Objective: To compare beta-cell sensitivity to glucose, first-phase insulin secretion, and glucose tolerance between dogs with naturally occurring obesity of > 2 years' duration and lean dogs.
Animals: 17 client-owned obese or lean dogs.
Procedures: Frequently sampled IV glucose tolerance tests were performed with minimal model analysis on 6 obese dogs and matched controls. Glucagon stimulation tests were performed on 5 obese dogs and matched controls.
Results: Obese dogs were half as sensitive to the effects of insulin as lean dogs. Plasma glucose concentrations after food withholding did not differ significantly between groups; plasma insulin concentrations were 3 to 4 times as great in obese as in lean dogs. Obese dogs had plasma insulin concentrations twice those of lean dogs after administration of glucose and 4 times as great after administration of glucagon. First-phase insulin secretion was greater in obese dogs.
Conclusions and clinical relevance: Obese dogs compensated for obesity-induced insulin resistance by secreting more insulin. First-phase insulin secretion and beta-cell glucose sensitivity were not lost despite years of obesity-induced insulin resistance and compensatory hyperinsulinemia. These findings help explain why dogs, unlike cats and humans, have not been documented to develop type 2 diabetes mellitus.