Cataracts in Senior Pets
There are many causes for vision loss in older dogs, the most probable being cataracts. Inside the eye is a structure called the lens. When light enters the eye, the lens focuses the light on the back of the retina. When a cataract forms, the lens becomes opaque and does not permit an image to form on the retina which will cause either partial or complete vision loss. The lens of the eye will appear to have a hazy or opaque growth and the eye will look cloudy.
Cataracts are common in older dogs but can occur at any age. Factors that can lead to the development of cataracts in dogs include diabetes mellitus, some type of trauma to the eye, hereditary or genetics, or inflammation and other eye disorders such as glaucoma. Due to inflammation cataracts may be painful, and if left untreated, can cause blindness.
Signs that your pet may have cataracts include:
• Hesitating to walk in dimly lit areas
• Fearful, timid or panicky
• Cloudy pupils
• Bumping into furniture
• Squinting, rubbing or scratching the eyes
• Hesitating to jump, climb or even misjudging distances
Fortunately, cataracts are not fatal and most dogs will adjust to living with the condition. If you are concerned that your dog may have cataracts or is showing any of the above symptoms, please call us for more information. 920-498-2808