What causes diabetes in dogs?


Damage to the pancreas can reduce or even stop insulin production and this is ultimately how diabetes starts. So how and why does this happen? Pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) can lead to damage to the pancreas, which can then bring on diabetes. The most common cause of pancreatitis is too much fat in the diet. Also, obese dogs are more prone to pancreatitis, so obesity can also increase the chance of becoming diabetic.

So you’re probably wondering, what are the chances of my dog getting diabetes? We know that:

  • Diabetes tends to affect older dogs
  • Genetics play a part: particular breeds including Dachshunds, Miniature Schnauzers, Cairn Terriers and Springer Spaniels are at higher risk of diabetes
  • Around 70% of dogs with diabetes are female
  • Neutered dogs seem more likely to become diabetic