Dog Cataracts – An Owners Guide To Cataracts In Dogs

Cairn Terrier - Lucy BeggingLucy went to the vet this week after we noticed a cloudy spot in her left eye. As usual I jumped to the worst possible conclusion before she even saw the vet and suspected cataracts but it turned out to be a storm in a teacup as it turned out her eyesight was just fine and it was just some changes in the lens due to age (see the last paragraph below).  But as it got us thinking about cataracts I wanted to share some basic information with you…

So What Exactly Is a Cataract?

It’s an opacity in the lens of a dog’s eye, causing him to have blurry vision. If the cataract is small, it won’t likely affect your dog’s vision too much, but cataracts must be monitored because the thicker and denser they become, the more likely it is they will lead to blindness.

What Causes Cataracts?

There are several factors that can cause cataracts in dogs. One of them is age. Although young dogs are also vulnerable to dog cataracts, age increases the chances of cataract development, or more specifically, late onset cataracts. Cataracts that develop in young dogs are usually called early onset cataracts. Another factor is when the dog cataract is hereditary. There are also some cases when cataracts are inborn, and already affect the dog from birth. Such cases are classified as congenital cataracts, and can even be attributed to infections even within the womb. Congenital cataracts are common among Boston Terriers, Miniature Schnauzers, and Welsh Springer Spaniels, among some others. However, there is still a distinction between a congenital cataract and a hereditary cataract. Hereditary cataracts can occur recurrently in certain dog breeds more than most. Other forms of dog cataracts include those that developed due to a physical damage that occurred to the lens of a dogs eye or eyes.

By: Heather Kennedy
By: Heather Kennedy

Also, another form of cataract is caused by diabetes, due to the excessive amounts of glucose that occurs in the eyes. Diabetic dogs can easily develop cataracts if not prevented. Dog diabetes is a big problem in respect of dog cataracts. Uveitis and corneal disease are also health concerns thought to be a problem which can cause dog cataracts.

Cataract is one of the most common types of eye conditions your dog can develop. This disease occurs when the lens in the eye becomes cloudy which causes the dog’s vision to decrease. In a lot of cases, Dogs Cataracts can develop rapidly, so it is most important to treat this problem as early as possible otherwise the effects on your dogs vision can be very detrimental and eventually lead to complete blindness. Many people don’t even know that their dog is suffering from this disease, so below are listed some common symptoms of this disease that should help you to know more about what to look for so that you can diagnose your dogs cataracts as early as possible. In most of the cases of dog cataracts, the eye will appear a cloudy white color as well as becoming opaque.

How Can I Tell if My Dog Is Developing Cataracts?

If your dog’s eyes look cloudy or bluish-gray, you should take him to the vet for an exam. Be aware, though, that it’s natural for a dog’s lens to become cloudy, or gray, with age. This condition, called nuclear sclerosis, doesn’t put a dog’s vision in as much danger as cataracts might, and treatment isn’t usually recommended. However, any cloudiness at all in your pet’s eye is a sign for you to take him to the vet.




Lens: Ophthalmology: Merck Veterinary Manual – The Merck Manuals

Cataracts are an opacity of the lens or its capsule and should be … group of cataract surgeries in the dog), malnutrition, radiation, inflammation, and trauma.

Cataracts | ASPCA

What Are Cataracts? A cataract is an opacity in the lens of a dog’s eye, causing him to have blurry vision. If the cataract is small, it won’t likely disturb the dog’s …


Hi, I'm Brenda, creator of Wee Woofters. I came up with the idea when I took over as doggie mom to two wee rescue dogs, Molly and Lucy. I had not looked after dogs before and spent hours researching about caring for them properly, so I wanted to provide a useful and comprehensive resource for other dog lovers and carers. Read more!