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Understanding cataracts in dogs

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Posted on May 31 2018

When it comes to cataracts in dogs , many dog ​​owners seem to accept them as part of the aging process. While age can be one of the causes of cataracts, there are other factors that can cause cloudiness in the lens of the dog that occurs. To preserve the sight of your dog for as long as possible, it is important to consult a veterinarian immediately to take action on the treatment, and potentially to stop or reverse the progression of the disease.



A cataract is formed when the lens of the eye becomes opaque canine. This is generally due to a thickening and eventual crystallization of the fluids within the lens. The progression of the cataract is divided into 3 stages, each stage of the definition of cloudiness and affect the cataract has on the vision of the dog.

Incipient cataracts are the initial stage of a cataract. There is minimal turbidity and the vision is relatively clear. Immature cataracts are the second phase in the progression. The cloud cover covers only part of the dog's vision and while the image is blurred, there is still a certain left view. Mature cataracts are the final stage. The cloud cover completely covers the eye and the dog can not distinguish shapes. All you can see through that eye is a white or gray mist. Some people confuse nuclear sclerosis, a hardening of the lens of the eye, with cataracts. Nuclear sclerosis is found in old dogs and while the lens may appear white, the dog can still be seen outside the eye.

The causes of cataracts

Cataracts can occur for any number of reasons. Cataracts can be inherited (congenital). Congenital cataracts are the most frequent cause of cataracts in dogs. Its rate of progression can take years or it can develop in a matter of weeks and can affect one or both eyes. Canine diabetes mellitus can also cause cataracts to develop. This is because the high sugar levels deplete fluids in the eyes, causing crystallization of the lenses. An injury to the eye can also cause cataracts to develop. Many owners of older dogs see their older dogs develop cataracts, usually after the age of 8 years.

The treatment for canine cataracts

Cataracts can be treated through surgery or eye drops, depending on the cause of the cataracts, the stage of development and depends on the condition of the dog.

Drops for the eyes are the most recent method of treatment for cataracts and are seeing much success in canine patients. The drops are a solution of N-acetyl-carnosine that gradually decreases the opacity of the crystallized lens. They can be used in most dogs, regardless of age or health status. The drops can be used in the early stages of a cataract, the dissolution of crystallization and the development of stopping or reversing the loss of vision.

Surgical removal of cataracts should be completed in a mature cataract and the dog should be relatively healthy to undergo surgery. The crystallized lens is emulsified and removed and often a lens implant is inserted to allow near vision.

Canine cataracts are a condition, which leaves untreated, can have a significant impact on the level of activity of your dog and the ability to move. By looking for early treatment, the progression can often be slower or reversed, and your dog's quality of life restored.

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