Click here to learn more.
A: The cloudiness commonly seen in the eyes of older dogs is usually not a cataract, even though many pet owners assume it is. It's called nuclear sclerosis, and it generally doesn't affect vision. That doesn't mean your dog does not have cataracts, however, and it's also very possible there's another problem, as well, given your observations.
First, let's start with a little information about cataracts. In the eye, the lens helps focus light on the retina. A cataract is any alteration in the lens that causes a loss of transparency and the scattering of light. The loss of transparency can range from hardly noticeable to completely opaque.
A few common causes of cataracts include genetics, diabetes, age, accident and inflammation of the eye. Cataracts is seen equally among males and females but are seen more frequently in, yes, Cocker Spaniels, as well as Bichon Frises, Poodles, Boston Terriers, Miniature Schnauzers, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Wirehaired Fox Terriers, Labrador and Golden Retrievers, and Siberian Huskies. Because cataracts most commonly develops between one and five years of age in dogs, it's usually not a disease of old age, as it is in people.
Dr. Samuel Vainisi, a board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist and owner of the Animal Eye Clinic in Denmark, Wis., suspects your Cocker Spaniel more likely has a retinal problem than cataracts — although he could have both. Not seeing well in the dark, though, may be Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), a common condition in Cockers.
You won't know exactly what your dog has and the treatment options available to you until you take your dog to your own veterinarian, who may suggest a referral to a veterinary ophthalmologist.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank you for subscribing to Petwire. Look for the latest newsletter each Wednesday.
Nina Pham was declared free of Ebola
and will reunite with Bentley, her Cavalier
King Charles Spaniel, on Saturday.
As you garden this season, remember
that dangerous equipment and toxic
plants are two of many fall risks to pets.
Halloween can be a very stressful holiday
for dogs who are afraid of the doorbell,
but here’s how you can help them.
You wouldn’t hold your tarantula any
more than you would your goldfish, but
some species make fascinating pets.
We’re getting ready for Halloween
by sharing our favorite fan-submitted
photos of dogs and cats in costumes.
Known as one of the smartest dogs, the focused Border Collie has appeared in movies like Babe and Hotel for Dogs.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.