Diabetes in dogs is becoming increasingly more common . The latest research shows that 1 in every 500 dogs is diagnosed with diabetes.* Understanding what causes this disease will allow you to take preventative measures to protect your dog's health.
Diabetes in dogs exists in two forms: diabetes insipidus, caused by a lack of the hormone that controls water resorption by the kidneys. And diabetes mellitus, caused by a lack of insulin similar to the human disease, and is the most common of the two types. Both result from defects in the body system that produces hormones.
Onset of the disease is generally between seven and nine years of age. Reproductive hormones may place unspayed female dogs at higher risk. Specific dog breeds are genetically prone to developing diabetes. Keeshonds, Pulis, Miniature Pinschers, Cairn Terriers, Golden Retriever, miniature Schnauzer, and the standard Poodle, may develop diabetes at a young age simply as a result of the type of dog they are.
For other dogs, diabetes is the result of another disease in the animal which destroys the cells of the pancreas, thus branching off to diabetes. However, for most dogs, diabetes is caused by too many carbohydrates in the diet mixed with an inactive lifestyle, which of course leads to obesity, and ultimately - diabetes.* S.J. Ettinger, E.C. Feldman: Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 5th Edition, Vol. 2, 2000 pg. 1438