Cataract in dogs is a phenomenon where the lens in a dog’s eye is fading. Often white, translucent, cloudy patches that cause disruption of lens / lens membrane arrangements that prevent light from reaching the retina. This reduces the vision of the eyes.
If the cataract is mild, it will not be able to disturb your dog’s vision too much. But if not monitored regularly, the condition worsens. It can even lead to vision loss and blindness.
Cause cataract dogs
Normal the lens in the eye is maintained in balance with 66% water and 33% protein. When the bio-mechanical system in the lens is damaged, the pump system begins to fail to maintain balance. Water moves into the lens at a much greater rate than usual. This leads to an excessively increased protein solubility.
These changes lead to a malfunction in the operating mechanism and cause the lens to fade out. This is the mechanism by which cataract forms in dogs. The disease occurs in most breeds of dogs and of different ages.
Some diseased dog breeds tend to appear more like: Miniature Poodle, American Cocker Spaniel, Miniature Schnauzer, Golden, Boston Terrier, Husky Siberia …
Causes of cataracts in dogs include:
Due to genetics and birth defects: This is the most common cause.
Due to disease: Typically diabetes. Because high blood sugar affects the cell metabolism in the lens. The disease can develop extremely quickly and affects both eyes. 75% of dogs with diabetes are more likely to have cataracts. There is also inflammation of the eye’s uvea, also known as uveitis, degenerative retinal development.
Due to eye injuries, accidents: penetrating sharp objects damage the lens causing cataracts to develop. These usually occur in only one eye in the dog.
Due to aging of old age: or due to abnormally low levels of calcium in the blood (hypocalcemia)
Due to the dog’s exposure to radiation or toxins: eg dinitrophenol, naphthalene or infection.
Diagnostic signs for cataracts in dogs
To see if your dog has cataracts look at the white in his pupil. If you see cloudiness in the pupil, the dog has been suffering from cataracts for quite some time. If your dog has difficulty catching food, sniffs instead of looking at the food, or is unable to retrieve it normally, the dog may have had cataracts.
Dogs may become disoriented or confused if the cataract develops too quickly. However, in fact, cataracts in dogs do not cause any pain for them. Sometimes they will be uncomfortable or uncomfortable. In most cases, dogs with cataracts are still visible. Therefore, this is not an incurable disease.
Here the veterinarian will be based on the dog’s medical history, clinical symptoms, biochemical records. Urine analysis, blood indicators, ultrasound, electrocardiogram. From there, it will diagnose the cause, the condition and choose the appropriate treatment.
How to cure cataracts in dogs
Dogs with cataracts can lead to glaucoma, inflammation. It causes eye pain and damages the optic nerve, causing permanent blindness. If the disease is mild and does not affect the dog’s vision, it should be treated with medicine. And regular drops for dogs as directed by veterinarian.
Once the cloudy membrane is “ripe”, the dog’s lens will be completely covered. They will not perceive light. At this stage, the dog needs surgery. With surgery the chance of improving your dog’s vision is very high (90% – 95%). Surgery removes the cloudy lens and replaces it with a new synthetic resin or acrylic lens. However, with surgical methods you should note the following issues:
- The earlier the surgery is performed, the higher the success rate.
- Your dog will have to undergo a test to see if it can respond to the surgery.
- Cataract surgery in dogs is a very expensive method because it requires a high level of expertise and modern medical equipment.
- After the successful surgery, your dog’s eye health and vision will be significantly improved. But it won’t be as good as a normal dog.
- Post-surgery can cause scarring and loss of vision. Need to be monitored for a long time and periodically. Avoid vigorous exercise for the dog for the first 2 weeks after surgery.
- Dogs need additional treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs, anti-tearing dogs and supplemental antioxidants and supplements for a long time.
Some sequelae after surgery
The surgery has a high success rate, but there are a number of issues that need to be addressed. Normally, there will be a 5% to 10% rate of dogs after surgery that may have the following complications:
- The risk of scarring in the eyeball.
- Risk of glaucoma: the disease occurs transiently in 30% of dogs after surgery. The disease is temporary and can be treated in the first 1-2 days after surgery.
- Risk of retinal detachment.
- Risk of infection in the eyeball (very rare).
- Risk of general anesthesia.
Prevention of cataracts in dogs
With cataracts in dogs the prevention is very difficult. Because the onset of the disease is extremely complex. However, you should not ignore the prevention of the dog’s disease. To protect your dog’s eyes, you need to do all of the following well:
- Check your dog’s eyes regularly or you can use eye drops daily to help them clean their eyes after a long day of exercise.
- If your dog’s eyes appear cloudy, cloudy, or bluish-gray. Or if you suspect that your dog is losing vision, you should take the dog to the vet soon.
- Learn about the health of your dog’s parents, as cataracts are inherited.
- Detect diabetes or eye injuries promptly.
- Omega-3 supplements, fatty acids in fish oil are beneficial for eyes, heart, bones …
Cataracts in dogs, once formed, develop very quickly. Therefore, right now, pay attention to take care of your pet’s eyes. Avoid any unfortunate situations that can happen.