02948-A: Effect of Glycemic Control on the Onset of Cataract Development in Diabetic Dogs

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $15,000
Michal Mazaki-Tovi, DVM; The Koret School of Veterinary Medicine, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
August 1, 2021 - January 31, 2024


Breed(s): -All Dogs
Research Program Area: Ophthalmology, Endocrinology
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One Health: Yes


Diabetes mellitus is a common endocrine disorder in dogs. Its most common long-term complication is cataract formation, occurring in about half of the dogs within six months of diagnosis. Diabetic cataracts typically develop quickly, causing blindness and requiring expensive surgery to restore vision. It is generally assumed that tight control of blood glucose levels delays the onset of cataract development, however, indicators of short-term glucose control were not associated with the risk of cataract in dogs. Since tight glucose concentration control with insulin treatment increases the risk for dangerously low glucose concentrations, the potential of such a treatment to prevent or delay cataract formation should be proven before it is routinely recommended. Investigators hypothesize that poorer long-term glucose control is associated with earlier onset, and faster progression of cataract formation in diabetic dogs. Ten newly diagnosed diabetic dogs without ocular disease will be enrolled for six months. Glucose control will be evaluated by continuous glucose monitoring in addition to bi-weekly clinical assessment and blood tests. Ophthalmic examination will be performed bi-weekly, and the presence of a cataract and its stage will be documented. Associations between the time of onset and rate of progression of cataract and measures of glucose control prior to its formation will be determined. If such an association is verified, further study will be warranted to determine whether a strict insulin protocol to achieve tight glucose control might delay the onset of cataracts in diabetic dogs.


None at this time.

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