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Cataracts develop in a majority of dogs within 5-6 months after they are diagnosed with Diabetes Mellitus. They are initiated by osmotic changes in the lens that are induced by the formation of the sugar alcohol sorbitol from glucose that is catalyzed by the enzyme aldose reductase. These osmotic changes begin as vacuoles around the lens periphery that eventually encompass the entire equatorial region. Water clefts develop along with punctate opacities from the rupture of lens fibers. This continues until the entire lens becomes opaque.
Cataracts cause blindness. Vision can only be restored by removing cataracts with surgery. Kinostat is a new, topical eye drop (aldose reductase inhibitor) that is being developed by Therapeutic Vision to prevent cataract formation in diabetic dogs. This means that vision is not lost and cataract surgery is not required!
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