Dogs’ eyes are structurally similar to human eyes. Dogs’ eyes also have structures such as pupils, corneas, and intraocular lenses. Therefore, eye diseases are similar to what people experience. cataracts in dogs; It is an eye disease characterized by the loss of transparency of the eye lenses. “How to detect cataracts in dogs?” The answers to the question are important. Thus, cataract symptoms in dogs can be noticed in the early period and treatment processes can be applied to protect or ensure visual clarity. In this article, we will focus on what you need to know about cataract disease in dogs.
How Do Cataracts Occur in Dogs?
What is cataract in dogs? And how do cataracts occur? We would like to give a brief information about eye structure and vision mechanism without giving answers to the questions. The outermost layer of the eye is the cornea, also known as the transparent layer. At the back of the cornea, there is the colored iris layer, in the middle of which there are light-sensitive pupils. At the back of the pupil is the lens of the eye. The lens of the eye collects light from the cornea and transmits it to the retina. When the eye lens, which is naturally transparent, loses its clear and transparent structure, cataract disease comes to the fore. Cataract disease in dogs can also be defined as an eye disease characterized by opacification of the lens of the eye.
Cause of Cataract in Dogs
The causes of cataracts in dogs are quite diverse. The main factor that causes cataract formation is the advancement of age. Age-related changes in the lens of the eye can cause cataracts in dogs. Exposure to sunlight, malnutrition and chronic diseases are also considered risk factors in the loss of transparency of the lens of the eye. As a matter of fact, type 2 diabetes, Diabetes Mellitus, can become the cause of cataracts in dogs. In addition to all these, it is known that eye injuries that cause inflammation can also lead to cataract formation.
Although cataracts occur later in many dogs, it can also be seen from birth in line with genetic and hereditary factors. Opacification of the lens of the eye can occur in different parts of the lens. In some cases, the cloud expands outward from the center of the lens, and in some cases it may follow an inward path from the periphery.
Cataract can be seen in all dogs, but it is more common in some breeds to develop cataracts. Dog breeds such as the Bichon Frize, French Bulldog, Labrador Retriever, Siberian Husky, Poodle, Cocker Spaniel and American Staffordshire Terrier are more prone to this eye disease.
Cataract Symptoms in Dogs
Symptoms such as change in eye color, differentiation in pupil size or shape, clouding of the pupils, increase in clumsiness, avoidance of actions such as hitting objects, jumping or climbing in dimly lit areas, unresponsiveness to familiar people, and watery eyes are among the symptoms of cataracts in dogs. When these symptoms are noticed, dogs should be examined by veterinarians and treatment options should be evaluated in line with the factor causing the symptoms.
How Is Cataract Treated in Dogs?
The main goal of cataract treatment in dogs is to remove the lens that has become cloudy and has lost its ability to focus light from the cornea on the retina. Therefore, cataract surgery in dogs is the only method in the treatment of cataracts. Before cataract surgery in dogs, detailed examinations should be performed and it should be diagnosed whether there is any systemic disease that is not under control. During the operation, it is possible to apply different techniques in line with the needs of the dogs.
Meticulous care should be applied in the period after cataract surgery in dogs. During the process, the use of cataract drops in dogs is recommended by veterinarians. Thanks to the eye drops, the eyeball remains moist and the healing process takes place in a healthier way. For this reason, the use of drops at the recommended frequency, dose and duration should not be interrupted. It is recommended to use a collar in order to prevent eye contact and infection formation in the early period. You can reach our dog safety products category by clicking here, and you can examine different sizes of collar products.
What Happens If Cataracts in Dogs Are Not Treated?
Cataract is a health problem that can progress and cause blindness in dogs if left untreated. When the lens of the eye completely loses its transparency, the light from the cornea cannot be transferred to the retina. However, this situation can be eliminated with surgery. It should be noted that untreated cataract can cause a disease called glaucoma. Too much pressure in the eye can cause damage to the optic nerves, and damage to the optic nerves can lead to permanent blindness.
Is Cataract Painful in Dogs?
The rapid development of the disease can cause disorientation or confusion in our friends. However, cataract is not a painful condition on its own. When inflammation accompanies the cataract, pain may be felt. The change in the protein structure of the lens may be perceived by the body as a foreign condition and inflammation may occur. When faced with immature cataract disease, it is recommended to use anti-inflammatory dog cataract eye drops.
Can Cataracts in Dogs Be Prevented?
Cataract is not a preventable health problem. However, implementing a diet program that will improve eye health, reducing the risk of eye injury and preventing excessive exposure to sunlight can be counted among the important measures that can be taken. In order to protect the eye health of dogs, it is important not to interrupt regular veterinary visits. Dogs’ eyes should be examined, and medical assistance should be sought if a cloudy or blue-gray image is observed in their eyes. In this context, their movements should be followed closely, and caution should be exercised when an increase in clumsiness is observed in their movements. In addition to all these, it should not be forgotten that systemic diseases such as diabetes also threaten eye health; Chronic diseases should be controlled.