Cloudy eyes often have a hazy, bluish appearance, and the dog’s vision may or may not be affected. Naturally, dog owners worry when they see cloudiness in their dog’s eyes. Your veterinarian is the best place to begin if you notice that your dog has cloudy eyes.
Causes of Cloudy Eyes in Dogs
There are a number of ophthalmic conditions that can make a dog’s eyes appear cloudy; some of these conditions are more serious than others. Many people first assume the cloudiness is caused by cataracts. Although this is sometimes the case, cloudy eyes may occur due to other eye problems.
Also known as nuclear sclerosis, lenticular sclerosis is an eye condition that affects aging dogs and causes the lens of the eye to become hazy in appearance. The condition develops due to a buildup of old fibrous tissue in the lens of the eye located behind the iris. Lenticular sclerosis is common in middle-aged and senior dogs. Fortunately, the condition does not cause pain or blindness.
A cataract is an opacity on the lens of the eye. Unlike lenticular sclerosis, where the fibrous tissue builds up, a cataract causes a cloudy spot on the lens that grows over time. As the cataract grows, it blocks out light and reduces vision. When mature, cataracts can cause complete blindness, lens luxation, and painful inflammation of the eye.
Glaucoma occurs when there is increased pressure inside a dog’s eye. When intraocular pressure remains high for too long, the optic nerve can become permanently damaged. This condition is very painful and can lead to blindness.