated for dogs and cats. The blood of dogs and cats is different from each other and different from humans. Better care and better outcomes are achieved when using the right treatment tools.

"Seeking the proper veterinary care and the right at-home blood glucose monitor can aid in the ongoing management of diabetes in our pets," Dr. Krecic added. "Human meters do not give accurate readings for dogs or cats and could hinder progress in management of diabetes."

Through careful monitoring and by following your veterinarian's treatment plan, your diabetic pet can lead an active, quality life and be a part of your family for many years. Zoetis has tips on managing pet diabetes and how an at-home blood glucose monitoring tool is critical in the ongoing management of this disease. To learn more, visit the Zoetis website,

About Zoetis
Zoetis (zô-EH-tis) is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting its customers and their businesses. Building on more than 60 years of experience in animal health, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and markets veterinary vaccines and medicines, complemented by diagnostic products and genetic tests and supported by a range of services. In 2014, the company generated annual revenue of $4.8 billion. With approximately 10,000 employees worldwide at the beginning of 2015, Zoetis serves veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals with sales of its products in 120 countries. For more information, visit

About National Diabetes Month
National Diabetes Month is an initiative sponsored by the National Diabetes Education Program, a federally funded program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and including over 200 partners at the federal, state and local levels.



1. Verdon D. Banfield releases major veterinary study showing spike in diabetes, dental disease and otitis externa. DVM 360 2001; April 21.
2. McCann TM, Simpson KE, Shaw DJ, et al. Feline diabetes mellitus in the UK: The prevalence within an insured cat population and a questionnaire-based putative risk factor analysis. J Feline Med Surg 2007; 9: 289-299.
3. Catchpole B, Ristic JM, Fleeman LM, Davison LJ. Canine diabetes mellitus: Can old dogs teach us new tricks? Diabetologia 2005; 48: 1948-1956.
4. Pet Diabetes Alliance. Who is at risk? 2015;

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