Diabetes in Pets

In animals, diabetes is most commonly encountered in dogs and cats. Middle-ages animals are most commonly affected. Also, female dogs are twice as likely to be affected as males, while male cats are more prone to developing this condition that female cats. In both species, all breeds may be affected, but some small dog breeds are particularly likely to develop diabetes, such as Miniature Poodles.



Regarding the causes of diabetes in animals, pets with this condition may not be able to produce enough insulin, or possibly their bodies do not allow them to use insulin properly. This is just like in humans. Insulin is produced by the pancreas, and allows glucose in the blood to enter cells, allowing the body to function properly. Just like people, pets can suffer from both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.


The symptoms of diabetes in pets may relate to fluid loss and polyuria, but the course may also be insidous. Diabetes symptoms and the complications of this condition are also similar to humans. Here are some common symptoms that can indicate that your pet is diabetic:

  • weight loss, often despite an increased appetite;
  • excessive thirst and urination
  • breakdown of body fat and development of ketacidosis;
  • lower appetite;
  • pungent breath with a chemical smell;
  • complications associated with diabetes.

Remember that your pet may be in the throes of hypoglycemia or low blood sugar, which can occur in animals due to insulin overdose. The symptoms of hypoglycemia include:

  • seizures;
  • wobbliness;
  • weakness;
  • dullness;
  • sleepiness;
  • restlessness;
  • coma.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The first thing pet owners need to remember is that diabetic animals are more prone to infections. The long-term complications recognized in humans are much rarer in animals, though. However, it is important to diagnose this condition in time, so that the pet can receive the right treatment. The principles of treatment – weight loss, oral antidiabetics, subcutaneous insulin – and management of emergencies – such as ketoacidosis – are similar to those in humans.

Diagnosing diabetes in pets can be done easily. All you need to do is purchase a box of Keto Diastix and follow the instructions to test the level of glucose and ketones in your pet’s blood.

How to Read Keto Diastix

Keto Diastix is great to determine whether your pets are diabetic or not. The purpose of this urine testing method is two determine whether your pet’s blood sugar levels are going so high that the renal threshold is exceeded, but also to see if ketones are building up in your pet’s body.


Ketones are a by-product of fat metabolism, being released when the body does not produce enough insulin. The body can cope with a certain amount of ketones, which are flushed out of the body by the kidneys. However, if left unchecked, ketones build up over time, overwhelming the kidneys’ ability to eliminate them. When built up in the body for a long time, your pet can develop serious illnesses and even go into a coma.

This is why it is important to test not only your pet’s glucose in the urine, but also urinary ketones. This is why you should use Keto Diastix, a combination and test for both glucose and ketones. The first thing you should do is collect a urine sample from your pet. After that, you need to know how to read the Keto Diastix strips. Here is how to do that.

After collecting the urine sample, dip the strip into the urine and remove it immediately. Count to exactly 15 seconds and then match the color on the ‘Ketones’ area of the container – the pink area – with the inner square of the test strip – the right hand side one as seen in the picture.


Exactly 15 seconds after that – therefore 30 seconds in total – match the color on the “Glucose” band on the container – the green brown area – to the end square on the strop – the left hand side one as seen in the picture.

The Keto Diastix strips are really so time sensitive that you may want to use a watch or clock with a second hand on it. Respecting the 15-second and 30-second limits is very important for the accuracy of the test.

As seen in the picture, there are no ketones in the urine of the tested pet. However, the strip has gone dark brown on the outer glucose square, which means that the urine contains about 2% glucose. This pet has exceeded the renal threshold since it last went to the loo.

This is how to read Keto Diastix and test your pet for both glucose and ketones. The process is not that difficult, but you really need to be careful with the time. The hardest part will probably be collecting the urine sample from your pet!

Diastix – Urine Glucose Detectors You Can Use for Your Diabetic Pets

Healthy animals can eat and digest foods containing carbohydrates without a problem, since their body is able to convert them into glucose. Glucose is then absorbed into the bloodstream and then into the cells (with the help of the insulin hormone), where it is used for energy. When the body cannot use the glucose properly, the glucose levels get too high and the animals feel poorly. When the insulin level in the body is too low or does not work properly, then your pet is suffering from diabetes type 2. Diabetes type 1 is when the body does not produce insulin at all.

This is why you should constantly monitor your’ pets glucose levels. If you do not want to submit them to the stressful process of blood testing, you can profit from a great alternative: Diastix. Diastix is a special product manufactured by Bayer Diabetes Care. These dip sticks are used to test if your pets have sugar in their urine.


Numerous veterinarians nowadays recommend the use of Diastix, because it helps owners monitor their pets’ diabetes at home, without having to constantly go to the vet. This simple and inexpensive alternative can be used by anyone and provides a helpful insight regarding the pets’ health.

The principle on which Diastix works is pretty simple and is based on the fact that excessive glucose amounts in the bloodstream will be filtered by the kidneys into urine. If the amount of glucose in the bloodstream exceeds the renal threshold (of 180 mg/dL), then glucose is spilled into the urine. The renal threshold is the level at which the kidneys can no longer process any more glucose, so they spill it into the urine.

If the glucose level in the blood is high for an extended amount of time, then glucose will most likely be present in the urine. The amount of glucose in the urine depends on several factors, such as how high was the blood glucose level and for how long it remained high.


Collecting urine samples from pets can be quite challenging, considering that they are quite private with their toilet habits. Once you have managed to collect the sample, here is how Diastix are used:

  • Each test strip has a little test area at the end. That test area is dipped into the urine or simply held in the urine stream.
  • Dip the strip into the urine and remove it immediately.
  • Count to exactly 15 seconds, because these sticks are really time-sensitive. If you want, you could always use a clock or a watch with a second hand on it.
  • After 15 seconds, match the color on the container with the square of the test strip.

Remember that reading after exactly 30 seconds (in total) is very important, otherwise the results may not be accurate. And do not forget to always read the instructions carefully!

Besides Diastix, Bayer also produces other types of urine test strips, such as Clinistix and Keto-Diastix. Keto-Diastix has become increasingly popular, since it not only measures the glucose levels, but also the ketones. When animals get ketones, it means that they have sustained particularly high glucose levels for a while.


Typically, both Diastix and Keto-Diastix are urine testing sticks intended for humans. However, using them with your pets is a great idea, as they have the same effects. Their use is quite recommended, actually, since it allows pet owners to properly care for the health of their diabetic pets.