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Canine Diabetes -- Cataracts In Dogs Are An Unfortunate Side Effect

Updated on May 19, 2009
Darlene Norris profile image

Darlene Norris loves cats and dogs. She has worked as a vet assistant, and draws on this experience when she writes her hubs.

Your pet wants you to prevent diabetes in dogs!
Your pet wants you to prevent diabetes in dogs!

Diabetes is dogs has a very sad side effect of cataracts in dogs. It's an unfortunate fact that the vast majority of dogs with diabetes will develop cataracts.

This leads to blindness, and it can happen within a few weeks. Is there anything you can do about it?

Why Do Canine Diabetics Develop Cataracts In Dogs?

When your pet's blood glucose levels become too high, it can lead to many problems, including cararacts. Your pet's eye contains a lens, which is a hard, clear structure that is what your pet sees through. This lens is normally in a dehydrated state, compared to the rest of your pet's body. In fact, the moisture level in the lens is only 66 percent, as opposed to 98% elsewhere in his body.

As blood glucose levels rise, the sugar levels in the fluid in your pet's eyes go up, as well. Since the lens receives all its nutrients from this fluid, the sugar level in the lens rises as well, which upsets the delicate moisture balance. The lens absorbs more moisture, and the increased moisture levels cause the lens to become cloudy and opaque. Your pet can no longer see through it, and he becomes blind.

This can happen very quickly, sometimes in a matter of weeks. Sadly, blindness can be the first symptom of diabetes in dogs that a pet owner will notice.

Can Anything Be Done About The Cataracts?

Cataract surgery is very successful in dogs. It can be done after your pet's blood sugar levels are stabilized, which usually takes about three months. Nearly three-quarters of all canines that have cataract surgery regain their sight.

Not everyone can afford the operation, though, as it's very expensive. Or a pet owner may opt not to do it. It's very upsetting to realize that your beloved friend is blind, but remember that he won't realize that he's handicapped. Dogs adjust very quickly to being blind. He'll continue to be your happy companion for many years.  

Even though your pet is blind, it will be necessary for your vet to monitor his eyes, to prevent any further complications.

Prevention Is The Best Cure For Diabetes In Dogs

All dog owners should know the risk factors for canine diabetes. Some breeds are more prone to this disease, which is a risk factor you can't avoid.  

However, you can definitely avoid the biggest risk factor, which is an obese pet. If your canine friend is overweight, the best thing you can do for him is to put him on a diet, right away. Cut out all treats and table scraps. Feed him a high-fiber, low-fat food.

Don't fall into the trap of showing your love for him by feeding him. Food doesn't equal love! Instead, when he gives you that pleading "feed me" look, distract him by playing with him or taking him for a long walk.

You probably don't realize it, but exercise is a great way to naturally regulate your pet's blood sugar. With a sensible diet and plenty of exercise, he'll be fit and trim in no time.

Many people are curious about natural remedies for dogs. Research has shown that goat's rue, fenugreek, and astragalus, along with the mineral chromium, are very helpful in normalizing blood sugar levels, both in pets and their people.  

Don't delay any longer. Look for a remedy that has been formulated especially for pets. In combination with a healthy diet and regular exercise, natural remedies for dogs will help to prevent diabetes in dogs.

Natural Remedies For Dogs From Amazon


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      Pam Comstock 7 years ago

      My dog has diabetes related cataracts and has developed lens induced uvietus. He was scheduled for surgery last Thursday with a very highly regarded veterinary opthamologist but was sent home because, 1)his pupils could not be induced to dialate, even with Atripine; and 2)His blood glucose was too low. His surgery has been tentatively rescheduled for this coming Wednesday, indication being that there is a reason for haste. I am also seeing an internal medicine specialist who has advised waiting until his blood glucose levels have been stable for weeks, maybe months before attempting the surgery. My dog is also being seen by another veterinary opthamologist who understands both points of view. I don't want to make a miskake here. Has anyone been here?