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  1. #1
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    Cataracts in Dogs

    I know there are plenty of dog people here so I thought I see if any of you have experience with using eye drops for cataract treatment in your dog(s)? One of my dogs is developing cataracts. On my last vet visit the vet pointed them out and she doesn't think my dog has diabetes so they likely are not diabetes related. She thinks they are likely related to her age which is now closing on 10 years old.

    I've looked into surgery and assuming my setter would benefit from surgery I really don't have the money. In my reading I've found that there are eye drops that some people claim are working. Supposedly there was a study done using dogs and the drops showed improvements. So if you have used eye drops for your dog and they worked what drops did you use?


  2. #2
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    I donít have experience with that, although Iíve seen those stories. Let us know how it goes, though, if you try it. Iíve watched a few dogs develop cataracts, unfortunately.

  3. #3
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    First question is, are they really cataracts? Sounds like your vet is hedging, which could be a sign its time to find a new vet. The vastly more common reason for age related eye/lens changes is lenticular sclerosis, a normal aging change that rarely is a problem, but can occasionally be dense enough to affect vision. Diagnosing true cataracts is actually quite easy. Might be time for a second opinion, or even an exam with a veterinary ophthalmologist.

    To answer your question, it depends on what is actually going on. If they truly are cataracts, drops wont directly help the cataracts, but can reduce the low grade inflammation associated with cataracts that can lead to glaucoma and blindness. Diabetes is one of the easiest diagnoses to make/rule out, so there should be any beating around the bush about that.

    All that said, late stage lenticular sclerosis can become dense enough to effect vision, and surgery can correct it, but is not usually necessary. Just don't let your dog drive at night ( had to take my mother's car keys because she insisted at driving at night, and oncoming head lights blurred he vision so much to be nearly blind, but did fine during the day...she had sclerosis, not cataracts.)

    I agree it is a constitutional right for Americans to be assholes...its just too bad that so many take the opportunity...
    iscariot

  4. #4
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    "Zee damn fat skis are ruining zee piste !" -Oscar Schevlin

    "Hike up your skirt and grow a dick you fucking crybaby" -what Bunion said to Harry at the top of The Headwaters

  5. #5
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    I actually tried using goggles once with my lab when she was in her prime hunting days though they were clear lenses. I used to have to take her to the vet at least once a year for eye injuries because she hunted so hard heavy cover. The experiment lasted about 10 seconds as she was not going to wear them. Instead I would just wash her eyes at the end of the hunt and try to clean them out best I could. As she slowed down the issue went away.


  6. #6
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    I wish my husky would wear doggles. Vet told me he had juvenile cataracts when he was young. He's 9 now and is fairly blind. Since he's been that way since he was young most people barely notice until you bounce a ball or watch him load into my truck(have to tap tailgate and he knows where to jump.)Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7
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    I doubt it would have made a difference. Nearly blind dogs are pretty near normal dogs, as you have noticed. Just gettin a seeing eye person.

    I agree it is a constitutional right for Americans to be assholes...its just too bad that so many take the opportunity...
    iscariot

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by hutash View Post
    I doubt it would have made a difference. Nearly blind dogs are pretty near normal dogs, as you have noticed. Just gettin a seeing eye person.
    Haha. Definitely. I was joking because doggles just make me laugh in a good way.

  9. #9
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    I took my setter into the vet this week and had him look at her eyes. While she does have cataracts the vet seriously doubts that is what is causing her vision loss. He said he can see the back of her eyes and what he believes she has is Progressive Retina Atrophy (PRA) as he isn't seeing a lot of blood vessels on the back of her eye. While the diagnosis isn't good considering he is unaware of any treatment I have to admit it does bring me a little solace because if it was cataracts and assuming they would be treatable I'd feel terrible that I can't afford the surgery to fix them. My vet did say that because he a generalist rather than an eye specialist I may want to get a second opinion.

    She still has her nose at least as the last time we went hunting she pointing a grouse and woodcock.


  10. #10
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    If the vet can see in, the dog can see out. Cataracts are true opacities in the lens, you can't see through them. If they are partial cataracts you maybe able to see around them or through small windows. Lenticular sclerosis is a fogging of the lens, like a steamy shower door. PRA is a loss of function of the retina. We diagnose it by a decreased, or lack of blood vessels and hyperrefectivity of the tapetum lucidium (the green flash in dog eyes.) The definitive diagnosis is an ERG (electroretinagram, think ekg for the eye.) This should be done prior to deciding on cataract surgery but a good ophthalmologist. No point fixing the lens of the film in the camera is bad. If the ERG is normal cataract surgery is a viable option. Again, it sounds like your vet is hedging, which to be honest is normal for most GPs. This is not difficult, but most vets dont get enough training in ophthalmology and are afraid of it. It is my area of special.interest, so I have a lot of extra training, but am intimidated by cardiology, so we all have our strengths and weaknesses. Go get a ophtho consult.

    I agree it is a constitutional right for Americans to be assholes...its just too bad that so many take the opportunity...
    iscariot

  11. #11
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    Just to be clear I went to a different vet to get her eyes checked. After he looked at her eyes closely he asked me questions about her vision and my observations. We talked about the first signs of her not seeing well in darker conditions and how it progressed to where she is now. I asked about cataracts, which was what the other vet said she had, but this vet said he didn't see any evidence that cataracts were a concern. He said her lenses looked fairly normal for a 9 year old dog and like you said if he can see in she should be able to see out.

    We did talk about seeing a specialist, though there are none in my area. I'll look to see where the nearest specialist and go from there. Thanks for the information.


  12. #12
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    Thanks for the clarification. Sounds like the second vet nailed it. It is an easy diagnosis to make as a vet if you look at enough fundi, which unfortunately most vets don't. Not much you can do about PRA, though ocular vitamins might help. This is somewhat similar to macular degeneration n people and some human ophthos think they help. Worth asking about if you see the doggy eye doc.

    I agree it is a constitutional right for Americans to be assholes...its just too bad that so many take the opportunity...
    iscariot

  13. #13
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    Vet school in Madison if you are near enough. Chris Murphy used to be there, don't know if he still is, but one of the best and who trained me.

    I agree it is a constitutional right for Americans to be assholes...its just too bad that so many take the opportunity...
    iscariot

  14. #14
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    Lenticular sclerosis is fairly common in old age as hutash pointed out. My lab developed at around 11-12 and my Brittany started around 9-10. We never saw a loss in quality of life so we never made a point of trying to remedy it. The Brit still gets out for birds and the nose is still prime shape so I'm chalking it up as moot.

  15. #15
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    When my mother's lenticular sclerosis advanced, she had trouble driving at night due to oncoming headlights. So, I tell my clients not to let their dogs drive at night. So far it seems to be working.

    I agree it is a constitutional right for Americans to be assholes...its just too bad that so many take the opportunity...
    iscariot

  16. #16
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    i hate having to readjust everything after my dogs borrow the car.
    Alpental Indigenous

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