Hidden infections in diabetic cats or dogs may have no outward signs at all except unexplained hyperglycemia[1]. Infections can also be the cause of hypoglycemia[2][3]. Therefore when facing persistent obstacles to regulation, it's a good idea to ask a vet to check blood counts for the possibility of a hidden infection. Hidden infections may be anywhere in the body, including dental, urinary tract[4], or elsewhere.

When you see the word "occult" in medical reports, abstracts and articles, it has nothing to do with the paranormal. It describes anything which is hidden and therefore difficult to spot under normal conditions[5]. For example, a widely-used colon cancer test for people looks for occult blood in stool. This can be an early sign of colon cancer in humans, but without the test the sign may not be noticed until later stages. Similarly, having occult blood in the urine (not visible, but may be detected by testing) can mean a urinary tract infection.

Infections and diseases can also be referred to as 'subclinical'; this means the condition is present but there are no easily discerned signs or symptoms of it. Using urinary tract infections as an example, it is possible for one to be present, but not evoke the traditional signs which tell us it's there. A traditional urinanalysis might not turn it up, but doing futher testing and performing urine culture tests may be the only way to spot it[6][7].

Further ReadingEdit


Feline Diabetes & (often hidden) Lung Disorders-North American Veterinary Conference-2006



  1. Abbott Diabetes UK-What Makes My Blood Glucose Rise?
  2. Hypoglycemia in
  3. Hypoglycemia in
  4. Retrospective Evaluation of Urinary Tract Infection in 42 Dogs with Hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing's Disease)or Diabetes Mellitus or Both-Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine-1999
  5. Detection of Occult Urinary Tract Infections in Dogs With Diabetes Mellitus-Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association-2002
  6. Lab Tests Online-Understanding Urine Culture
  7. Lab Tests Online-Understanding Susceptibility
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.