Cataracts in Dogs (cont.)

Which Dogs Are Prone to Cataracts?

Though dogs of all ages and breeds can develop cataracts, they are more commonly found in cocker spaniels, poodles, miniature schnauzers, terriers and golden retrievers. Dogs with diabetes are also especially prone.

How Are Cataracts Diagnosed?

A preliminary eye exam by your veterinarian will tell you whether you are dealing with a cataract or another condition that causes cloudiness in the eye. You should then consult with a veterinary ophthalmologist to determine the extent of the cataract and what steps to take to manage the problem.

How Can I Help Preserve My Dog's Vision?

In most cases, cataracts cannot be prevented, but there are steps to take to ensure that your dog's vision can be preserved, especially if they are caused by a medical condition like diabetes.

  • Examine your dog's eyes regularly.
  • Take your dog to the vet if his eyes look cloudy or bluish-gray.
  • Take your dog to the vet if you suspect she's having trouble seeing.
  • If possible, find out the medical history of your dog's parents, since cataracts are often inherited.
  • Be aware of any conditions your dog has that may cause cataracts, such as diabetes or eye trauma.

How Can Cataracts Be Treated?

Vision loss due to cataracts can often be restored through surgery. A veterinary ophthalmologist will surgically remove the lens, replacing it with a plastic or acrylic lens. Cataract surgery generally has a good success rate, but your veterinarian will need to determine whether your dog is a good surgical candidate. The procedure also requires extensive postoperative care.

Note: If your pet has an underlying condition such as diabetes, treating the underlying condition may lessen the chances that cataracts will develop.