Cataracts in Dogs: Diagnosis and Care

What is a Cataract?

The eye needs a lens and a retina to see clearly. A retina facilitates vision. The lens acts to focus light so the retina can see the clearest image. A cataract is a cloudy lens.

What Causes a Cataract?

A dog develops a cataract when the lens in its eye clouds. The clouding or opaqueness is caused by changes in the water balance and/or proteins in the lens.

Will This Cause Blindness?

If the cataract covers less and 30% of the lens, or if the cataract is only on one eye, then vision should remain relatively unaffected. At 60% coverage, vision is noticeably impared. At 100%, the vision would be considered blind.

Can Anything Be Done to Prevent Blindness?

Surgery can be performed by a veterinary ophthalmologist to remove the cataract to restore vision. Typically, the complications from this surgery are limited and the dog can return to normal activity in a few days.

There are a few topical options available, but few have been scientifically proven on their effectiveness.