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 Signing Up
for the Petwire newsletter, sending you all the pet news each week directly to your inbox.
Get the latest pet news, tips, tricks, and expert advice sent right to your inbox!
For the next four days, patrons of the café will be able to meet 16 adoptable kitties as they sip on espresso…
The last Friday in April is dedicated to undigested cat fur. To celebrate, we found photos of the cutest kitties…
A new film features 11-year-old Cory Gould, who has Asperger syndrome, and his incredible knowledge of dog breeds.
Disco, who knows more than 80 phrases, songs and sounds, is a YouTube star who's beloved around the world.
We polled Vetstreet readers and veterinary professionals to see if they drift off to sleep with their cat or dog…
Want to make some enemies in your vet’s waiting room? This funny new video from Dr. Andy Roark shows you how.
The silky-coated Burmese is a compact but heavy feline who loves to show off his impressive athletic skills.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.