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Diabetes mellitus and cataracts: early intervention is recommended
Bilateral cataract formation is commonly seen in dogs with diabetes mellitus and is often neglected by owner and/or veterinarian. The wrong decision, as this new study illustrates: 30 of the 40 `cataract eyes` developed a spontaneous rupture of the lens capsule - before a surgery was performed...

The objective of this study was to describe the clinical presentation and surgical outcome of diabetic canine patients with cataracts and preoperative spontaneous lens capsule rupture.

A total of 20 dogs and 40 eyes were included in the retrospective evaluation. The patients` ages ranged from 5 to 14 years (mean 8.5 years).

Results All dogs had clinical diabetes mellitus, with the duration since diagnosis ranging from 30 to 240 days (mean 123 days).

Cataracts were bilateral and noted to have been present for 14–112 days (mean 39 days).

Of the 40 eyes affected with cataracts, 30 had a spontaneous rupture of the lens capsule prior to surgery.

The capsular rupture was diagnosed on clinical examination in 28/30 eyes and was noted intraoperatively in 2/30.

The location of the capsular rupture was equatorial in 29/30 and posterior in 1/30 eyes.

Surgery was performed in 38/40 eyes, with one case lost to follow-up without surgical intervention.

Prior to surgery, routine diagnostic ophthalmic examination, ocular ultrasound, electroretinography, and systemic evaluation were performed in all dogs. Surgical procedures included phacoemulsification in 28/40 eyes, with IOL placement performed in 20/28 eyes. Intrascleral prosthesis placement or enucleation was performed in 8/40 and 2/40 eyes, respectively, due to a significantly reduced ERG or secondary glaucoma.

Conclusions: The duration of clinical follow-up (19/20 dogs) ranged from 1 to 36 months (mean 12.9 months). All eyes that had cataract surgery with or without IOL placement were sighted at the time of the last follow-up examination.

Spontaneous lens capsule rupture associated with diabetes mellitus, cataract and rapid lens intumescence occurs in the dog.

Early surgical intervention, prior to secondary complications of glaucoma and loss of retinal function, is associated with a favorable outcome.



Source: Wilkie, D. A., Gemensky-Metzler, A. J., Colitz, C. M. H., Bras, I. D., Kuonen, V. J., Norris, K. N. & Basham, C. R. (2006): Canine cataracts, diabetes mellitus and spontaneous lens capsule rupture: a retrospective study of 18 dogs. In: Veterinary Ophthalmology 9 (5), 328-334.




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