Why Does My Dog Have Blue Cloudy Eyes?
- Pieter Maas
What is lenticular sclerosis? – Lenticular sclerosis or nuclear sclerosis is the medical term for a bluish transparent haze that develops in the lens of the eye in middle-aged to senior dogs. This is considered a normal change in the lens associated with aging, and is observed as a cloudiness or bluish discoloration on the pupil.
- Vision does not appear to be significantly affected in dogs diagnosed with lenticular sclerosis.” Vision does not appear to be significantly affected in dogs diagnosed with lenticular sclerosis.
- This condition is not the same as cataracts.
- Cataracts are white and opaque and represent a change in the ability of light to penetrate to the retina.
Cataracts cause diminished vision. Cataracts and lenticular sclerosis are two of the most common eye problems seen in dogs over the age of nine. Some estimates show the prevalence of lenticular sclerosis or cataracts at 50% in dogs over nine years of age and 100% in dogs over the age of thirteen.
Lenticular sclerosis appears as an evenly gray, rounded opacity (cloudiness) in the center of the lens, and is most easily observed when the pupil is dilated.” Lenticular sclerosis typically occurs bilaterally (in both eyes) and symmetrically in dogs. Lenticular sclerosis appears as an evenly gray, rounded opacity (cloudiness) in the center of the lens, and is most easily observed when the pupil is dilated.
The opacity is often more dramatic when viewed from the side rather than from the front. When the eye is examined with an ophthalmoscope, the retina and fundus (back of the eye) can still be seen through the sclerotic lens.
Why does my dog’s eyes look cloudy?
Nuclear Sclerosis in Dogs – As dogs age, some cloudiness is normal, “Most dogs, with age, develop a haze within the lens similar to cataracts, called nuclear sclerosis,” says veterinary ophthalmologist Martin Coster, DVM, MS, Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (DACVO).
- Unlike cataracts,” Coster says, “this condition rarely causes vision impairment.
- However, focusing ability may become impaired.” It is easy to confuse cataracts and nuclear sclerosis.
- Both conditions cause the lens to appear cloudy, but there are a few differences.
- Nuclear sclerosis usually gives your dog’s eyes a cloudy, bluish discoloration, unlike cataracts, which are white and opaque.
More important, nuclear sclerosis (also called lenticular sclerosis) does not significantly diminish your dog’s vision the way cataracts do. It tends to affect both eyes at the same time. The two conditions look different when your veterinarian examines your dog’s eyes with an ophthalmoscope.
Nuclear sclerosis is a change in the lens of the eye that normally occurs with aging. There is no treatment needed because the condition does not cause serious problems, but it might be a good idea to discuss your dog’s aging eyes with your veterinarian, so that you know what to expect as your dog grows older.
“It is often common for dogs who have nuclear sclerosis to also develop cataracts,” says Dr. Jerry Klein, AKC chief veterinary officer. “If your dog develops nuclear sclerosis, your vet will want to conduct regular check-ups to look for cataracts.”
Can eye cloudiness go away?
Causes of cloudy vision – Cloudy vision doesn’t happen on its own; it’s a symptom of another condition. Common causes of cloudy vision include:
Cataracts – A clouding of the eye’s lens that leads to cloudy vision. Most cataracts can be treated with cataract surgery, which is generally very safe and effective. Posterior capsule opacification (PCO) – A clouding of the natural lens capsule, which holds the implant, that can happen after cataract surgery. These are sometimes called ” secondary cataracts,” but they aren’t cataracts at all — and they usually require much simpler treatment.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) – Damage to the eye’s macula that leads to a gradual loss of the vision in the center of your view. Some cases of macular degeneration can cause hazy vision and faded colors. Diabetic retinopathy – Damage to the eye’s retina caused by either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Vision can appear cloudy when retinal tissue starts to swell. Retinopathy tends to happen more often when the underlying diabetes isn’t being managed properly. Fuchs’ dystrophy – A condition that causes cells in the cornea to degenerate over time. Vision can start to look foggy when the cornea clouds or swells. Eye floaters – Small spots and squiggly lines that float across your vision. Floaters don’t cause widespread clouded vision in the same way as many other conditions, but large floaters can themselves have a cloudy or hazy appearance. Contact lenses – Wearing contacts can lead to cloudy vision due to dry spots, cracks and tears in the lenses. Contacts can also lead to corneal edema (swelling) due to poor oxygen supply to the cornea. This can be a result of an accumulation of material under the lens, especially with scleral lenses,
While these are the more common causes of cloudy vision, they aren’t the only ones that can make your vision look hazy or foggy. Many of these problems can lead to vision loss or other health issues if left untreated. If you’re living with undiagnosed cloudy vision, schedule a comprehensive eye exam with an eye doctor.
What are the stages of a dog going blind?
Cloudy appearance of the eye. Your dog is bumping into objects. Signs of anxiety or hesitation when in new places. Your dog is suddenly unwilling to go up or down stairs, or jump onto furniture which they normally did.
Are cloudy eyes cataracts?
What are cataracts? – A cataract is a cloudy area in the lens of your eye ( the clear part of the eye that helps to focus light), Cataracts are very common as you get older. In fact, more than half of all Americans age 80 or older either have cataracts or have had surgery to get rid of cataracts.
How old are dogs when they get cloudy eyes?
Nuclear Sclerosis – Nuclear sclerosis is a normal aging change of the lens. The lens is made up of layers of cells arranged somewhat like the layers of an onion. As animals get older, the cells become packed together more tightly as new layers are added.
The increased density of the lens causes it to look cloudy in dogs over about 7 years of age. The lens will continue to appear cloudier over time. Nuclear Sclerosis is easily mistaken as a Cataract, which is a different problem that also causes the lens to become cloudy. While a cataract is an abnormality that can cause blindness and inflammation inside the eye, nuclear sclerosis is normal for an older dog, and the condition has minimal effect on vision.
Just as for middle-aged people who need reading glasses, a dog with nuclear sclerosis will not be able to see well up close. Going down stairs and catching a small treat may be more difficult. Nuclear Sclerosis Cataract