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Could treating cataracts help dogs with diabetes?

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Just like in humans, diabetes is fairly common in dogs -- and can lead to cataracts.

But does treating that impaired vision affect their diabetes?

That's what some veterinarians are trying to figure out.

"Often cataracts in diabetic dogs can develop very quickly," said Katelyn Fentiman (pictured), a Kansas State Veterinary Health Center Student. "So unlike some other cataracts where it may only affect a small part of the lens and doesn't affect their vision, a lot of dogs with diabetes will develop a complete cataract very quickly and will present with almost a sudden onset of blindness that the owners notice. " 

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Veterinarians at the Kansas State Veterinary Health Center are studying the topical drugs used to treat cataracts to see if the medication affects diabetic regulation in dogs.

They're looking for dogs with well-regulated diabetes to take part in the four-week study.

"I think it's important to carry out research like this at the veterinary hospital because it answers a clinical question. Do these drugs that we apply topically either before or after cataracts surgery affect a dog's diabetic regulation?" said Kansas State University ophthalmologist Amy Rankin. "It will help an entire population of dogs once we've completed this study."