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Ask Dr. Kara Your Own Question
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 14861
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Smokey blue eyes. age 14. no, no eating well. over weight to

Customer Question

smokey blue eyes. age 14.
JA: Is the dog in any pain? Is it behaving differently?
Customer: no
JA: Have there been any changes in the dog's appearance or diet?
Customer: no eating well.
JA: Is there anything else you think the vet should know?
Customer: over weight to be honest. she is a staffie. had one a few years ago went blind.
Submitted: 26 days ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 26 days ago.

Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 26 days ago.

The reflection that you see when a light is shone into your pup's eye is a reflection of light back from the retina and the tapetum. These are normal parts of the back of the eye that reflect light and send information from the eye to the brain. In light, red or white colored dogs there tends to be less pigment in the eye too, and so they will look red because of the blood vessels in the eye. In darker colored dogs the reflection may look green.

What you are describing, a gray color instead of the normal shine back, could be a cataract.

A cataract is a lens that has abnormal conformation such that rather then light going through the lens and being focused on the retina so that information can be sent to the brain, it reflects back the light, thus the cloudy gray appearance.

Cataracts can be due to diabetes, trauma, old age or they can be inherited (unlikely if she is older). As long as some light is getting through she can see shadows enough and they may not affect her getting around, and if only one is affected she may be relying on her "good" eye. See the link below for a picture of a dog with a cataract:

http://www.aecwilton.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/BartholomewDaisy-300x225.jpg

The other possibility is an old age change whereby the lens looks blue or gray in color simply because it gets thicker with age. These dogs, although their lens looks grayish, have a normal retinal shine when light goes into the eye and can see just fine. Usually both eyes will look similar with nuclear sclerosis. See this picture of a dog with nuclear sclerosis:

http://petsinthecitymagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/nuclear-sclerosis-702x336.jpg

Notice with nuclear sclerosis that although there is a slight blue or gray tinge to the lens it isn't foggy and light is penetrating the eye.

I highly recommend that she see her veterinarian for an examination. They can differentiate between a cataract and nuclear sclerosis. If this is a cataract they can run some tests to try and determine why it formed or refer you to a veterinary ophthalmologist to perform more tests.

Another possibility, seen less commonly, that can occur in dogs with hypertension (high blood pressure) is bleeding into the eye and a detached retina. That would need immediate treatment to save her vision.

Best of luck with her, please let me know if you have any further questions.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 24 days ago.
Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?
Dr. Kara
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 23 days ago.

Hello, I wanted to check in and see if you had any further questions after reading my response. If you do please feel free to respond with them. If not I would appreciate an update on your pup, thank you, ***** *****