Are you wondering if your Bichon has cataracts?
Cataracts are extremely common in senior dogs. Some dog breeds are more prone to getting them than others. However, you should keep an eye out for them to make sure your furry friend gets the best treatment if needed.
Eye trauma and old age generally cause cataracts in dogs.
In this blog post, we answer the question, “How to tell if my Bichon has cataracts?” in detail.
get started, shall we?
What Are Cataracts, Anyway?
Cataracts make the lens of your dog’s eyes cloudy or opaque, leading to blurry vision. If left untreated, they become denser and thicker with time and can even lead to blindness in extreme cases.
The most common causes of cataracts include:
- Trauma or injury to the eye
- Old age
- Inherited condition
- Birth defects
Other reasons include exposure to toxic substances, nutritional deficiencies, eye infections, cancer treatments, etc.
Dog Breeds Prone to Getting Cataracts
Cataracts are inherited, which means that they’re often seen more in certain dog breeds. These include:
- Golden Retriever
- Miniature Poodle
- Siberian Husky
- Miniature Schnauzer
- Boston Terrier
- American Cocker Spaniel
- Shetland Sheepdog
But, do keep in mind these are only breeds that are at high risk of developing cataracts. Just because your dog’s breed isn’t on the list, doesn’t mean that he’s immune to developing cataracts.
If your Bichon has a family history of cataracts, you need to be vigilant and keep a check on your furry friend’s eyes.
the best ways to ensure the best treatment is to treat cataracts in time.
How to Tell If My Bichon Has Cataracts?
One of the biggest telltale signs of cataracts is the formation of a cloudy layer on your dog’s eyes.
- An opaque lens is the biggest sign
- Mild cases don’t show any symptoms
- Your dog may have difficulty in navigation and even show signs of vision loss at 60% opacity
- If your Bichon is diabetic and also has cataracts, he may pee frequently, show signs of weight loss, and increased thirst
Keep a Close Check on Your Dog’s Eyes
If you feel that your dog’s eyes are getting foggy or are developing a cloudy layer, keep a close check on them for a few days. In some cases, the foggy layer just turns out to be harmless.
- The foggy layer can seem to be blue or white in color. It may even affect just one eye
- The layer can cover the whole eye or just a few spots
- Check whether or not the pupil changes its size when the lighting in the room changes
Does Your Dog Seem Disoriented?
If your dog has been having problems getting around the house–especially if he’s been banging around on furniture or getting hurt often, he may have cataracts.
Your dog may also not be able to fetch things as well as he did before. In fact, some dogs also have trouble finding treats!
- Check whether or not your dog is paying attention to the gestures you make
- Dogs with cataracts tend to walk slower in unknown places
Abnormal Eye Discharge
Does your Bichon have heavy tear stains? If there’s any discharge, the chances are that your dog doesn’t have cataracts.
When in doubt, take your doggy friend to the vet for a proper diagnosis.
My Bichon Has Cataracts, What Do I Do?
The trickiest thing about cataracts is that it is progressive. This means that it can worsen day by day, so early treatment is the best.
One of the most widespread treatments is surgery.
Just like they do with humans, the surgery involves removing the affected lens and replacing it with an artificial one. However, the surgery comes with its own risks which include:
- Retinal detachment
- Eye damage
- Complete blindness
downside to surgery is that it is quite expensive.
Preventing Cataracts: What You Can Do to Ensure Your Bichon’s Eyes Remain Healthy
In this section of the blog post, we will go through some of the things you can do to prevent your dog from getting cataracts altogether.
- A healthy diet and proper nutrition ensures that your dog’s eyes are healthy
- Studies have shown that natural antioxidants such as Vitamin E and Vitamin C reduce age-related cataracts in older canines
- Green and yellow vegetables are excellent for your dog’s vision
- Protective eye drops are also excellent
In Summary: How to Tell If My Bichon Has Cataracts
Some dog breeds are prone to getting cataracts than others. However, just because Bichons aren’t on the list, doesn’t mean that they’re immune to getting them.
One of the best things is the fact that cataracts are preventable!
A cloudy layer on your dog’s eye is the biggest telltale sign of cataracts. However, it is also easy to mistake eye infections as cataracts. So, when in doubt, take your pet to the doctor!
Surgery still remains the most popular treatment options. But, it also comes with its risks.