Diabetic Cataracts in Dogs

Cataracts in dogs can be caused by diabetes in your pet, and will lead to blindness if severe enough. Unfortunately, the majority of dogs who develop diabetes will also develop cataracts, as the two usually go hand in hand. The best way to prevent your pet from developing cataracts in his lifetime is to prevent canine diabetes. 

Blindness caused by cataracts can come on suddenly, sometimes only in a few weeks or months time. As mentioned earlier, the best way to prevent canine cataracts is to prevent diabetes. Once your pet develops canine diabetes and cataracts, however, the condition is already established. In these cases, cataract surgery may be performed to help save your pet's eyesight. 

Overview of Canine Diabetes

Canine diabetes is caused by high blood glucose levels in your pet. Diabetes in dogs can be caused by a multitude of sources, including poor diet and nutrition, obesity and genetic factors. Certain breeds may be more prone to developing high blood glucose levels, as well as becoming obese. While not all obese dogs will develop canine diabetes, obesity is one of the most common causes of diabetes in both dogs and humans. When combined with a fatty or unhealthy diet, your overweight pet's risk for diabetes becomes very high. 

Cataracts and Canine Diabetes

When blood glucose levels become too high, a multitude of problems can arise. Cataracts and eye problems are one of the most common complications associated with diabetes, and are very common in dogs who suffer from diabetes. Diabetes causes elevated sugar levels in both the body and the fluid inside of the eyes. The eyes are very sensitive in dogs, and these elevated sugar levels will eventually cause damage to the lens of the eye and disturb the moisture balances within the eyes. 

When your pet is suffering from high blood glucose levels, the eyes will absorb significantly more moisture. This will cause the eyes to become cloudy, foggy, and blurred. As the condition progresses, your pet will eventually lose his ability to see out of the eye as his vision will quickly deteriorate. 

Blindness brought on by diabetes is almost always very sudden and needs to be treated quickly when noticed. Unfortunately, cataracts and blindness may be the very first sign of diabetes that pet owners will notice, and by then, it will be too late to save the pet's eyesight. 

Cataract Surgery for Dogs

Once it has been established that your pet has cataracts, surgery may be performed to save the eyesight. Cataract surgery in canines has a very high success rate, but can be very costly for many pet owners. In addition, the surgery can only be performed after blood sugar levels are stabilized, which can take a few months in many dogs. 

If your pet cannot have surgery, blindness will soon result. This can be a devastating realization for many pet owners, but is usually not as serious as it seems as most dogs are able to adapt to blindness and usually go on to live very normal and happy lives. 

Preventing Canine Diabetes

The best way to prevent diabetes in dogs is to establish a well-balanced, nutritious diet and a healthy weight. Diets high in fats are not recommended, and pet owners should make sure their pet gets the proper exercise needed to remain at a healthy weight. If your pet is overweight, is is advised to start a diet and exercise regime soon to prevent diabetes.