A cataract is nothing more than a breakdown in the structure of lens in the eye. This breakdown affects the amount of light that passes through the lens on its way to the retina in the back of the eye. If enough of the lens is affected, vision impairment or complete loss of vision can occur. Cataracts are opaque in appearance and can gradually enlarge in size over time if left untreated.
Dogs and cats can be affected by cataracts, dogs being affected more often. The dog usually will develop cataracts because of a hereditary trait. Cats are usually affected with cataracts due to an illness affecting the rest of the body.
Cataracts can occur as a result of a systemic disease such as Diabetes Mellitus.
A relatively simple procedure called Phacoemulsification is used to remove the cataract. This procedure can usually restore vision and it is a very common procedure used for removal of cataracts. Before this procedure is performed, the integrity of the retina is established first using an electroretinogram and ultrasound. If it is decided that the retina is functional and the cataract is removed, an intraocular lens implant can be used to improve the vision after surgery.
If you have more questions about your pets cataracts, you may call the de la Houssaye Animal Hospital, an examination and a consult can be arranged with a veterinary ophthalmologist.