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-   -   Dog has cataracts - Answered by Dr. Van Lienden (

MarshaJane April 13th, 2007 07:20 AM

Dog has cataracts - Answered by Dr. Van Lienden
Hi - I'm new to the site --- hope I am doing this okay --- I have a 12 year old female Brittnay Spaniel --- she is great, however starting to have some problems. Hopefully, someone there can help. She has cataracts and recently seems to have gone blind. Her eyes are completely dilated and she cann't see anything. Is there anyone else out there with a similar problem? I have not received much help from the vet, and do not know where to look for information. Tx

SableCollie April 13th, 2007 01:12 PM

With cataracts, the dogs eyes would look opaque. Are they whitish/bluish, or is pupil dilation the only sign?

If your vet can't help you, maybe find another vet for a second opinion?

Blind dogs can adapt and have a good quality of life, they just need a little more help.

petdr April 18th, 2007 11:50 AM

A cataract is an opacity of the lens, and can be slight or complete. Light will still enter and stimulate the retina, consequently the pupil will contract or dilate depending on the light stimulus.

If your pet's pupils are dilated, then there is most likely a problem with the retina. Potentionally, the pupil may be paralyzed or the optic nerve is damaged or the brain can not integrate the visual signal, but these are less likely reasons for the symptoms described.

You need to see a veterinary ophthalmologist in order to determine the cause of blindness. My two big rule-outs for this presentation would be retinal detachment secondary to hypertension or progressive retinal atrophy (though this usually shows up earlier in life). Check with your vet to find a veterinary ophthalmologist close to you.

Dr. Van Lienden

Dr. Raymond Van Lienden DVM
The Animal Clinic of Clifton
12702 Chapel Road, Clifton
Virginia, U.S.A. 20124

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