Diabetes Mellitus or Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is by far the most common in dogs. There are probably instances of type 3 diabetes (diabetes secondary to another illness, such as hyperadrenocorticism or pancreatitis) in dogs, but I think this is a relatively uncommon thing.

Corticosteroids used chronically may predispose dogs to diabetes mellitus. I am not aware of any correlation between diabetes and the use of carprofen (Rimadyl Rx). We use a lot of corticosteroids here in the Tidewater area due to the problems with allergies in our area and we do not see a high correlation between the use of corticosteroids and diabetes in our practice.

Diabetes mellitus can lead to a secondary myocarditis (malfunction of the heart muscles). This can eventually cause heart failure. The signs that this is happening include a decrease in activity or weakness associated with normal activities, difficulty breathing or increased respiratory rate, decrease in appetite and sometimes pain or paralysis of the rear legs. Unfortunately, most of these signs can also occur for other reasons, including other complications of diabetes, like diabetic neuropathy leading to hind limb weakness or decrease in appetite associated with a loss of control of insulin regulation. With diabetes, it is important to work very closely with your vet to monitor the treatment. Teamwork makes a huge difference in the successful maintenance of a dog or cat with diabetes.