Cataracts in Dogs | Symptoms and Signs
PetWave | Dog & Cat Information

Symptoms of Cataracts in Dogs

How Cataracts Affects Dogs

The chief complaints by owners of dogs with cataracts are cloudy, white-ish or blue-grey pupils (or spots in the pupil) and impaired vision. Cataracts can occur in one eye, as is usually the case when cataracts are caused by injury, or they can occur in both eyes. Cataracts can appear suddenly (owners often report that they happen “over night”), or they can develop slowly over a period of years. The cloudiness of the lens may have a crackled appearance, or it may look like a chip of ice. The cataract may appear as a bluish-grey haze over the entire pupil, or only over a part of it. Cataracts will always affect a dog’s vision. Depending on the severity of the cataract, affected dogs will display a range of vision problems from mild to complete blindness. Some of the signs associated with reduced vision include a high-stepped walk, unsure footing, tripping over or bumping into objects, walking into walls, misjudging distances and not recognizing people.

Symptoms of Cataracts in Dogs

Owners of dogs with cataracts may observe some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Cloudy pupils in one or both eyes
  • Signs of vision impairment (bumping into walls or other objects, tripping, misjudging distances, not recognizing familiar people)
  • Increased intake of water and increased frequency of urination in dogs with diabetes mellitus

If your dog displays any of these symptoms, especially if you notice any cloudiness in your dog’s eyes, it is important to make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible. Cataracts are normally painless, but they can cause inflammation and result in permanent eye damage if left untreated. To date, the only effective treatment for cataracts is surgery. Your veterinarian can help you decide whether surgery is necessary or appropriate and whether anti-inflammatory medication is needed.

Dogs at Increased Risk

Older dogs develop cataracts more often than younger dogs, although dogs of any age are at risk. Dogs suffering from diabetes mellitus also tend to develop cataracts more frequently than other animals. Breeds with the highest prevalence of cataracts include the Smooth Fox Terrier, Havanese, Bichon Frise, Boston Terrier.

Source: PetWave


Dog Dermatitis (Skin Problems)

Dermatitis in Dogs: Learn about Dermatitis, including how it can affect your dog, and what...

Babesiosis in Dogs

Babesiosis in Dogs: Learn about Babesiosis, including how it affects your dog, and available options...

Brain, Spinal, Nerve

Dog Brain, Spinal Cord, & Nerve Disorders Center: Here you'll find in-depth information on brain,...

Glaucoma in Dogs

Glaucoma in Dogs: Learn about Glaucoma, including how it can affect your dog, and what...

Dog Cryptorchidism

Retained Testicles in Dogs: Learn about Retained Testicles, including how they can affect your...


Dog Health Dog Health
Learn about the most common diseases affecting dogs
Puppy Training Getting a Puppy
A new puppy in the house can cause quite a whirlwind of excitement
Dog Breeds List of Dog Breeds
Comprehensive list of dog breeds with specific breed information

Find a Dog Breed?

With so many dog breeds to choose from, sometime it's easier to seach based on certain characterisitcs.

Caring for your Dog?

There is more to caring for your dog than just feeding it. Find out all you need to know to make sure your pet stays healthy.

Training your Dog?

A dog's behavior plays a key role in making a great pet. Training your dog makes a happier dog, and you will be happier too.

Ask a vet?

Have a question?
Ask a Vet Online NowSM

Ask a Vet

About Us | Review Board | Badges | Tell a Friend | Bookmark this Page | Submit Feedback | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy
Dog Breeds | Cat Breeds | Dog Health | Cat Health | Dog Training | Cat Training | Dog Care | Cat Care | Dog Adoption | Cat Food & Diet

Advertise on - A Pet360 Media Network Partner

Become a Fan of on Facebook Become a Fan on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter Email Friend about Tell your friends about PetWave

© 2015 PetWave Corporation. All rights reserved
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a veterinarian. PetWave disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
For more information view our Terms of Service.