Diabetes mellitus in dogs and cats



        Diabetes mellitus is a syndrome associated with hyperglycaemia and is caused by inadequate insulin secretion from the beta cells of the pancreas, insulin resistance due to reduced insulin sensitivity in peripheral tissues, or both. Once developed, diabetes requires lifelong medication in humans, as it does in dogs and cats. As a common disease in canine and feline internal medicine, the number of pets suffering from canine and feline diabetes has increased in recent years. According to the 2018 edition of the American Animal Hospital Association's Guidelines for the Management of Diabetes in Dogs and Cats, risk factors for diabetes in dogs and cats include obesity, certain diseases such as feline acromegaly, feline nephropathy, canine hyperadrenalism, canine and feline dental disease, pancreatitis, etc.; or insulin resistance due to certain medications such as steroids, progestins, cyclosporine, etc. Pet genetics are also an important risk factor. Certain breeds such as Beagles, Samoyeds, Dutch Curly-Tailed Lionhairs, and cats (e.g. Burmese cats) are more susceptible.


         Typical signs of diabetes in dogs and cats include "three more, one less", excessive drinking, urination, food and weight loss, increased fat transfer, hepatic lipid deposition, hepatomegaly, hypercholesterolaemia, hypertriglyceridaemia and increased catabolism; if left unchecked, ketonaemia, ketonuria and ketoacidosis will eventually develop and lead to progressive damage to the pet's progressive damage to health.


         According to statistics, one in every 200 cats and one in every 500 dogs will have diabetes; according to incomplete statistics, there are approximately 60 million pet cats and 50 million pet dogs in China, and at this rate it is estimated that there are approximately 300,000 pet cats and 100,000 pet dogs in China with diabetes, all requiring lifelong medication. Unlike over 90% of diabetic humans who are type 2 diabetic, 95% of diabetic dogs and 50% of diabetic cats, who are type 1 diabetic, require insulin therapy with insulin syringes, multiple daily insulin treatments, with goals that include keeping the pet's blood glucose below the renal threshold for as long as possible, so that the clinical signs of diabetes in dogs and cats can be improved and severe hypoglycaemia can be avoided.