Canine diabetes, or diabetes mellitus, is a common disease in dogs and is the result of inadequate insulin production.
“Canine diabetes is usually caused by an immune mediated attack on the pancreas, which is likely related to genetic predispositions,” said Dr. Audrey Cook, associate professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. “It may also be secondary to chronic pancreatitis, or may occur in intact females following their heat cycle.”
Some predisposed breeds include the cairn terrier, the dachshund, and miniature poodles. Although these breeds have a higher incidence than others, all dogs have a chance of becoming affected.
Diabetes mellitus is known to cause excessive thirst and urination due to the high concentrations of glucose in the bloodstream. “Hunger is also a common symptom in the early stages of diabetes, followed by rapid weight loss,” said Dr. Cook. “Vision loss is sometimes reported.”
Glucose appears in the urine, and can predispose the patient to urinary tract infections. Untreated, other signs such as vomiting, dehydration and lethargy are expected.