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Old 08-10-2010, 11:23 AM
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Wrothrock Wrothrock is offline
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Default Just diagnosed..

New to the forum and diabetes! Our 9 year old yellow lab, Lucy, was diagnosed a couple of weeks ago and we are still working on getting her regulated. Our Vet explained that diabetes can cause cataracts but what concerns me is that she said it as if it were a "given" and that it happens quickly. Is this true?
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Old 08-10-2010, 11:45 AM
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Default Re: Just diagnosed..

Yes its true! Welcome to the board! My dog developed cataracts in a few months, others don't get them. I had trouble regulating Forbin but he went blind almost immediately. We had cataract surgery and it was very successful. Let us know about your dog, his dosage, what type of insulin, what he eats and we will be glad to help you out.
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Old 08-10-2010, 11:53 AM
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Default Re: Just diagnosed..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wrothrock View Post
New to the forum and diabetes! Our 9 year old yellow lab, Lucy, was diagnosed a couple of weeks ago and we are still working on getting her regulated. Our Vet explained that diabetes can cause cataracts but what concerns me is that she said it as if it were a "given" and that it happens quickly. Is this true?
Welcome Will and Lucy,

The reason that many of our diabetic dogs seem to develop cataracts quickly is that by the time they are diagnosed they have usually had high blood sugar for quite some time before the diagnoses,
High blood sugar is what can lead to the development of cataracts with our dogs.

My Mildred became blind from cataracts 'over night'. Fortunately she was able to have them removed and regained her vision, 5 years ago.

I do recall Mildred's Ophthalmologist saying that it is very likely that most all diabetic dogs will develop cataracts to one extent or another, only a matter of time.

Over the 6 years of being on various pet diabetes groups I have only heard of 1 that never had any signs of cataracts, this 4 years into the disease.

Looking forward to learning more about Lucy.
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Eileen and Mildred, 12 yo Border Collie Mx, 24.6 pounds, dx diabetic/hypothyroid 2004, gallbladder removed 2005, cataract surgery 2005, spindle cell sarcoma removed 2009, stroke 2009, tail removed 2011, dx with bladder cancer 2011, CDS, Organix~chicken / NPH,Humalog

Last edited by eileen; 08-10-2010 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 08-10-2010, 12:42 PM
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Default Re: Just diagnosed..

As others have mentioned already, diabetes-induced cataracts are common enough that only a few lucky dogs escape them. The excess sugar in their system damages the lens and once the process gets started it is not always possible to interrupt it. And they can develop very quickly.

Our dog developed cataracts a couple of months after his blood sugar regulation was lost. It seemed like they developed overnight but dogs can compensate for a while as the vision declines and then it's like they cross a threshold where they can't compensate anymore.

The best hope of preventing them is to aggressively get control of the blood sugar as quickly as possible and use home blood glucose testing so you can keep the blood sugar tightly controlled.

That said, our dog was never a good candidate for cataract surgery and he was blind for four years. Most people didn't even know it. He adjusted well to blindness and continued to go on walks, travel, even wade and swim at the edge of the river near home on a long lead. He could navigate around the house when he felt like it and pinball around the house when he didn't! Dogs generally adjust quickly to blindness and just kind of go on with their lives without all the wailing and gnashing of teeth that we humans do when our dogs go blind.

Another thing to consider is that there is about a 10% complication rate with cataract surgery that results in the vision being lost anyway and sometimes having to have the eye removed. And the risks of anesthesia. So those risks have to be considered when deciding whether to do surgery.

How's her blood sugar so far?

Natalie
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Old 08-10-2010, 01:06 PM
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Default Re: Just diagnosed..

Hi Will. Welcome to you and Lucy!

You'll find a lot of helpful folks here. Can I ask what insulin you're using with Lucy? What's her current dose? What is she eating? How much does she weigh?

Love the picture!
Patty
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Old 08-10-2010, 02:38 PM
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Default Re: Just diagnosed..

