Cataracts and Diabetes in Dogs

f you have an older dog, or a younger one with the genetic disposition to diabetes, then you are well aware of the dangers that this disease poses to your beloved pet.  Diabetes in dogs is a health condition, like in people, that can be managed.  One of the side effects of diabetes that you need to know something about is the development of cataracts in dogs as a result.  Whether the diabetes is something that develops over the course of the life of your dog, or is hereditary, you want to know what you can do about the impending blindness that your dog might experience with cataracts.

Cataracts are an opacity in the lens.  You might see a developing cloudiness in your dog’s eyes.  When a cataract is immature, it just presents a bit of an issue seeing for your dog.  They don’t have to read words on a page or fine detail, so it really doesn’t affect them too much.  Over time, though, seeing at night becomes more difficult and they have a reduced ability to see objects if there isn’t enough contrast between colors and light and dark.  Still, they can function well enough to get around your house and a yard that they are familiar with.

When cataracts become mature, that is when your dog has a lot of difficulty negotiating its environment.  Little or no light passes through the lens of the eye and when there is no light, there is no image on the retina which sends signals to the brain which deciphers that image into “sight”.  The only solution for mature cataracts is to have them surgically removed, just like with people.  The vet surgeons that operate on dogs’ eyes have the same training as an ophthalmologist surgeon for people and the procedure is identical.  Dog eyes and people eyes are very similar physiologically.  So if your vet cautions you about diabetes risks for your dog, you need to know that there might be an impact on your dogs’ vision, and you need to start dealing with that sooner rather than later.  There are proven treatment methods that can slow the progression of cataracts such as Ocu-Glo and you will want to start to get your dog on this medication as soon as you can.