A cataract is a clouding of the lens of a dog's eye, which over time leads to blurred vision or to more serious complications - glaucoma and blindness.
A small cataract does not greatly affect vision, but it must be constantly monitored, because the denser and thicker it becomes, the more likely it is to reach blindness.
Causes of Cataracts in Dogs
A cataract can develop as a result of an eye injury (mechanical, chemical or thermal), a common disease (for example, diabetes mellitus), poisoning, with age. Still, the most common causes are hereditary conditions, that is, a genetic predisposition. More prone to cataracts are poodles, cocker spaniels, terriers, miniature schnauzers and golden retrievers.
This disease from birth can be present or develop between one and three first years of a dog’s life.
Symptoms of cataracts in dogs
With a cataract, the dog's eyes look bluish-gray or dull. In general, it is normal that with age the lens of the eye becomes not as transparent as in youth. This condition is called nuclear sclerosis, and it almost does not threaten the eyesight of the animal and does not require treatment.
However, the visual acuity of the animal decreases with cataracts. And in order not to miss the development of cataracts, any clouding of the dog's eye should be a reason for going to the veterinarian.
If the cataract is not treated, it can slip out of the tissues that hold it and block the natural outflow of fluid in the eye. This often leads to the development of glaucoma and permanent blindness.
Treatment of cataracts in dogs
Conservative treatment of cataracts in dogs can be carried out only at the beginning of the disease to prevent the progress of the disease. However, it is impossible to cure this disease with the help of drugs and diet.
Often, the vision lost due to cataracts can be restored with surgery. This removes the lens, replacing it with an acrylic or plastic lens. The artificial eye lens becomes a permanent part of the eye and does not require any care. It does not feel and does not deliver any inconvenience to the animal.
In general, this is a rather successful operation, but it requires long postoperative care. However, diabetes will complicate the treatment of cataracts. Therefore, first of all it is necessary to treat diabetes.