Cataracts In Dogs - Causes & Treatment Options
Author: James Lunden
Cataracts in dogs, particularly in dogs over six years of age is a fairly common symptom of old age. Even more common than aging is cataracts that form as a result of canine diabetes, infection, over-exposure to certain chemicals or gases and pretty much an kind of severe trauma that a dog can have happen over the course of their lifetime.
Diagnosing cataracts in dogs is something that is best left to a pet care professional, since Nuclear Sclerosis (NS) will often look the same to a layman, but requires no treatment and your pet may not be hampered by NS at all. Nuclear Sclerosis will appear equally on both eyes as a hazed, greyish-looking effect. This is why you need to have a professional opinion, since cataracts are much less common in dogs than humans.
There are varying conditions that cause cataracts in dogs: senile (old age), inherited (hereditary), developmental (from disease, accidents, or exposure of all kinds) and congenital (birth defect from trauma or oxygen deprivation). Dogs who truly have cataracts at any age will show obvious symptoms including: loss of coordination for no reason (or when moving from lit areas to darker ones), problems seeing objects with their peripheral vision (I.e., they can't see you or your hands unless you're right in their front-line of sight). Less obvious symptoms such as depression can also indicate they're dealing with painful cataract symptoms.
Just as there are different kinds of cataract causes; there are many treatments available including prescription medications and eye drops, over the counter alternatives and laser treatment. Laser treatment has a high success rate with the modern technology available, but can prove too costly for some families to afford. Many dog owners have successfully treated their dog's cataracts with various non-prescription eye drops that they claim cured their dog completely.
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