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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
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Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 16+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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my dogs eyes turned completely grey overnight

Customer Question

We took him to our regular vet who was no help whatsoever. He told me it was cateracts, he was blind and there was probably nothing I could do. I then took him to an optimoligist for dogs..he stated the grey in his eyes was actually "fat". and additional blood work would be needed to determine prognosis. My dog is 9 years old...my question...Why would this occur suddenly? What causes this and how common is this in canines?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 6 years ago.
Hi Madeana,

Cloudiness of the eyes can be caused by glaucoma or Anterior Uveitis or a corneal ulcer or cataracts. Symptoms of Glaucoma include conjucntivits (red eye), discharge from the eye, light sensativity, possible swollen eye. As the condition worsens and pressure increases, the pupil can dilate and the cornea becomes cloudy. It is important to diagnose this early to save the dog’s sight in the eye. Depending upon the underlying cause for the Glaucoma, the other eye could also be at danger as well. Treatment depends upon identifying the underlying cause for the increased pressure in the eye. You can read more about this here;
http://www.petplace.com/dogs/glaucoma-in-dogs/page1.aspx

Symptoms of Anterior Uveitis are similar and include redness, tearing, squinting in bright light, small or uneven pupil, cloudy appearance to the eye and a unevenly colored iris. Treatment for this condition may be topical or oral medication depending on the cause. You can read more about this here:
http://www.petplace.com/dogs/anterior-uveitis-in-dogs/page1.aspx

A corneal ulcer may also be to blame and may be caused by injury, eyelashes scratching the eye and has similar symptoms to those of glaucoma and anterior uveitis. The third eyelid frequently covers the eye so sometimes the eye is not able to be seen. You can read about this here:
http://www.petplace.com/dogs/corneal-ulceration-in-dogs/page1.aspx

You can read up on Cataracts here:
http://www.upei.ca/cidd/Diseases/ocular%20disorders/cataracts.htm
http://www.petplace.com/dogs/cataracts-in-dogs/page1.aspx

The following site goes over reasons for cloudiness of the eye.
http://www.petplace.com/dogs/cloudy-eye-in-dogs/page1.aspx

As you have seen, this could be an emergency situation depending on the severity of the condition. However, some cloudiness as a dog ages is normal and called nuclear sclerosis.

Cataracts can be congenital or hereditary and is commonly seen in your breed. The cost of surgery to correct cataracts is going to vary based on the surgeon and state involved. Where I live in NC, cateract removal is $1,000- $1,300 for one eyed and for both is an additional $500-700. Your best bet would be to locate a surgeon where you live. The following site may help you locate a surgeon:
http://www.vetlocator.com/

Their office should be able to give you an estimate for the surgery. Be sure to find out what exactly is included in the estimate such as pretesting, and follow up visits.

The following site has information on what you can expect.
http://www.animaleyecare.net/diseases/cataract.htm

I hope this information is helpful to you.

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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler
Dog Behaviorist/Trainer/Breeder/Health
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Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 16+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist