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  • Author or Editor: David P. Panciera x
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Objective—To determine prevalence of retinal hemorrhages and microaneurysms in dogs with diabetes mellitus following cataract extraction by means of phacoemulsification and identify potential risk factors.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—52 dogs with diabetes mellitus and 174 dogs without.

Procedure—Medical records of dogs undergoing phacoemulsification between 1993 and 2003 were reviewed, and information was recorded on signalment, history, physical examination findings, ophthalmic examination findings, results of laboratory testing, electroretinographic findings, and surgical findings. Glycemic control was classified as poor, intermediate, or good on the basis of baseline blood glucose concentration, perioperative body weight loss, daily insulin dosage, and presence of glucosuria and ketonuria. Data from diabetic and nondiabetic dogs were analyzed to determine prevalence and risk factors for development of retinal hemorrhages or microaneurysms following phacoemulsification.

Results—11 of the 52 (21%) dogs with diabetes mellitus developed ophthalmoscopic signs of retinal hemorrhages or microaneurysms, compared with 1 of the 174 (0.6%) nondiabetic dogs. Median time from onset of diabetes mellitus to diagnosis of retinopathy was 1.4 years (range, 0.5 to 3.2 years). No risk factors for development of retinopathy were identified.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that retinal hemorrhages and microaneurysms may be more common and develop earlier in diabetic dogs than previously reported. This may affect treatment, as diabetic dogs survive longer with improved glycemic control. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225: 709–716)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association