Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a serious disease that can compromise the welfare of dogs. This latest VetCompass study looked at factors associated with the risk of dogs developing DM, and also factors associated with how long they might survive with the disease.
The study compared 409 dogs from UK primary-care practice diagnosed with DM in 2016, with 818 dogs without DM. Dogs that were more likely to be diagnosed with DM included those that were older than 8 years, female dogs that were not neutered, male dogs that were neutered, Border Terriers, West Highland White Terriers (WHWTs), those who had previous been on glucocorticoid (steroid) medication, and those with other health conditions such as obesity, pancreatitis or hyperadrenocorticism. Conversely, Staffordshire Bull Terriers (SBT), Shih-tzus and German Shepherd Dogs (GSDs) were less likely to develop DM.
For the survival of dogs with DM, factors associated with decreased survival included dogs > 10 years old at diagnosis, Cocker Spaniels, those with very high blood glucose readings at diagnosis with DM, or those who had previously been on glucocorticoid (steroid) medication. Factors associated with increased survival included dogs that were neutered, Border Collies and dogs starting insulin treatment.
Full study freely available open access:
HEELEY, A., O’NEILL, D. G., DAVISON, L. J., CHURCH, D. B., CORLESS, E. K. & BRODBELT, D. C. 2020. Diabetes mellitus in dogs attending UK primary-care practices: frequency, risk factors and survival. Canine Medicine and Genetics