Ask a Dog Vet and Get Answers to Your Dog Health Questions
Hello! I am Dr. Kline and I am a small animal veterinarian. I hope I can help you with Shorty today. How long have you noticed Shorty having trouble seeing? Is it worse at night in the dark or is there no difference with light and dark? Is the brown part of his eye turning blue or is it blue in the center which is called the pupil?
There are many disease processes that can cause the pupil (the center portion of the eye) to become a blue color instead of a dark black color.
The first disease that is common in dogs around 6 to 7 years of age is Nuclear Sclerosis. This condition is a normal change to the lenses of the eyes that typically occurs in dogs over the age of six. It usually occurs in both eyes at the same and it is non-painful. Nuclear Sclerosis comes on gradually and causes a blue/gray color of the pupil. Since it comes on gradually it gives the dog time to adapt to the mild vision changes that can occur. Usually, the dogs who have this have very little vision issues.
The second disease is Cataracts which form a blue cloud of varying degrees inside the capsule that holds the lens of the eye. Progression of cataracts can vary from slow onset to quick onset with sudden blindness. Cataracts do cause blindness.
Cataracts in dogs can be inherited or caused by diabetes, toxicity from drugs, another underlying eye disease, trauma to the eye, nutritional deficiencies in puppies, and as part of the aging process. A board certified Ophthalmologist can surgically remove the cataracts and replace the lens.
The third disease is Glaucoma. Glaucoma is a disease process that causes increased pressure within your dog’s eye. The fluid produced inside the eye isn’t draining properly, which causes a buildup of painful pressure within the eye. If the fluid build up and pressure are left untreated, they will cause the eye to enlarge and become misshapen, and the eventual result will be irreversible blindness. Glaucoma is extremely painful if this is what is causing the cloudiness in the eye, Shorty needs to be examined immediately and placed on medication to get the pressure down in the eye.
The fourth and fifth disease processes that come to mind that can cause a blue pupil include Corneal Dystrophy (which is genetic) and Anterior Uveitis. These are not as common but do occur. I definitely would highly recommend getting Shorty examined by a veterinarian to make sure it isn't something major going on. They may want to do some bloodwork to rule out metabolic diseases as the cause of cataracts if they are seeing cataracts and they will do a full eye exam looking for cataracts, check intraocular pressures to rule out Glaucoma. It is is the Iris that is changing color (the brown part of the eye) there are some types of cancers that can cause that and some benign disease processes that can cause it. Once again I would recommend an examine on Shorty.
Do you have any other questions? Thank you again for asking your question. I hope Shorty starts feeling better!
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