Diabetes mellitus was tentatively diagnosed in a black-footed ferret with polyuria, polydipsia, polyphagia, dehydration, and weight loss. Laboratory findings (marked hyperglycemia (724 mg/100 ml), glycosuria, and ketonuria) and the subsequent favorable response to insulin therapy confirmed the diagnosis. Although lesions were not observed in the pancreas, gross and histologic findings concomitant with diabetes mellitus included arteriosclerosis, with calcification of the aorta and other major vessels; mild necrotizing hepatitis; and mild proliferative glomerulonephritis. A perineal adenocarcinoma, with metastasis to an internal iliac lymph node, was an incidental finding. Special stains demonstrated adequate numbers of beta cell granules in the islets of Langerhans. Thus, the diabetes was apparently due to a lack of release of the synthesized insulin or to diminished effectiveness of the secreted insulin.