March 11, 2020
Pictured is the lovely Honey having her eyes checked at the practice. Honey was diagnosed with cataracts when examined for declining vision. Cataracts can form in dog’s lenses for a number of reasons; as a hereditary condition in certain breeds, trauma, extension of disease elsewhere in the eye, diabetes, or just old age.
In Honey’s case the changes developed slowly over time and eventually her eyesight became affected. She could still see but would not stray far on walks and if she lost sight of her owner would run to try and find them, often in the wrong direction or to the wrong person.
She began to trip over obstacles such as fallen branches. Walking her on a lead solved these problems but as she was well in other respects and full of energy it was decided to see if we could help restore her vision to a better level. She attended a consultation with Rob Lowe our ophthalmologist and was deemed a good candidate for cataract surgery.
The procedure was carried out at by Rob at Optivet Referrals in Havant and after an overnight stay for monitoring she was discharged the next day. The procedure has made a real difference and seeing her recognising friends in the park, chasing the squirrels and enjoying her walks has been brilliant. She has attended post-operative appointments at Bayswater to make sure there are no complications and continues to do well.
As well as affecting vision, maturing cataracts in dogs can also lead to inflammation in the eye (uveitis) and glaucoma, an increase in pressure in the eye. These are painful conditions and warrant assessment and treatment even if surgery is not an option. Cataract surgery is not without potential complications and may not be right in all cases, the decision should be made once fully informed by clinical assessment and discussion with the ophthalmologist.
Success rates are better earlier in the course of cataract development so it is best to get them checked sooner and not when vision has been lost or inflammation set in.
We currently have an ophthalmology referral clinic at the practice weekly.