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Postmortem diagnosis of canine diabetes mellitus and diabetic ketoacidosis via biochemical analysis of aqueous humour
  1. Ziyuan Lim1,
  2. Nahiid Salome Stephens1 and
  3. Tibor Gaal2
  1. 1Department of Veterinary Anatomical Pathology, Murdoch University, Perth, WA, Australia
  2. 2Department of Veterinary Clinical Pathology, Murdoch University, Perth, WA, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ziyuan Lim; lim.yuan{at} CC Nahiid Stephens; N.Stephens{at}


An adult male crossbreed canine cadaver of unknown age was presented for postmortem examination. The dog was found by animal welfare workers in a backyard, laterally recumbent with weak agonal breathing, which ceased during retrieval. No previous medical history was known. Postmortem urinalysis revealed hypersthenuria, severe bilirubinuria, severe glucosuria, significant haematuria and severe ketonuria (β-hydroxybutyrate). Serum biochemistry was not possible due to severe haemolysis; however analysis of aqueous humour revealed high concentrations of β-hydroxybutyrate, glucose, total bilirubin, urea and creatine. Severe diffuse hepatic lipidosis with severe intrahepatic cholestasis and jaundice, poor body condition and bilateral cataracts were identified on gross and histological examination. These findings are supportive of chronic diabetes mellitus with acute ketoacidosis resulting in death. As such, the authors propose that biochemical analysis of aqueous humour/ocular fluids can be considered for postmortem diagnosis of diabetes mellitus and diabetic ketoacidosis in dogs.

  • Pathology
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Diagnostics
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