How To Determine If Your Dog Has Cataracts
29 April, 2013

If your dog’s eyes suddenly seem cloudy or bluish-grey in color, he or she probably has cataracts. If the cataract is small, your dog’s vision won’t be impaired greatly.  However, if you think your dog might have a cataract, it is really important to monitor it because depending on the severity, it could result in blindness.  As in all physical matters, the first thing you should do is take your dog to the vet for an eye exam

Signs and symptoms of cataracts

You can often tell if your pooch is developing cataracts if his eyes seem cloudy or appear to be bluish-grey in color.  However, this cloudy and discoloring of the eye is natural for the lens of a dog that is older. This condition will not put the dog’s vision in as much harm as the cataracts will. But, any cloudiness at all found in your pooch’s eye is a sign for you to see your vet.

What causes cataracts?

Cataracts can be caused by a number of factors including old age, eye trauma, or as a result of another underlying condition such as diabetes. Genetics are the most common factor of a dog developing cataracts. The condition may already be present at birth or can develop when the pup is only one to three years old.

How to care for cataracts

Cataracts can not be prevented, but there are steps you can take to make sure that your dog will continue to be able to see, especially when the cataract is caused by a medical condition such as diabetes. Try examining your pet’s eyes on a regular basis.  As mentioned above, make sure to take your dog to the vet once his eyes appear cloudy or bluish-grey or if you think he is having trouble seeing.

If you have a medical history of your dog, that would be helpful since cataracts are usually inherited. Aside from that, know any other condition that your pet has that may have contributed to the cataracts, such as eye trauma or diabetes.

When a cataract is left untreated, it could slip from the surrounding connective tissue that holds it in place.  In turn, it would be loose and able to float around in the dog’s eye where it may settle and block the eye’s natural fluid drainage. This can result to glaucoma which can lead to permanent blindness. Cataracts may also start to dissolve after some time which may cause deep and painful inflammation in the affected eye.

If your dog is found to have cataracts, your vet will offer advice and a course of action for treating them, either surgically or with medication.  I hope that your dog never has cataracts.  But, don’t be worried if he or she does; there is medication available and your dog can still live a long and healthy life.

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