When their eyes can't see you: Cataracts in dogs in Bluffton, SC

Fetch is one of the main games you play with your dog, but what happens when you dogs begin to get cataracts in Bluffton, SC? What happens when their eyes can’t see you?

Cataracts in Dogs in Bluffton, SC

Cataracts can affect dogs in the same way that they do in humans. A cataract forms over time, a clouding over the lens of the eye. It starts with blurred vision and can lead to vision loss. As the cataract spreads, the brain can’t work with the eye properly to process what it’s seeing.

As your dog gets older, they may begin to experience the clouding in their eyes. It may not be visible at first, but you may notice certain things.

Risk Factors and Symptoms of Cataracts in Dogs

Certain breeds are more prone to cataracts. Cocker spaniel, Labrador retriever, poodle, Shih Tzu, schnauzer and Boston terriers are genetically predisposed. However, any dog can get cataracts as they age.

Some puppies are born with cataracts but most dogs that suffer from the condition are older dogs. Remember, though, they can form at any age.

Sugar diabetes in dogs, diabetes mellitus, is the most common disease associated with cataracts. Eye infections, eye disease, and trauma can also be contributors.

The main symptom is the cloudiness in the eyes. It can start at the corner of the eye and not even be visible to you. You may notice that they aren’t as active as they were before, or that they don’t seem to follow the ball when you pitch it to fetch or miss the frisbee.

As the cloudiness increases the vision fades. If your dog has cataracts in both eyes it could lead to total blindness.

Prevention and Treatment of Cataracts in Dogs

If your dog has diabetes, has suffered from eye infections, or trauma, the best prevention is to see your veterinary staff immediately. Trained staff are able to spot cataracts at their beginning stages. In the case of diabetes, controlling the disease can help in keeping the cataracts at bay.

There is no real way to prevent cataracts with dogs that are genetically predisposed to them. When purchasing a dog from a breeder, check to make sure they screen for cataracts, and always make sure to have your dog checked if you notice any abnormalities or symptoms.

If your dog’s symptoms worsen, causing the cataracts to cover more of the lens of their eyes, you may be referred to a veterinary ophthalmologist. Surgery for cataracts in dogs has been effective for decades. 

The surgeon will make a small incision to remove the affected area. The surgery is fast and your dog will require medicine post surgery and regularly scheduled check-ups to ensure that the surgery was effective.

Remember to keep your dog active. If your dog becomes severely visually impaired, find toys that make noise, balls with bells for example. Talk to them so they can hear you coming and don’t get startled. Let others know that your dog is impaired, so they approach slowly. Let them compensate with their nose by rubbing treats or essential oils approved by the veterinary staff to find things and even in some cases avoid obstacles.

Whatever the outcome, we are here to help. You can call us (843) 580-6209 to schedule an appointment. Even if their eyes can’t see you, their noses and ears can.