In this pet care video, learn about cataracts in dogs and cats. Dr. Douglas Esson, who is board certified in veterinary ophthalmology,
talks about what a cataract is, what problems can be associated with them, and what treatment options are available.
Tags:Learn about Cataracts in Dogs and Cats,Cataracts in Cats,Cataracts in Dogs,blindness,canine,cataract,cats,dogs,opacity,pets,veterinary,VetVid
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Dr. Mike: Hello! I’m Dr. Mike. Cataracts can be found in dogs and cats of all ages. There are many causes of cataracts. Some animals are born with a cataract while others may develop a cataract secondary to disease like diabetes. It is important to understand what a cataract is, what problems can be associated with it and the treatment options available. To learn more about cataracts, we’re going to meet with Dr. Douglas Esson, who is board certified in Veterinary Ophthalmology.
Dr. Douglas Esson: A cataract is any opacification of the lens. Typically, this is noted as a gray or white discoloration by an animal’s owner. A cataract maybe so small as to be insignificant to the animal’s vision and specialized tools maybe required to observe it. A cataract maybe so significant as to render a pet blind.
Nuclear Sclerosis is a normal aging process of the lens. Typically, in dogs we see that from seven or eight years of age onwards. It does result in some gray and discoloration of the lens, but your veterinarian can help differentiate Nuclear Sclerosis from a cataract.
Many different things can cause cataract, these changes including inflammation and trauma. But the most common cataracts that we deal with and practice is either the result of diabetes or hereditary and meaning they are inherited from their parents. An obvious problem associated with the significant cataract is visual deficits or even blindness in some cases. It is important to bear in mind that other problems may result from the inflammation associated with the cataracts and these can include uveitis and glaucoma and should always been manage even if cataract surgery is not an option.
If you think your pet is affected by cataract, you should have it assessed by your veterinarian. If your veterinarian feels it appropriate, they will suggest that you seek consultation with the board certified ophthalmologist. Although, some of the medical conditions associated with cataracts like uveitis can be managed medically, cataracts themselves need to be managed surgically. Surgical management of the cataract typically involves a process called faco-emulsification and faco-emulsification sound wave energy is used to dissolve and then remove the small fragments of lens material.
Prior to cataract surgery, veterinary ophthalmologist will typically perform diagnostic test in order to assess your pet’s suitability as a candidate. These tests will help determine the likelihood of a successful outcome. These tests typically involve ultrasonography allowing visualization at the back of the eye and electroretinography providing some idea of the health of the retina.
Having removed cataract as lenses, most veterinary ophthalmologist will endeavor to replace the cataractous lens with a new clear synthetic lens. A new lens will allow your animal to focus on up close objects and return it to a state of ideal vision or emmetropia.
The chances of a successful outcome following modern faco- emulsification surgery are extremely good. However, the potential of the complications such as glaucoma and retinal detachments remain. Following cataract surgery, pressure inside the eye is typically carefully monitored for the first twenty four hours. Thereafter, antibiotics and anti inflammation medications are applied for several weeks. Most animals that have undergone cataract surgery are reassessed on an annual basis.
Dr. Mike: If you think your pet may have a cataract, you should bring it to the attention of your veterinarian. With surgery, a cataract can be removed and the prognosis is extremely good.
I hope this information has been helpful and thanks for watching.