Understanding Cataracts in Dogs
Simply stated, a cataract is one of the most common eye diseases in dogs Dogs suffer from this condition as much as humans do.
Cataracts in Dogs has several types and forms. All breeds of dogs are susceptible to it. You should learn about this disease to keep safe your dog from this disease.
Cataracts is clouding of the lens inside the eyes. The function of the lens is to help focus the field of vision. When the lens of the eyes acquires a certain level of opacity or if it becomes blurred, the condition is referred to as a cataract
cataract in dogs divided into three types according to the stages of the disease
it is a mild type of eye cataract that rarely affect on dog’s vision.
lenses opacity is so slight that it is hard to determine if your dog is suffering from the disease or not.
If just a part of eyes is cloudy, it’s called immature cataract. However, if it covers the entire part of your dog’s eye, then the disease has progressed into the mature cataract.
it is a sever type that causes blurred vision to dogs.
If you see that your dog is suffering from any of sign, call the veterinarian right away. The disease can still be cured during its early stages.
There are several reasons why dog cataract develops. But even so, they all occur in the same way. a cataract affects dogs gradually, regardless of their gender, age, or breed.
Causes of Cataracts in Dogs
Diabetes is the most common cause of cataracts in dogs.
Drug Toxicity from some medication and pesticide are common reasons for dog cataract as:
overdoses of heartworm medications.
pesticide and flea and tick medications.
3-Other eye disease may cause cataracts in dogs as:
- retinal atrophy
There are several reasons why dogs develop cataracts. The most common reason is heredity. Sadly, cataracts is an inherited disease.
This case is most evident in certain breeds, although cataracts can strike just about any dog, regardless of their lineage.
Boston Terriers, Miniature Schnauzers, the Welsh Springer Spaniers, and the West Highland White Terriers can even acquire the disease at birth. For other dogs though, cataracts can be observed in their development stages, which is the first few weeks of their life, especially if the cause is genetics.
cataracts in dogs may also be caused by old age. This condition is called senile cataracts and it occurs in dogs that are at least six years old. The late onset cataracts in dogs are not hereditary. The condition may now be caused by abnormal body processes.
-In senile cataracts, the disease is usually caused by the imbalance of the lens’s biomechanical system. The eyes have a small water pump that also contains sodium to keep the eyes watery and healthy. It is very important that the salt and water content are in a balanced state. However, due to old age, the functions of that gland get impaired.
In the case of cataracts, the protein content in the eyes becomes higher. The excess protein now forms into a cloud-like substance in the dog’s eyes. That is the formation of cataracts in the eyes and it can only be removed through surgery.
7-External damages (accidents injury, trauma, object penetration)
Aside from natural causes, cataracts may also be brought about by trauma. While it is true that dogs can become blinded by accidents, foreign object penetration, and similar types of external damages, some pets are able to sustain the injury caused to their eyes.
However, the lens may exhibit these damages over time. A cataract caused by trauma usually affects one eye alone. The other types, on the other hand, can possibly affect both your dog’s eyes, which can eventually cause the total loss of vision of your pet if you choose not to do anything about it.
Symptoms of Cataracts in Dogs
A cataract is a very common condition to affect dogs. This is why pet owners should be very conscious of their dog’s vision when it comes to this disease. To guide you, here are the checklists that can help you determine if your dog has cataracts or not.
The known symptoms of this disease are:
1. Change in eye color
You should know the original color of your pet’s eye. If its color changes from normal to grayish, whitish, or bluish, there are high chances that it is suffering from cataract. The change in color is caused by the protein and water build-up inside the eyes, which is the precursor of cataracts. The change of color also signifies your dog’s weakening vision.
2. Constant bumping into things
Dogs have a strong sense of smell. However, if their eyes get blurry, they can’t help running into things. Dogs can’t differentiate between most colors, but they can see everything clearly if they don’t have eye problems. If they have cataracts, everything they see is reduced to a shadow. In the worst cases, they can’t see anything at all.
3. Reduced jumping and similar activities
If your dog is very fond of jumping but has recently become less active, check its eyes. Try to determine the presence of other symptoms as well. If the lenses are graying, then your dog’s reluctance to jump, come up the stairs, or go down a high platform may be caused by the fact that it can no longer see what’s below or above it. In this case, you will have to guide your dog around.
4. Hesitant to explore new places
Dogs are naturally curious animals. However, if your pet refuses to go anywhere except around its regular abode, then it may have eye problems. This is especially true if the other symptoms above are evident as well. Take your dog to the vet for proper diagnosis.
Dogs with cataract will certainly become blind as time goes by. Blindness in dogs has a reason. If you know your pet’s eyes are not damaged by any object or trauma, then cataracts are the most likely culprit.
6. Redness, pain, and inflammation in and around the eye area
- Cataracts affect the lens of the eye.
- While the most common symptom in dogs with cataracts is the graying or whitening of that part of the eye. some dogs will first experience reddening, inflammation, and swelling in the area.
- When this particular symptom is observed in your pet, be sure that you provide it with the necessary medical attention as it may also be a symptom of other diseases as well.
7. Too much squinting
- Dogs should be able to focus on an object easily.
- However, dogs with cataracts can’t do that. They need to squint or look at an object long and hard before they can recognize what it is.
- If you suspect that your dog is suffering from this condition, take time in observing it while playing, eating, or doing anything else.
- Look for the other signs of cataracts and provide the necessary care for your pet.
Treatment for dogs with cataracts
Surgery is the only effective method to treat dogs with cataracts. The procedure used in humans is also the same one performed on dogs. As such, pet owners can almost be sure that the cost of a cataracts surgery for their pets will be similar to that of a person. On the brighter side, the result of the operation has a very high success rate. It can allow your dog to live normally again after suffering from the condition.
-Dietary Supplements for Dogs with Cataracts
vegetables and Food Supplement should be added to your dog food.
Dogs with cataracts will have decreased physical abilities primarily because they can no longer see what’s before them. If your dog is such a lively animal before, you’ll notice that it will be afraid of unfamiliar places and refuse to go anywhere high the moment it exhibit the effects of cataracts. If you want to restore your dog’s vigor, you have to take your pet to the vet for proper diagnosis. The treatment for dog cataracts may take some time. You also need to prepare your pet for the operation. Generally, your pet will only experience the full effects of surgery after a month or two.