Does my dog have cataracts?
Q: My dog is 10 years old and his eyes are turning a cloudy blue colour. Are these cataracts and will he go blind?
A: This is most likely what we call 'nuclear sclerosis'. It is a normal aging change in dogs. For him it will be like looking through a smoky room, but he will not go blind.
Cataracts are different. They are milky white in colour and you cannot see through them, so dogs usually do go blind. Cataracts are an indicator of disease either in the eyes or the rest of the body. For example, dogs with diabetes nearly always get cataracts.
First of all, you need to have your dog’s eyes examined by a vet to ascertain the cause of his bad eyesight.
If it is cataracts, the available treatment for dogs is surgical removal of the cataract. This is specialist surgery, which requires use of an operating microscope. The success of the procedure largely depends on the eye being examined before the operation to rule out other abnormalities that could prevent healing or success of the operation. These problems would include insufficient tear production, poor function of the retina and glaucoma (raised pressure within the eye). Nevertheless, the majority heal successfully following surgery.