The eyes are windows to the souls of our canine friends, but as a cloudy fog sets in, it can be a confusing and worrying time for both our pups and us. That cloudy fog is known as cataracts - an eye condition that could severely obscure our dog’s vision. It’s a progressive disease that rapidly declines if left untreated. And while there are treatments available, it’s always better to start with preventive methods. Read on to find out what causes cataracts and how we can prevent them.
Diabetes in dogs is extremely common and is also the primary cause of cataracts in dogs. Diabetes and cataracts (unfortunately) go hand in hand - a large percentage of dogs lose their vision within six to twelve months from their diabetic diagnosis. Diabetic cataracts happens very quickly, so it’s important to support your dog’s eye health withDr Mercola’s supplements the minute your dog is diagnosed with diabetes. Of course, we should always aim for prevention to avoid the need for treatment.
Your dog’s eyes are very vulnerable and any slight trauma - no matter how severe the injury is - can turn into full blown cataract. A penetration to the eye ruptures the lens which causes leakage into the surrounding areas; this is followed by the formation of cataracts. The only way to prevent this is, to keep any sharp objects away from your dog’s eye level and to keep an eye on them when you’re outside - especially if they’re a klutz. If your dog does sustain an eye injury of any kind, bring him to the vet as soon as you can. Delaying treatment can worsen his condition and may even reach a stage where any treatment is rendered useless.
As with humans, dogs may start to experience impaired vision as they enter their senior years. And many will develop cataracts, with varying levels of severity - though in most cases the cataracts remain relatively small and have little impact on their vision. Since ageing is inevitable, the best aid we can provide is to keep them on a well-balanced and nutritious diet. Vitamin C (Wholistic Pet is great!), Vitamin E, and Bilberries are helpful supplements known to minimize the impact of cataracts.
Cataract doesn’t only affect senior dogs, puppies are also at risk! This is usually an outcome of being fed nutritionally unbalanced milk replacements. In most cases, this issue resolves itself as they grow older. But, it’s only possible if they’re fed a diet with proper nutrition. Orange (carrots, pumpkins, etc) and green (kale, broccoli, etc) vegetables contain natural antioxidants to prevent and reduce cataract formation - adding these to your dog’s diet will benefit them tremendously. Check outK9 Natural for food loaded with these antioxidants!
Yes, over vaccinating your dog can also lead to the formation of cataracts. In general, the average dog has an immune system that is resilient enough to fend off viruses and illnesses on its own. When we vaccinate our dogs, we’re exposing them to additional toxins; and over-vaccination means frequent exposure to more foreign toxins. Over-vaccinated dogs are at high risk of developing cataracts caused by drug-related systemic toxicosis. It’s recommended to only vaccinate when needed, use your best judgement to decide!
Kim is an avid dog lover, serial guac and chips eater, and thrill seeker - all in one body. Currently chillin’ with her dogs.