Exotis ISSN 2398-2985

Guinea Pigs

Diabetes mellitus

Synonym(s): DM, Sugar diabetes

Contributor(s): Cathy Johnson-Delaney, Aidan Raftery

Introduction

  • Cause: may be diet related – foods high in carbohydrates such as fruits fed as a greater portion of the diet, although it has been described as a possible model of adult onset diabetes in laboratory guinea pigs.
  • Signs: polyuria/polydipsia, glucosuria, hyperglycemia, secondary cystitis, voiding dysfunction, chronic weight loss, cataracts, breeding problems with decreased fertility; in colonies, can discern decreased life spans.
  • Diagnosis: hyperglycemia on repeated testing, glucosuria where cystitis ruled out.
  • Treatment: dietary correction: the largest portion being timothy or grass hay (high fiber), and a small quantity of a timothy hay based pellet (low fat), high fiber green leafy vegetables. Treats such as fruits or commercial yogurt or sugar-based foods should be avoided. Rarely insulin therapy.
  • Prognosis: good.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • May be diet related - foods high in carbohydrates such as fruits fed as a greater portion of the diet, although it has been described as a possible model of adult onset diabetes in laboratory guinea pigs.
  • Usually associated with supplemental high-calorie foods in the diet such as fruit supplementation or commercial sugary treats.
  • Literature has suggested an infectious agent, but not identified; may also be a model for juvenile diabetes.

Predisposing factors

General

  • Thought to be diet related of carbohydrates and sugars added to the diet such as fruit and commercial sugary treats.

Pathophysiology

  • Decreased insulin secretion.
  • Glucosuria by be 100-2500 mg/100 mL (stressed guinea pigs, vitamin C deficient may have elevated glucosuria; repeat testing may be necessary once other causes are ruled out).
  • Blood glucose Blood biochemistry: glucose is considered elevated above 200 mg/dL

Timecourse

  • Unknown.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Belis J A, Curley R M & Lan C M (1996) Bladder dysfunction in the spontaneously diabetic male Abyssinian-Hartley guinea pig. Pharmacol 53 (1), 66-70 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Hawkins M G & Bishop C R (2012) Disease Problems of Guinea Pigs. In: Ferrets, Rabbits, and Rodents Clinical Medicine and Surgery. 3rd edn. Eds: Quesenberry K E & Carpenter J W. Elsevier. pp 295-310.
  • Johnson-Delaney C (2010) Guinea Pigs, Chinchillas, Degus and Duprasi. In: BSAVA Manual of Exotic Pets. 5th edn. Eds: Meredith A & Johnson-Delaney C. British Small Animal Veterinary Association. pp 28-62.
  • Orr H (2009) Rodents: Neoplastic and Endocrine Disease. In: BSAVA Manual of Rodents and Ferrets. Eds: Keeble E & Meredith A. British Small Animal Veterinary Association. pp 181-192.
  • Percy D H & Barthold S W (2007) Guinea Pigs. In: Pathology of Laboratory Rodents and Rabbits. 3rd edn. Eds: Percy D H & Barthold S W. Blackwell Publishing. pp 217-251.


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