When it comes to taking care of your dog, you likely tend to focus on the everyday things like making sure they get exercise, get their food, and are vaccinated according to the necessary schedules. And for many pet owners, this is as far as the veterinary care they seek out goes unless there is some kind of emergency. However, there are numerous health conditions and issues that a dog can suffer from. Cataracts, for example, are a common eye disorder that many dogs can develop and suffer from as they age.
Signs Your Dog Is Developing Cataracts
One of the first things that you may notice about your dog when they begin to develop cataracts is that they have eyes that appear cloudy or to have changed in color. In the center lens of their eyes, you may notice a bluish gray color or even a whitish color. This is the cataract forming.
Your dog's behavior may also change. If the cataracts start impairing their vision, they may be more prone to being disoriented, bumping into objects in your home and yard, and moving far slower than they did before. Your dog may also become hesitant when going up or down stairs, particularly in the dark or in dim lighting. The more their vision is affected, the worse the symptoms become.
Treatments For Cataracts In Dogs
The treatment that you choose for your dog's cataracts depends upon their severity. If your dog's cataracts are small when you first notice them and take them to the veterinary clinic, then you can opt for the watch and wait policy of treatment until their vision is impaired. In the meantime, you can try to treat any underlying health conditions such as obesity and diabetes that can adversely affect their eye health.
After your dog's cataracts begin to cause severe issues with their vision, your dog's veterinarian can perform surgery to remove the affected lenses. The veterinarian or veterinary ophthalmologist will replace the lens with an acrylic or plastic version that will protect the rest of the eye and allow them to continue to see properly.
Your dog will need to remain calm and relaxed for several days or weeks after surgery so they can heal and to ensure that your dog's eye does not suffer damage. Additionally, they will need antibiotic eye drops to prevent infection in the incision site and to keep the eye from getting dry in the healing process.
Now that you know a bit more about cataracts in your dog, you can better care for them if they suffer from cataracts now or in the future. For more information, talk to a local clinic like Parkview Animal Hospital.