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Veterinary Record 174:349 doi:10.1136/vr.101950
  • Research
  • Paper

An epidemiological study of diabetes mellitus in dogs attending first opinion practice in the UK

  1. D. Brodbelt, MA VetMB PhD DVA DipECVAA MRCVS5
  1. 1Department of Production and Population Health, The Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms, Hatfield, Herts AL9 7TA, UK
  2. 2Department of Production and Population Health, The Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms, Hatfield, Herts AL9 7TA, UK
  3. 3Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, The Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms, Hatfield, Herts AL9 7TA, UK
  4. 4Faculty of Veterinary Science, R.M.C. Gunn Building (B19), The University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
  5. 5Department of Production and Population Health, The Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms, Hatfield, Herts AL9 7TA, UK;
  1. E-mail for correspondence: mmattin{at}rvc.ac.uk

Abstract

This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of canine diabetes mellitus (DM) in primary-care clinics in England, to identify risk factors associated with DM and to describe the survival of affected dogs. Cases of DM were identified within the electronic patient records of 89 small-animal practices. A nested case–control study identified risk factors for the diagnosis of DM using logistic regression models. Cox proportional hazards models were used to analyse variables associated with survival. Four-hundred and thirty-nine canine DM cases were identified, giving an apparent prevalence of 0.34% (95% CI 0.31% to 0.37%). Neutered males were at an increased risk of diabetes compared with entire males, whereas neutering was not associated with DM in females. When compared with crossbred dogs, Yorkshire terriers had increased odds, whereas German shepherd dogs and golden retrievers had lower odds of DM. Being classified as overweight and having a diagnosis of pancreatitis, hyperadrenocorticism or a urinary tract infection were positively associated with DM. Older dogs and those diagnosed with pancreatitis had a higher hazard of death, whereas insured and neutered dogs had a lower hazard. This study provides an objective assessment of canine DM using primary-care veterinary practice data and is a valuable benchmark against which future epidemiological trends in DM can be assessed and improvements in the management of DM in primary-care practice can be judged.

  • Accepted January 31, 2014.
  • Published Online First 25 February 2014

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