Concurrent disorders in dogs with diabetes mellitus: 221 cases (1993-1998)

J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2000 Oct 15;217(8):1166-73. doi: 10.2460/javma.2000.217.1166.


Objective: To characterize concurrent disorders in dogs with diabetes mellitus (DM).

Design: Retrospective study.

Animals: 221 dogs with DM.

Procedure: Medical records were reviewed, and clinical signs, physical examination findings, and results of clinicopathologic testing, urinalysis, aerobic bacterial culture of urine samples, coagulation testing, endocrine testing, histologic evaluation, diagnostic imaging, and necropsy were recorded.

Results: For most dogs, CBC results were normal. Common serum biochemical abnormalities included hypochloremia (127 dogs, 60%) and high alanine aminotransferase (163, 78%), aspartate aminotransferase (78, 71%), and alkaline phosphatase (188, 90%) activities. Venous pH and serum ionized calcium concentration were measured in 121 and 87 dogs, respectively, and were low in 56 (46%) and 41 (47%) dogs. Lipemia was observed in 92 (42%) dogs. Urine samples from 159 (72%) dogs were submitted for aerobic bacterial culture, and 34 (21%) yielded bacterial growth. Escherichia coli was the most commonly isolated organism. Thirty-six (16%) dogs had dermatitis or otitis. Hyperadrenocorticism was diagnosed in 51 (23%) dogs on the basis of clinical signs and results of a low-dose dexamethasone suppression test (41 dogs), an adrenocorticotropic hormone stimulation test (5), both tests (4), or histologic evaluation of necropsy specimens (1). Acute pancreatitis was diagnosed in 28 (13%) dogs. Eleven (5%) dogs had tumors for which a histologic diagnosis was obtained. Eight (4%) dogs were hypothyroid.

Conclusions and clinical relevance: Results suggest that dogs with diabetes mellitus may have many concurrent disorders. The most commonly identified concurrent disorders included hyperadrenocorticism, urinary tract infection, dermatitis, otitis, acute pancreatitis, neoplasia, and hypothyroidism.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Cell Count / veterinary
  • Blood Chemical Analysis / veterinary
  • Diabetes Complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus / veterinary*
  • Diagnostic Imaging / veterinary
  • Dog Diseases / blood
  • Dog Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies