Influence of a high fibre diet on glycaemic control and quality of life in dogs with diabetes mellitus


P. A. Graham's current address is Endocrine Section, Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory, Michigan State University, PO Box 30076, Lansing, MI, USA


A study was undertaken to evaluate a high fibre diet used in the management of 10 dogs with naturally occurring insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Following baseline measurements of health and glycaemic control, the dogs were fed a canned diet containing a blend of insoluble and soluble dietary fibres and were monitored during the ensuing four months. Switching to the high fibre diet was associated with significantly lower mean 24-hour and postprandial plasma glucose concentrations, which were maintained over the study period. The high fibre diet was also associated with significant reductions in plasma concentrations of fructosamine, glycated haemoglobin, free glycerol and cholesterol, and there were significant improvements in dog activity and demeanour. Bodyweight declined during the fourth month of feeding the diet, which is likely to have resulted from underfeeding relative to increased activity. The results indicate that a high fibre diet can significantly improve glycaemic control and quality of life in dogs with diabetes mellitus.