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Dog Health: How to Deal with Vision Problems in Dogs

Dogs and Cataracts

The conditions that cause a lack of clarity in the lens makes a dogs eye appear cloudy or dark in color, causing him to have blurry vision.  The “eye shine” reflected back to you may have diminished and the cloudiness may have come on gradually.

If the cataract is small, it won’t likely disturb the dog’s vision too much, but cataracts must be monitored because the thicker and denser they become, the more likely it is they will lead to blindness in dogs. Cloudiness in the lens is treatable with cataract surgery to remove the cloudy lens and implant a replacement lens.

Cataracts can develop from disease, old age and trauma to the eye, but inherited conditions are the most common cause. Cataracts may be present at birth or develop when dogs are very young-between one and three years of age. A high-incidence of cataracts is also often attributed to diabetes.

How Can I Tell if My Dog Is Developing Cataracts?

If your dog’s eyes look cloudy or bluish-gray, you should take him to the vet for an exam. Be aware, though, that it’s natural for a dog’s lens to become cloudy, or gray, with age. This condition, called nuclear sclerosis, doesn’t put a dog’s vision in as much danger as cataracts might, and treatment isn’t usually recommended. However, any cloudiness at all in your pet’s eye is a sign for you to take him to the vet.

Cataract surgery has a high rate of success and the surgery is approximately $2,000.00 to $3,000.00.  Glaucoma, Cataracts and Corneal diseases are all treatable if caught in the early stages in dogs.

Retinal Diseases

Conditions that affect the retina, optic nerve or brain may have a more sudden onset.  Retinal diseases are the most common  Most forms of retinal degeneration are inherited and affect both eyes simultaneously, with a gradual loss of vision, with a progression to complete blindness.  Dogs are usually between the ages of 7-9 when conditions are first noticed.  Retinal degeneration has no treatment available and leads to blindness.