Disorder - Diabetes Mellitus

Organ Systems Involved
Endocrine

Alternative Names
Sugar diabetes

Brief Description
    The hormone insulin is produced in the pancreas to break down sugar, thus regulating blood sugar levels. Due to a functional failure of the pancreas, blood sugar concentrations increase to levels that are too high.

Presenting Signs
    In affected dogs the pancreas is unable to produce sufficient amounts of insulin, resulting in an increase in blood sugar. The surplus sugar is then excreted into the urine, causing larger volumes than normal to be produced. Excessive water consumption and increased urination (often inside the home) are symptoms of this, and as a result the dog may become significantly dehydrated. Diabetic animals also tend to have an increased appetite while showing signs of weight loss. This is due to the body's breakdown of fat stores as an alternative energy source. If the classic signs of diabetes mellitus have escaped detection, the dog is at risk of developing further symptoms such as vomiting, loss of appetite and weakness as blood sugar levels increase. Cataracts (cloudiness) in the eyes are also a common clinical sign. In general diabetes can be managed in the long term, with success in maintaining a stable condition often being dependent on the dedication of the owner. Affected animals will require constant administration of medication, and regular monitoring of blood sugar levels for life.

Dogs at Risk
    Females, and older dogs.

Groups Affected
Gundog
Hound
Non Sporting
Terrier
Toy
Utility


Breeds Affected
Alaskan malamute
Australian silky terrier
Australian terrier
Cavalier King Charles spaniel
Dachshund (long, smooth and wire haired)
Dachshund (miniature - long, smooth and wire-haired)
Finnish spitz
Golden retriever
Keeshond
King Charles spaniel
Labrador retriever
Poodle (Miniature)
Poodle (Toy)
Pug
Rottweiler
Samoyed
Schipperke
Schnauzer (miniature)


Treatment
    Medical

Related Disorders
    Cushing's disease

PubMed References
Diabetes Mellitus

Further Reference Material [OMIA Number]
279


Contributor
Andrea Bolderson