Objective—To compare beta-cell sensitivity to glucose, first-phase insulin secretion, and glucose tolerance between dogs with naturally occurring obesity of > 2 years' duration and lean dogs.
Animals—17 client-owned obese or lean dogs.
Procedures—Frequently sampled IV glucose tolerance tests were performed with minimal model analysis on 6 obese dogs and matched controls. Glucagon stimulation tests were performed on 5 obese dogs and matched controls.
Results—Obese dogs were half as sensitive to the effects of insulin as lean dogs. Plasma glucose concentrations after food withholding did not differ significantly between groups; plasma insulin concentrations were 3 to 4 times as great in obese as in lean dogs. Obese dogs had plasma insulin concentrations twice those of lean dogs after administration of glucose and 4 times as great after administration of glucagon. First-phase insulin secretion was greater in obese dogs.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Obese dogs compensated for obesity-induced insulin resistance by secreting more insulin. First-phase insulin secretion and beta-cell glucose sensitivity were not lost despite years of obesity-induced insulin resistance and compensatory hyperinsulinemia. These findings help explain why dogs, unlike cats and humans, have not been documented to develop type 2 diabetes mellitus.