Hi and Welcome

My Niki started to lose her vision gradually after 2-3 yrs after being diag with diabetes, I would never had noticed it until she tried to climb the wrong thing instead of going up the steps, her vision was bad more in one eye than the other, she is blind now but you wouldn't know it, she still jumps up in the SUV, still runs after her ball and insists on her walks.

My first vet didn't know what they were doing with diabetes, when you can read the help pages here and keep posting, my Niki has been diabetic a long time and she's doing great especially for her age.

Please consider home testing bg if you have not already done that, it really helps tell the story of how your dog is doing.

Again welcome!
Dolly & Niki
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Old 08-10-2010, 03:42 PM
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Default Re: Just diagnosed..

Hi Will and Lucy,

Welcome to the board. My Lady never developed cataracts. She was diabetic for almost 3 yrs. when we lost her ( not from diabetes) and her eyes were fine.

I love the picture. Is the JRT yours also?

Good luck to you and Lucy and ask all the questions you want - so many helpful and caring people here.
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Old 08-10-2010, 05:23 PM
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Default Re: Just diagnosed..

Wow! Thanks to you all for all the information. Yes the JRT is Lucy's sister. They are inseparable. Since Lucy was recently diagnosed, we are gradually increasing her insulin. Right now she is only on nine units, twice a day, increasing to 12 units this weekend. Last weekend we did a curve at home and she didn't get much below 350. She is on Humulin. They tried to do a curve on her at the vets a week ago but her readings were all over the map, probably from stress. I travel for my job quite a bit and my wife works during the day so we are only making changes to Lucy's dose when we are both here to monitor her. We ordered an Alphatrack kit to so we can test her at home. She is so miserable, I just want to get her feeling better! I have gotten a lot of information from this site! Thanks for helping us out with this!
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Old 08-10-2010, 05:33 PM
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Arrow Re: Just diagnosed.. Lucy and Will

Hi Will and Lucy, and a big, fat welcome to you!

Indeed, most dogs with diabetes develop cataracts; sometimes surgery to remove them is an option - depends on the cataracts and quite a few other things as well. It's very expensive to do that, but if money isn't a worry, and conditions are right, it can be done. I think the cataracts have to mature to a certain point before they can be removed. If the right time is caught, lenses can be implanted to give the dog better focus in vision.

There is NO 100% guarantee for successful cataract surgery.

I mention all this because my Kumbi went blind, apparently, very suddenly; however, I'd seen the cataracts developing. We couldn't manage surgery partly because of travel logistics.

But Kumbi really enjoyed his life, despite being mostly blind. He had a tiny bit of peripheral vision, and could see light, dark, and moving shadow. As long as I didn't move furniture around, he found his way around just fine.

On walks, I kept him on-leash, and guided gently with the leash at times, but he also knew the way, as we traveled the same routes daily, and he could find his way, striding straight and true - out in front of me!

When his elder companion, Kwali, suffered a mild stroke and couldn't keep her balance at first, she would follow Kumbi on walks, tracking behind him, which she had always done with humans, for fun! But now, she followed Kumbi, isntead of her usual walking side-by-side with him.

It was quite a sight to see the blind leading the disabled!

Kwali regained her balance in a few months, and walked side-by-side with Kumbi again.

I think you'll find people here very, very helpful, throughout your experiences with Lucy's diabetes. It took us about 14 months to regulate Kumbi, but we got there. Some dogs can be regulated more quickly, in a couple of months.

I see you've been asked the important questions. I'll be here watching, and cheering you on!

Tue, 10 Aug 2010 17:31:26 (PDT)
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Old 08-10-2010, 05:51 PM
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Default Re: Just diagnosed..

Welcome to you and Lucy. I noticed you ordered an Alphatrak meter. You might want to search this forum about using Freestyle LITE test strips. The actual Alphatrak strips are expensive, but the Freestyle LITE (emphasis on LITE) strips seem to be interchangeable at a much lower cost. Especially if purchased online. I buy through Amazon.com, but you might find other deals.

http://www.amazon.com/Freestyle-Lite...f=pd_sim_hpc_1
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