Cloudy eyes in dogs are a relatively common disorder that usually affects dogs in their elder years.
When a dog has cataracts what happens is that the fibers of the eye lens become cloudy; while the healthy lens is always transparent to allow for clear vision, this results in vision issues for the dog.
Cloudy eyes in dogs may get worse; when the cataract matures it starts to be visible as a milky dot in the black pupil. Eye care for dogs needs to be taken, especially when starting to notice inflammation, cross-eye signs, as well as when the pet shows uncommon behavior such as bumping into objects or not being able to jump or even run.
Small cataracts may not get to a point where they affect the visual ability of your dog; however, larger cataracts will cause blurry vision, and eventually lead to blindness.
But what causes these cloudy eyes in dogs, and why do so many dogs develop cataracts throughout their lives?
Unfortunately, the exact cause has not been specified yet, but experts suspect that chemical changes inside the lens may contribute to the disease. Other factors are also being added after further studies, including congenital and genetic tendencies, eye trauma, poor nutrition, eye inflammation, or even the exposure to damaging agents such as heat, radiation or toxins.
Cloudy eyes in dogs have also been associated to other diseases like diabetes, and are also more common in German Shepherds, schnauzers and Labradors.
To diagnose the dog eye problem your vet will perform an ophthalmic exam; currently, the treatment suggested is eye surgery to remove the cataracts. This is an expensive procedure as it is very complex, but it will usually improve your dog's eyes. A this is an issue for mostly older dogs, most people will opt not to put their dog through a surgical procedure, in which case, lifestyle changes and management are important.
There are also some natural remedies that seem to provide benefit for the health of the dog's eyes, and many of these have proven to be effective in humans as well.
The good news is that they are effective and safe options, as well as affordable and easy to find. They usually include herbs such as Meadowsweet, Rosemary, and Burdock, all known for helping bring on healthy eyes and clear visual capacity.
Prevention is always an important action; to prevent cloudy eyes in dogs it is recommended that you feed him a healthy diet that includes carrots, broccoli and similar vegetables; they provide antioxidants, which contribute on a healthy vision. Such antioxidants are also available in pet vitamins E, C, and beta-carotene.
Try not to let the dog’s hair get into the eye area; adjust and cut the hair near the zone to prevent irritation. Keep checking the eyes regularly and avoid any exposure to irritating agents, including dust and contamination. Protect the pet’s eyes when using shampoo or flee repellents.
Visit your veterinarian on a regular basis for an eye check-up, and be prepared to provide dog first aid when necessary.