announcement

Update: Check new design of our homepage!

Cataracts in Dogs

Cataracts in Dogs

Cataracts is an age-related eye problem in which the affected dog suffers from vision loss. The following DogAppy article elaborates more on the types of dog cataracts.
DogAppy Staff
A cataract is an eye disease in which the pupils of the dog appear milky white or cloudy. This greatly affects normal vision. Commonly seen in older dogs, cataracts make the eye opaque (impervious to light). In short, the eyes cannot detect light. When the entire lens of the eye becomes cloudy, vision is lost.

Stages

Incipient Cataract: In this type, the disease is in its initial stage and the opacity of the eye is very small. As a result, the dog has no problem viewing objects. Incipient cataract may block the vision partially.

Immature Cataract: This is the second stage of cataract that causes blurred vision as more portion of the eye turns cloudy. However, vision is not completely lost.

Mature Cataract: In this type, the disease is in the critical stage and requires urgent medical attention. The entire lens turns white. As a result, the transparency of the eye gets drastically affected. Eyes are no longer able to function properly.

Causes

Free radicals that produce harmful oxidizing effects in the body can also damage the eye tissue. Like humans, dogs start showing signs of cataracts with age. The disease is often diagnosed after the dog completes eight years of age. Dogs who have diabetes mellitus are susceptible to this condition. Cataracts can also occur in orphan puppies who are given artificial milk replacer diet. In quite a few cases, the disease is found to be inherited. That means the dog is born with this eye problem.

Treatment

This disease can be easily treated in its early stages. In case, you notice that portion of your dog's eye has become white, immediately visit the veterinarian. Mature and immature cataracts can be removed surgically. However, if treatment is delayed, it may cause permanent damage to the eye. A healing herb known as cineraria is also helpful to reverse cataracts in dogs, reducing the possibility of any surgery. This medicine can clear cataracts and is usually available in an eye drop form.

As the dog gets older, eyes lose their ability to see things clearly. This is a natural phenomenon that develops with age. A nutritious diet is essential to maintain normal vision of your dog. It is necessary to include vegetables such as kale, carrots, and other green vegetables, in your dog's diet. This is because these foods are rich in antioxidants, which help to fight free radicals and maintain eyesight. Vitamins E and C, known for their antioxidant properties, can also block the harmful effects of free radicals.

Bilberries that are available in capsule form, display antioxidant properties and can protect the eye tissue. A recent study has shown that a combination of bilberry and vitamin E can stop lens clouding in early stage cataracts. The prescribed dosage is 50 milligrams that can be mixed in your dog's food everyday. You can also give beta-carotene, an antioxidant to your pet as it gets converted into vitamin A in the body. This in turn promotes well-being of the dog's eye.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a veterinarian.