Treatments for Cataracts in Dogs

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Talk to your vet about treatment options.
Talk to your vet about treatment options. (Image: dogs look image by muro from Fotolia.com)

A cataract is an opacity that is a film interference in the eye. As your dog grows older he is more vulnerable to cataracts due the natural degeneration that results from the aging process. If your dog develops cataracts the lens of his eye will become cloudy. Without treatment cataracts lead to blindness. According to the Doctors Foster and Smith website, surgery is the only effective treatment for this condition. However, you can try other natural treatments to slow the progression of cataracts. Just keep in mind that those treatments are not a permanent solution.

Cataract surgery

In some cases cataract surgery is the only effective method of treatment. The methods involved for surgery are the same for dogs as they are for humans. A laser is used to remove the layer of film in the eye. Surgery is a difficult ordeal because inflammation on and around the eye will be present for several weeks after the operation.

While your dog is healing, keep all follow-up visits with your veterinarian to insure proper healing.

Dogs may not regain improved vision for several months after the surgery. Some dogs may not have perfect vision after surgery. It might become more far-sighted, meaning it will have difficulty focusing on objects that are close to her.

Not every dog is a good candidate for surgery.

Beta Carotene

Beta carotene is a cartenoid that improves overall eye health in humans and animals. There is no evidence that cartenoids stop the progression of cataracts, but taking supplements may slow it down. These nutrients are found in carrots, dark leafy greens and other vegetables. If your dog does not like vegetables you can buy a supplement at the pet food store.

Eye Drops

Eye drops may also help to slow the development of cataracts. This is not a cure, but keeping your dogs eyes clear will help to improve the clarity and overall health of his eyes. These drops are made with a chemical called N-Acetyl-Carnosine, which is meant to increase lens transparency. Dogs are given eye drops twice daily.

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