Understanding Cataracts in Dogs
Simply stated, a cataract is a type of an eye disease. Dogs suffer from this condition as much as humans
do. In fact, it is one of the most common eye problems in dogs. This disease has several types and forms. All
breeds of dogs are susceptible to it. Your dog may be the next victim if you don’t go out of your way to try
to learn something about this disease.
Cataracts affect the lens inside the eyes. The primary job of the lens is to help focus the field of vision. When the lens of the eyes acquires a certain level of opacity or if it becomes blurred, the condition is referred to as cataract.
Generally speaking, there are three types of cataract in dogs: incipient cataract, immature cataract, and mature cataract. Incipient cataract is the mildest case of this disease. This type rarely interferes with the dog’s vision. Here, the opacity of the lenses is so slight that it is hard to determine if your dog is suffering from the disease or not.
Immature cataract is more severe. This type causes blurred vision and it will be observable in your pet. If just a portion of the eyes is cloudy, it’s called immature cataract.
However, if it covers the entire part of your dog’s eye, then the disease has progressed into mature cataract.
The three types of cataract can also be referred to as the stages of the disease. If you see that your dog is suffering from any of these, see the veterinarian right away. The disease can still be cured during its early stages. Otherwise, it might be a little hard for the vet to reverse the effects of the disease.
There’s one condition that is very similar to dog cataract and it is called nuclear sclerosis. Nuclear sclerosis pertains to the hardening and the slight graying of the lens in the dog’s eyes. A lot of dog owners confuse nuclear sclerosis with cataracts. However, unlike a cataract, nuclear sclerosis doesn’t interfere with the dog’s vision at all.
There will be some lightening of the lens part of your pet’s eyes. However, this is a normal reaction to aging. Nuclear sclerosis occurs because the fibers found in the dog’s lenses compress over time. The main difference of nuclear sclerosis from dog cataract is the fact that the former occurs in both eyes at the same time. A dog cataract, when caused by trauma, usually affects just one eye. However, from other causes, both the eyes of your dog may suffer from cataract as well.
There are several reasons why dog cataract develops. But even so, they all occur in the same way. The disease gradually affects dogs, regardless of their gender, age, or breed. Your dog is prone to the disease as much as your neighbor’s is. Unfortunately, there’s no vaccine for a cataract. It can only be treated the moment it develops.
Dog cataract may decrease the wellness of your pet. Dogs suffering from this disease will not be able to live their lives fully. Dogs need their vision as much as humans do. A dog’s abilities are lowered the moment it acquires this disease. Its level of usefulness decreases as well, especially if it is being used as a guard dog, a police dog, or as a dog companion.