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Why Are My Pet’s Eyes Cloudy?

Are your pet’s eyes cloudy?  Several conditions create ‘cloudy eyes’ but ‘cataracts’ is a common cause.  Cataracts can result from injury to the eye, other diseases of the eye, internal diseases of the pet (especially-diabetes) and aging changes. However, the most common cause among dogs is a genetic abnormality. Each breed of dog is different as to how cataracts are inherited, at what age, how quickly they develop, and how much they affect vision.

Cataracts affect the lens inside the eye which focuses an image onto the retina, so when opaque crystals form in the lens the image becomes distorted. The lens in a dog is much larger than a human lens and cataracts are usually much more advanced before vision is affected. As cataracts become worse, vision is significantly decreased.

What treatment is there for cataracts?

No medical treatment is available to keep cataracts from becoming worse or to ‘clear up’ a cataract. Eye drops are used to control the inflammation caused by the cataract or to open the pupil to increase vision.

Surgery is the only way to improve vision in a pet with cataracts. Whether or not removing a cataract would be helpful for an individual animal depends upon many factors. Differences between human eyes and dogs’ eyes need to be considered. Inflammation is usually more significant in the dog’s eye and must be well controlled to achieve good results from cataract surgery. In general, cataract surgery in a dog is more involved and requires more medical care than in a human.

However, good vision is obtained in approximately 90-95% of patients after cataract surgery.

Compliments of Dr. E. Dan Wolf at Southern Eye Clinic for Animals, Tampa, 813-881-9799, EyeVetTampa.com


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