Diabetes mellitus is a syndrome that is characterized by life-long hyperglycemia due to faulty insulin secretion mechanisms by the pancreas or reduced sensitivity to insulin by the body’s tissues, particularly the fat and muscle tissues.

In dogs, the loss of insulin production is mainly caused by the destruction of the pancreatic cells through a dog’s own immune cells targeting them. Loss of insulin production can also be attributed to pancreatitis, which is a term used to indicate the inflammation of the pancreas. As such, pancreatitis plays an important role in acting as a risk factor for the development of diabetes mellitus in dogs. As such, this knowledge is crucial in developing treatment plans and preventive measures to help curb the development of the disease in dogs.

Signs and symptoms of pancreatitis in diabetic dogs

To further clinical understanding of this issue, researchers have continued to refine and reclassify the different causes that have significant implications throughout the years. As we begin to understand more, the clinical signs of diabetes mellitus in dogs are becoming increasingly more controllable, and remission has also been successfully introduced in some patients.

Regardless of the causes or risk factors, the signs and symptoms of diabetes mellitus are the same: increase in urination, water consumption, appetite, and weight loss. It can progress rapidly into fatal conditions if they remain untreated for a prolonged period. Many veterinarians advocate identifying if there is any concurrent pancreatitis in a dog with the symptoms mentioned above, as it is an easily correctable and treatable condition.

Can I prevent pancreatitis in my diabetic dog?

Data suggests that pancreatitis is a common comorbidity that should be excluded during the initial consultation. Diet-wise, these patients may also be restricted to certain food items. In dogs with chronic pancreatitis, the dosing requirements for their insulin injections may vary, with increases when the patient has a flare-up or decreases when their condition improves. If this is not taken to mind, they may develop dangerously-low blood sugar levels that could potentially be fatal.

Disclaimer: Please note that the contents of this community article are strictly for informational purposes and should not be considered as medical advice. This article, and other community articles, are not written or reviewed for medical validity by Canadian Insulin or its staff. All views and opinions expressed by the contributing authors are not endorsed by Canadian Insulin. Always consult a medical professional for medical advice, diagnosis, and treatment.