Objective - To compare aesthesiometer-determined corneal sensitivity between diabetic and nondiabetic dogs and to investigate the correlation between corneal sensitivity and duration of diabetes or status of glycemic control, as estimated by use of glycated blood protein concentrations. Animals - 23 diabetic and 29 nondiabetic normoglycemic dogs. Procedure - A Cochet-Bonnet aesthesiometer was used to measure corneal touch threshold (CTT) in 5 corneal regions of each dog. At the time of ocular examination, duration of diabetes mellitus was estimated from the history, and blood was drawn for assessment of blood glycosylated hemoglobin and serum fructosamine concentrations. Results - Median CTT for central, nasal, dorsal, temporal, and ventral corneal regions in nondiabetic dogs (1.6, 2.3, 2.8, 2.8, and 5.1 g/mm2, respectively) was significantly lower than in diabetic dogs (2.8, 4.0, 5.1, 5.1, and 6.6 g/mm2, respectively). Median regional CTT in diabetic dogs was not significantly correlated with estimated duration of diabetes mellitus or blood glycated protein concentrations. No significant difference was found in regional CTT between eyes of normoglycemic dogs with unilateral cataracts. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance - Diabetic dogs have significantly reduced corneal sensitivity in all regions, compared with nondiabetic normoglycemic dogs. Regional variation in corneal sensitivity is similar in diabetic and normoglycemic dogs. Neither glycemic control nor duration of diabetes, as estimated, is significantly correlated with corneal hyposensitivity. Corneal nerve dysfunction may be associated with recurrent or nonhealing ulcers in diabetic dogs for which no other underlying cause can be found.
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