Updated: Apr 10
What are cataracts?
Cataracts are a common eye condition in older German Shepherds. As our fur friends age, their eye lenses become less transparent and more cloudy, resulting in reduced vision. As you can imagine, this can be a severe problem for your fur friend for a host of reasons such as going blind. But also because it will make him much slower at responding to his surroundings potentially leading to accidents or injuries. Additionally, cataracts could also be a sign of other health issues such as diabetes, so if you see that your older German Shepherd's eyes look cloudy, don't ignore it.
In this blog post, we'll go over the signs of cataracts in older German Shepherds, what causes cataracts, how to prevent them, if possible, and treatment options.
What causes cataracts?
The number one cause of cataracts in older German Shepherds is hereditary. But that's not the only reason. Older German Shepherds may get cataracts due to an injury to the eye or because of an underlying health issue such as diabetes. Furthermore, cataracts can also appear for no apparent reason other than advanced age.
Types of Cataracts:
There are three types of cataracts in dogs which include congenital cataracts, developmental cataracts, and senile cataracts.
• Congenital cataracts are present from birth, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the cataracts are inherited.
• Developmental cataracts develop with time and are not inherited.
• Senile cataracts develop in older dogs. Older German Shepherds primarily suffer from congenital cataracts.
Signs and symptoms:
Blurry or cloudy eyes
Your fur friend is bumping into things
Your fur friend struggles to find his food dish, water bowl, toys, or bed
Unusually anxious, possibly even snappish
He becomes overly clingy
Reluctant to get up and move around
Treatment options for older German Shepherds with cataracts:
Your veterinarian will determine the best course of treatment for your older German Shepherd based on his age and other factors. Treatment may include:
Surgical removal of the discolored lens material
Treating underlying health issues
Possible lens replacement
Prevention is not always possible. For instance, if the cataracts are congenital, it's not preventable, but there are steps you can take to reduce his chances of getting cataracts otherwise. You can:
Reduce eye exposure to sunlight and bright lights. That means you may need to purchase your older German Shepherd sun goggles to do so.
It's also imperative to incorporate regular eye exams into your older German Shepherd's wellness regime.
And finally, you can help reduce your fur friend's chance of getting cataracts by controlling underlying health issues.
In closing, cataracts in older German Shepherds are a clouding of the eye