Pregnancy-related diabetes mellitus in two dogs

Pregnancy-related diabetes mellitus in two dogs
Peer reviewed


CASE SUMMARIES: Two cases of diabetes mellitus occurring in bitches in association with pregnancy are reported. In the first case, a bitch with suspected acromegaly developed diabetes mellitus within 2 weeks of the due date. Despite insulin therapy, euglycaemia was not achieved. Two live, small pups were delivered by elective Caesarean section but died within 2 days. Signs consistent with acromegaly resolved but diabetes mellitus was permanent in the bitch. In the second case, diabetic ketosis with severe gastrointestinal disease was diagnosed 2 days after Caesarean section was performed due to dystocia. The pups delivered all died within 5 days. The bitch recovered fully from diabetes mellitus within 2 weeks and has remained euglycaemic without insulin for a period of at least 18 months.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE: These two cases demonstrate that diabetes mellitus can occur in association with pregnancy in dogs, that diabetic ketosis can occur during transient diabetes mellitus in dogs, and suggest that acromegaly may occur during pregnancy-related dioestrus in dogs. The scarcity of previous reports of this nature, however, suggests that such cases are unusual. Lack of prompt resolution of hyperglycaemia may result in secondary diabetes mellitus becoming permanent. Management should focus on immediate insulin therapy or ovariohysterectomy to minimise this risk. Even mild hyperglycaemia should not be ignored during pregnancy. The insulin antagonistic effects of pregnancy, stressful illness, surgery and dystocia can be enough to result in diabetic ketosis in the absence of permanent insulin deficiency. Maternal hyperglycaemia may contribute to adverse fetal outcomes in dogs but further study is required regarding the nature of the risk.
KEY WORDS: Diabetes mellitus, pregnancy, acromegaly, ketosis, dog, gestational diabetes mellitus

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