Cataracts in Dogs

You’ve begun to notice that your canine pal’s eyes aren’t as bright as they used to be. In fact, one or both eyes seem to be covered in white film. What’s going on?

Cataracts in DogsFido is probably suffering from cataract disease. The lens of the eye gets clouded over, making it difficult – or some cases, impossible – for light to pass to the retina. Left untreated, cataract disease can cause blindness. Dog breeds most susceptible to this disease include:

  • miniature poodles and schnauzers
  • cocker spaniels
  • Boston terriers
  • Siberian huskies
  • golden retrievers

Symptoms vary according to the degree of vision impairment. Dogs with less than 30% lens opacity display few to no symptoms, whereas those with 60% lens opacity or more may suffer from loss of vision and/or have difficulty seeing in dimly lit areas.

If the cataract(s) have developed as a result of canine diabetes, you may find that Fido has increased levels of thirst along with an increased need to urinate. He or she may also experience weight loss along with vision impairment symptoms.

Most cases of cataract disease are inherited. However, other causes and risk factors associated with the condition can include:

  • old age
  • inflammation of the eye’s uvea
  • exposure to radiation or toxic substances (for example, naphthalene)
  • abnormally low levels of blood calcium
  • diabetes mellitus

The condition is also progressive. How quickly it develops depends on the underlying cause of the cataract(s), the location and the age of the afflicted canine. If your dog is also suffering from diabetes, the condition can progress especially fast.

Cloudiness in one or both of Fido’s eyes is your cue to contact either the Wells Branch or South Branch Pet and Bird Clinic immediately. Our vets will give your canine a complete physical and ocular exam to determine the best course of treatment that may (or may not) include surgery. Give your animal pal the gift of good health and vision: make an appointment with us today!


Week Days 7:00 am – 9:00 pm
Saturday 8:00 am – 3:00 pm
Sunday 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm

   North Austin
(512) 339-8472

South Austin
(512) 462-0002


Pet and Bird Clinic offers low cost vaccines & low cost spays and neuters at either our North Austin Veterinary or South Austin Veterinary clinics.

If you are looking for Austin Veterinary services, please get in touch with us, to see how we can help.