A dog's eyes can be beautiful, soulful and bright. One thing they shouldn't be is cloudy. If you notice any cloudy spots in one or both of your pup's eyes, bring him to the vet as soon as possible. Causes of cloudy spots in the eyes can vary; some of the causes are serious, requiring immediate veterinary care to prevent your pooch from experiencing vision loss.
Cloudy Spots in a Dog's Eye
Glaucoma in Dogs
Glaucoma is a condition in which the fluids of your dog's eye cannot drain properly and the pressure within the eye increases to a point that can damage the optic nerve or the retina. Symptoms of glaucoma include a cloudy appearance of the eye, redness, appetite loss, lethargy, excessive blinking and a dilated pupil, in one or both eyes. Only your vet can diagnose glaucoma using special tools to measure the pressure in your pup's eye. Treatment may involve drug therapy or surgery to lower the pressure in the eye.
Lipid Keratopathy in Canines
Lipid keratopathy, also known as corneal lipidosis, occurs when fatty substances accumulate in the cornea of your dog's eye, affecting one or both eyes. This condition can occur for several reasons, including genetics, high cholesterol levels and hypothyroidism. Symptoms include cloudy spots in the eye, usually near the center. Your vet can diagnose this condition through an eye exam. Treatment usually involves feeding your dog a low-fat diet to lower his cholesterol levels or treating an underlying cause such as hypothyroidism.
If Fido's eyes appear cloudy, he could have canine cataracts. Cataracts occur when the lens of your pup's eye becomes cloudy, usually due to age, genetics, diabetes or a traumatic injury. Cataracts can cause vision loss. Your vet will determine if your pup has cataracts using specialized optical equipment. She or a veterinary ophthalmologist can determine if the pup's lens is simply hardening with age or if a cataract is present. The only treatment for cataracts is surgical removal of the lens.
Uveitis in Canines
If your pup's eye is red, cloudy, tearing and he keeps it shut, he may be suffering from uveitis. Your pup's uvea is made up of the iris, ciliary body and choroid, all of which can become inflamed. This inflammation can be caused by many things, including an underlying infection, systemic disease or an injury to the eye. Your vet can diagnose this condition by measuring the pressure in the eye. Treatment involves the use of eyedrops to reduce the inflammation and eliminate any bacterial infections.
Doggy Dry Eye (Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca)
If your pup's eyes aren't producing enough tears, the eyes can become very dry and open to infections or corneal ulceration. Pups who blink a lot, have swollen eyes, changes in the appearance of their corneas or discharge coming from their eyes, may be suffering from dry eye. Causes include a genetic predisposition, underlying illness, bacterial infection or medication. Your vet can evaluate your pup's tear production and prescribe artificial tears to treat this condition or perform surgery to reroute the moisture from a salivary gland to his eyes.
Keratitis in Dogs
Keratitis is the inflammation of the cornea, which makes it look cloudy. Causes include bacteria, fungi, medication and dry eye. Keratitis can lead to corneal ulcers and even vision loss. Symptoms of keratitis include pawing at the eye, tearing, squinting and a protruding third eyelid, according to WebMD. Your vet will determine what type of treatment to use. Possible treatments include prescription eyedrops to control inflammation, surgery to remove the cornea, radiation treatment or cryotherapy.