Lenticular sclerosis, also known as blue eye disease in dogs, is common among older dogs. Compared with different eye diseases, lenticular sclerosis does not cause vision loss unless it progresses too far. However, regular veterinary check-ups are recommended for dogs with lenticular sclerosis or blue eye disease. In this article, you can find answers to frequently asked questions about lenticular sclerosis in dogs.
What Is Lenticular Sclerosis in Dogs?
The lens in the dog’s eye helps your dog see clearly when light hits the retina layer at the back of the eye. As your dog ages, the structure of the lens changes and new layers are added to it. The size of the eye does not change and accordingly the capsule holding the lens cannot expand. Simply put, as the lens in your dog’s eye develops inside the eye with aging, it begins to put pressure on the lens bond layers. This condition, called lenticular sclerosis in dogs, is often confused with cataracts because it causes a cloudy appearance in the eyes. However, with lenticular sclerosis, the dog’s vision does not change much.
Lenticular sclerosis, characterized by a bluish canine eye, is very similar to cataract or glaucoma. For this reason, the dog must be examined by a specialist veterinarian to make sure that there is no cataract or glaucoma. As dogs age, changes begin to occur in their eyes and other parts of the body. Lenticular sclerosis is one of these changes.
In dogs, the lens part of the eye consists of structures called cortex, capsule and nucleus. The cortex is the outer part of the lens, the capsule is the membrane surrounding the lens, and finally the nucleus is the center of the lens. “What is blue eye disease in dogs?” In order to fully understand the answer to the question, it is first necessary to understand the structure of the eye. As age progresses, changes occur in the layers that make up the lens and new layers are formed. New fibers push out old fibers to make room for themselves. Because the old fibers cannot come out of the lens capsule, they press towards the nucleus. Over time, old fibers coalesce, causing a cloudy appearance in the eye. This density is called lenticular sclerosis or nuclear sclerosis.
Symptoms of Lenticular Sclerosis in Dogs
Symptoms of lenticular sclerosis in dogs usually begin to appear between the ages of 6 and 8 years. Over time, the pupil loses its normal black color and a white or blue cloudy appearance occurs. In some cases, the quality of vision may also decrease. Symptoms of lenticular sclerosis in dogs include loss of distance and depth perception, and a change in the cloudy appearance of the eyes with changes in ambient light. Lenticular sclerosis occurs in both eyes.
How Is Lenticular Sclerosis Diagnosed in Dogs?
Blue eye condition in dogs also causes a cloudy appearance. At first glance, this cloudy appearance can easily be confused with a cataract. The veterinarian can make the correct diagnosis after checking the eyes. During the examination, a liquid is usually used to open the eyes, and then both eyes are looked behind with a handheld light. As soon as the changes in the eye begin, it is necessary to go to the veterinarian for examination. Because every change in the eye may not be lenticular sclerosis. There are also eye diseases that do not have visible symptoms from the outside. Many eye diseases progress if left untreated, and when it is too late, it becomes impossible to treat, resulting in vision loss.
Lenticular sclerosis usually does not cause vision loss. Over time, dogs cannot see distant objects and living things clearly enough. Changes in the vision of dogs with blue eye disease can be a sign of another eye disease such as cataracts. With special eye tests, it is revealed whether there is loss of vision or not.
What are the Treatment Methods?
“How is blue eye disease in dogs treated?” Although the answer to the question is very curious, this situation does not actually cause any discomfort or loss of vision. There is no treatment available to prevent or eliminate lenticular sclerosis in dogs. After similar lens changes in humans, nearsightedness begins and reading glasses are usually used. In cases where vision loss is very advanced, surgery is required. Although lens replacement surgery in dogs is generally preferred for cataract treatments, it is preferred in cases of very progressive lenticular sclerosis.
Although there is no cure for blue eye disease in dogs, the veterinarian should check the eyes twice a year. The number of regular check-ups may increase with increasing age. Other eye conditions unrelated to lenticular sclerosis may develop over time. In case of loss of vision, pain, discharge, swelling, redness or any of the other signs of illness, it is necessary to consult a veterinarian immediately.