Cloudy eyes can be a symptom of a variety of eye problems, and some can be painful for your dog.
A veterinarian should examine any dog with cloudy eyes to diagnose the cause and prescribe prompt treatment, if necessary. Some eye conditions are hereditary, so it’s good to be aware of those common to your dog’s breed.
When dogs have cloudy eyes, it may be a natural part of the ageing process. But cloudy eyes also can be a symptom of a number of eye problems. Trying to distinguish between what is normal and what is a problem can be tricky. Today we will be looking at some of the reasons why your dog may have cloudy eyes.
Causes of Cloudy eyes in dogs
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 discolouration, unlike cataracts, which are white and opaque.
Cataracts in Dogs
Dogs develop cataracts just like people do. These white, milky changes to your dog’s lenses are the result of abnormal lens metabolism. The lens in both dog eyes and human eyes acts like a camera lens, focusing light on the film at the back of the eye, called the retina, where the brain then processes the information to form a picture of the world around it.
Glaucoma in Dogs
Glaucoma in dogs occurs when the pressure inside the eye increases, resulting in damage to the structures in the eye. This condition is painful, and very high intraocular (inside the eyes) pressure is considered a veterinary emergency, as it can lead to permanent damage to the optic nerve and vision loss.
Dry Eye in Dogs
Dry eye, or keratoconjunctivitis sicca, occurs when your dog’s body does not produce enough tears. Tears are necessary for lubrication and overall eye health, as the aqueous solution is how your dog’s eyes receive necessary nutrients. When your dog is not producing enough tears, the surface of her eyes becomes irritated.
Ulcers in Dogs
Ulcers are sores on your dog’s cornea (the membrane on the front of the eye). As they progress, they may appear bluish, reddish, or just as a haze on the surface of your dog’s eye. Like other serious eye problems, corneal ulcers can be painful and are often accompanied by discharge and squinting.
Anterior Uveitis in Dogs
Anterior uveitis can also cause a cloudy appearance in your dog’s eyes. The uvea refers to the part of the eye that is made up of the choroid, ciliary body, and iris — the tissue at the front of the eye. Anterior uveitis is inflammation of one or all of these structures, and it is a serious condition that can lead to irreversible vision loss.
Corneal Dystrophy in Dogs
This common condition is inherited, and the veterinarian will use a microscope with a bright light to identify the type of corneal dystrophy your dog has, as well as a fluorescein stain to examine the details of the eye, and may prescribe antibiotic eye medications.
Unless your dog naturally has white eyes, if you see some white clouds forming. It is a cause for concern. Visit your Vet and get the condition checked out before it becomes serious.