Cataracts in Dogs | PetFirst Pet Insurance
Pet Care & Health

Cataracts in Dogs

by PetFirst Pet Insurance
4 years ago

What are Cataracts?

Dogs with cataracts will show opacity in the lens of the eye. Cataracts often result in your dog experiencing blurry vision. Smaller cataracts will not often result in severe vision loss; however, as the cataracts become thicker, your dog may become completely blind in one or both eyes. You may or may not notice cataracts immediately; however, the moment you begin to notice them you should contact your veterinarian.

Breeds at the Highest Risk of Developing Cataracts

Dogs of all breeds, genders and ages may develop cataracts; however, this condition is most commonly found in the following breeds:

  • Miniature Poodle
  • Standard Poodle
  • Miniature Schnauzer
  • Boston Terrier
  • American Cocker Spaniel
  • Smooth Fox Terrier
  • Bichon Frize
  • Havanese
  • Golden retriever
  • Siberian Husky
  • Dogs with diabetes


Symptoms of cataracts include:

  • Cloudy eyes
  • Apparent blurry vision
  • Bluish-gray eyes

If your dog has a diabetes-related cataract, other symptoms may also appear including:

  • Weight loss
  • Increased urination
  • Increased thirst


Cataracts may be caused by a number of factors including:

  • Age
  • Diabetes’
  • Disease
  • Trauma
  • Electric shock
  • Exposure to toxins
  • Hypocalcemia

Genetics are most often the common cause of cataracts, though. Cataracts may even be present at birth. Dogs between one and three years of age are most commonly affected.

How To Treat Cataracts In Dogs

Cataracts are treated via surgery. If surgery is recommended by your veterinarian, ensure you have the surgery performed as soon as possible. Cataracts are known as a progressive condition and symptoms worsen as time progresses.

In the surgical procedure, a veterinary ophthalmologist will surgically remove the lens of the eye and replace it with a plastic lens. Cataract surgery is highly successful if your dog is determined to be a good candidate. Following surgery, your dog will be required to wear a protective collar until the eye heals. Eye drops several times per day for several weeks is also necessary.

Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.


Amber Drake and her dog posing for a photo
Amber L. Drake, a Professional Canine Behaviorist and Adjunct Professor of Biological Science, has extensive experience in the Animal Science Field. She has worked with dogs professionally for over ten years. Her clients range from private pet parents to large canine rescue organizations. In addition to accepting clients on a regular basis, Drake serves as an Adjunct Professor at Jamestown Community College and Kaplan University. Drake has earned a Doctor of Education (ABD), Educational Specialist Post-Masters, Master of Arts in Education and a Bachelor of Science in Biology. She has completed coursework at Cornell University for Pre-Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science, Biochemistry at UC Berkeley, Veterinary Technology at Penn Foster and a number of Continuing Education courses to remain up-to-date in her field.

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