Are your dog’s eyes turning cloudy or blue? While visual changes are common in aging pups, it’s important to monitor, track, and report these changes to your veterinarian. Below, I’ve outlined five common conditions that can cause blue or cloudy eyes — while some are benign, others are very serious and can lead to total blindness.
Nuclear Sclerosis is a hardening of the eyes’ lenses and is common in older dogs. It usually develops in both eyes at the same time and the eyes gradually take on a cloudy, bluish-grey appearance. Nuclear Sclerosis isn’t painful and veterinarians say dogs should be able to adapt to any minor vision changes, meaning they should still be able to see. No treatment is necessary for Nuclear Sclerosis, but a vet check is imperative for an accurate diagnosis.
Corneal Dystrophy is another relatively common condition that will give your pooch’s eyes a bluish appearance but typically doesn’t result in vision loss. This is an inherited, progressive condition that typically affects both eyes, causing the most damage to the cornea. There are three types of corneal dystrophy:
- Epithelial corneal dystrophy
- Stromal corneal dystrophy
- Endothelial corneal dystrophy
Dogs who suffer from cataracts will typically develop a cloudy, whitish, or crackly appearance in their eye/s. This clouding of the eye lens prevents light from passing through, ultimately causing a loss of vision. Cataracts can appear in one or both eyes and it can progress at varying rates. In some cases, cataracts progress slowly over a few years, while, other times, blindness can occur within just a few days or weeks. It’s crucial to get an accurate diagnosis and discuss an appropriate treatment plan with your vet.
It’s also important to note that there are different types of cataracts and it’s possible for dogs to develop them at an early age.
Glaucoma is a condition where the aqueous humor (the eye’s fluid) doesn’t drain properly. Since the eyes will continue to produce fluid, failure of proper drainage leads to an increased pressure within the eyes. This increase in pressure causes damage to the internal structures of the eyes, leading to visual changes and can eventually cause blindness. This is a very serious condition and must be treated by the vet.
This is another serious condition that threatens your canine kid’s vision. Anterior Uveitis is inflammation of the iris and ciliary body within the uvea of the eye. This condition is known to be painful and often leaves dogs squinting and pawing at their eyes. Some other common symptoms include:
- Excessive tearing
- Cloudy eyes
- Changes to the shape and/or color of the iris
It’s important to schedule a vet appointment and seek treatment immediately to prevent further damage. Your vet will likely prescribe eye drops, ointments, and medications.
If you notice any changes to your dog’s eyes, contact your vet immediately for a proper diagnosis and, if needed, treatment. While some changes may be painless and benign, others can lead to permanent eye damage and blindness.
Raising A Senior Dog?
Blue or cloudy eyes are just one sign of aging. Click here to see the top 12 signs your pooch is entering his senior years.