Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy

or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.

PetMD Seal

Diabetes with Ketone Bodies in Dogs


Diabetes Mellitus with Ketoacidosis in Dogs


Diabetes is a medical condition in which the body cannot absorb sufficient glucose, thus causing a rise the blood sugar levels. The term “ketoacidosis,” meanwhile, refers to a condition in which levels of acid abnormally increased in the blood due to presence of “ketone bodies”. In diabetes with ketoacidosis, ketoacidosis immediately follows diabetes. It should be considered a dire emergency, one in which immediate treatment is required to save the life of the animal.


This condition typically affects older dogs as well as females. In addition, miniature poodles and dachshunds are predisposed to diabetes with ketoacidosis.


Symptoms and Types


  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Lack of appetite (anorexia)
  • Weight loss (cachexia)
  • Muscle wasting
  • Increased thirst (polydipsia)
  • Increased urination (polyuria) or lack of thirst (adipsia)
  • Rough hair coat
  • Rapid breathing (tachypnea)
  • Dehydration
  • Low body temperature (hypothermia)
  • Dandruff
  • Sweet breath odor
  • Yellowing of the skin, gums and eyes (jaundice)




Although the ketoacidosis is ultimately brought on by the dog's insulin dependency due to diabetes mellitus, underlying factors include stress, surgery, and infections of the skin, respiratory, and urinary tract systems. Concurrent diseases such as heart failure, kidney failure, asthma, cancer may also lead to this type of condition.




You will need to give a thorough history of your dog’s health, including the onset and nature of the symptoms, to your veterinarian. He or she will then perform a complete physical examination, as well as a biochemistry profile and complete blood count (CBC). The most consistent finding in patients with diabetes is higher than normal levels of glucose in the blood. If infection is present, white blood cell count will also high. Other findings may include: high liver enzymes, high blood cholesterol levels, accumulation in the blood of nitrogenous waste products (urea) that are usually excreted in the urine (azotemia), low sodium levels in the blood (hyponatremia), low levels of potassium in the blood (hypokalemia), and low levels of phosphorous in the blood (hypophosphatemia).


Further testing may be required to definitely diagnosis concurrent disease/conditions. For example, urinalysis may reveal abnormally high levels of glucose in urine (glucosuria) and ketone bodies (ketonuria).




Related Articles

Diabetes with Coma in Dogs

In the case of diabetes mellitus, the pancreas is not capable of making enough insulin. When this happens, the blood sugar level remains too...

Diabetes in Dogs

Diabetes mellitus is a diseased state by which the body suffers from either an absolute shortage of insulin, or from an incorrect response from...

Excess Thyroid Hormone in Dogs

Hyperthyroidism is a disease caused by overproduction of thyroxine, a thyroid hormone that increases metabolism in the body.

Liver Inflammation (Granulomatous) in Dogs

Hepatitis is a condition in which the liver is inflamed, creating a diseased state.