Cataracts is a disease, which affects dog and causes some troubles in the vision of dogs. A cataract is an area in the lens of dogs eyes, which when affected will lose its translucency and becomes almost opaque because of that disease. The affected dogs will have blurry vision due to the cataracts infection. Cataracts usually start out very small and do not make any trouble in the dog’s vision too much at the initial stages. However, its very important for a pet owner to keenly watch and observe the growth and vigor of the disease. Moreover, the affected pet has to be checked on a regular basis and must be treated well or else it could lead to complete blindness if the cataracts developed completely.
Causes of Cataracts in Dogs
There are few reasons for cataracts as given below:
- An injury or trauma to the area of eye.
- Whatever might be the disease that affects the area of the eye, could also become a reason for causing cataracts.
- Aging reasons.
- Especially, the most common cause of cataracts is the genetics. In some genetic conditions, the disease can transfer from the dog’s parents. Due to this, a dog might be born with cataracts and it could develop in a pup between the ages of one to three.
The need for seeking an appointment of vet
If we notice that our dog’s eyes are becoming cloudy, we must take them to a vet immediately. This condition might not always due to cataract, but instead, it might be a nuclear sclerosis, which is a natural clouding of the eye that happens due to the aging of the dogs. The most dangerous cataracts should never be left untreated, so we should ask a vet and make sure that there are no cataracts in our pet’s eyes.
In case, if a dog that is being affected with cataract is left untreated, then the cataract layer gets detached from the tissue that is holding it within the lens of the eyes. When this happens, the cataract layer floats around the eyes; though it can’t make a great bother to the dog, yet, it leads to further damage by blocking natural fluid damage as it settles down in a new spot. This will become the basic cause for glaucoma, which can lead to complete blindness in the dog.
If the dog has been affected with cataracts is being left untreated for a longer period of time, it will lead to the loss of some tissues. But by nature, this condition may sometime lead the dogs body to take care by itself. However, this may effectively create some pain and even damage the whole vision of the dog. So, its certainly a right time for every dog owner to seek help from vet to sort out this problem.
Breeds that get easily affected by cataracts
A cataract has the possibility to develop at some point in a dog’s life. It surely affects at any age or any breed. However, there are some specific breeds which are more prone to cataracts. They are:
- Standard and miniature poodles.
- Miniature schnauzers.
- Boston terriers.
- Silky terriers.
- Bichon Frise.
- American cocker spaniels.
- Smooth fox terriers.
Diagnosing the cataracts in Dogs
If your dog is suffering from cataracts, then immediately take the dog to a vet as soon as possible, so as to prevent it’s condition from getting into a worse case. The vet can able to detect the presence of disease through a simple eye exam. But in some cases, they may refer us to a veterinary ophthalmologist for further treatment.
Treating cataracts in Dogs
The most common treatment for cataracts is lens replacing surgery. This surgery is very simple which is performed by a veterinary ophthalmologist. He will remove the lens completely from the eye and replace it with an artificial lens which is made up of either plastic or acrylic materials.
This surgery is common to all and has a very good success rate. We must know one thing that not all dogs are undergoing the surgery, because of underlying conditions, old age and other factors are make the dog ineligible for cataract surgery.
The maintenance of the dog after the surgery is very critical one because, this surgery would require a great deal of postoperative care. This includes the use of a collar, which prevents a dog from rubbing or damaging the eyes and we must put eye drops several times a day for several weeks as well as possible. Those collar and eye drops may make our dogs become stressed and upset, so we also make its environment as quiet and calm as possible.
Preventing ways from Cataracts
Most cataracts cannot be prevented, but there are some steps that can hold dog’s vision. At first, we must know about all conditions of our dog, which may have trauma on the eye and diabetes. These both are supposedly being the huge reasons for cataracts. The genetic issues are also playing vital role in the development of cataracts. So, we also find out the full medical history of the dog’s parents.
The finest and easiest way to prevent cataracts is to take our dog to the vet regularly for the full check-up. At the time of these visits, the vet will examine dog’s eyes and verify for signs of discoloring to bluish- grey or cloudy look. A regular visit can help to diagnose cataracts earlier and it leads to minimize the damages of that disease.
Cataracts in dogs can be very serious because this disease can lead to blindness. However, the diagnosing and treating the dog can be so simple. The essential thing is that, we must take our dog to the vet regularly and check its eye and make sure whether any cataract has developed or not. These processes will certainly avoid the dog from being affected with further damages.