Cataracts are one of the most common eye issues that affect canines. This condition impairs the vision of dogs and can eventually lead to blindness and other eye issues if it is left untreated.
The lens of your dog’s eye is a clear, adjustable structure that helps focus vision by directing light through to the retina. Cataracts occur when an opacity appears in this lens due to changes in the proteins of the transparent lens fibers.
Depending on its size, this opacity can blur your dog’s vision. Small cataracts may not affect vision at all, but large and dense cataracts, or mature cataracts, cause blurring and sight issues by obstructing the passage of light.
Causes of Cataracts
One of the main causes of cataracts is genetic predisposition. Many dogs are born with this condition, and certain breeds are more susceptible to it, though any breed of dog may develop cataracts. Age, diabetes, eye trauma, illness, and nutritional issues can also bring on cataract development.
There are several ways to detect cataracts in dogs. One of the most recognizable signs of cataracts is a cloudy, bluish color that covers the pupil partially or completely. Other symptoms include signs of vision loss, such as bumping into objects, and noticeable changes in behavior. Pet owners should contact their vet or a veterinarian optometrist if they notice changes in the eye or signs of vision impairment.
Treatment of Cataracts
If symptoms of cataracts occur, it is important to seek the advice of a veterinarian or a veterinary optometrist. They will run a series of tests to determine if your pet has cataracts. The only way to completely treat cataracts once they have been diagnosed is through surgery and lens replacement.