As your Pug ages, you’ll start noticing things you never saw as a puppy. I still remember the day when I woke up and Mindy’s eyes turned cloudy overnight. It got me wondering what are cataracts in Pugs what causes it, this is what I found online.
What Are Canine Cataracts?
It is a disease that clouds the lens of the eye. The cloudiness in the crystalline lens of the eye will vary from complete to partial opacity.
While NOT fatal, if left untreated, it can eventually lead to vision loss.
As a pet owner, we all want to take care of our dog’s eyes. After all, they are the windows to the soul and we don’t want our Pug to go blind.
Brachycephalic dogs like the Pug are prone to eye problems, eyes that pop out and blindness.
As a pet owner, you need to learn how to protect their eyes, especially, as your Pug ages. I’ll share everything I learned about canine cataracts to help you care for your four-legged friend.
What Causes Cataracts In Dogs?
The most common cause of cataracts in dogs is through genetics. However, there are a number of other factors, conditions, and illnesses that can cause this issue.
Here is a list of common causes in cataracts in dogs:
- Cancer therapy treatments
- Trauma or eye injuries
- Eye inflammation
- Birth Defects
- Eye Infections
- Nutritional deficiencies or disorders
- Exposure to toxic substances
It’s not common for puppies to acquire this condition. However, some puppies that don’t receive the proper nutrition can suffer from nutritional cataracts.
These most likely improve as the puppies mature. Be sure to check out the best puppy food for Pugs, to ensure your pup gets the proper nutrients they need.
Signs to Look for In Oncoming Cataracts
As a Pug parent, make it a point to look into your pooch’s beautiful eyes. If you start noticing a bluish-gray opaque and cloudy tint, this is what a cataract looks like.
However, it’s so easy to confuse it with the normal age-related changes that occur, which is known as nuclear sclerosis.
The best thing you can do is take your dog to the veterinarian so they can distinguish what your pup has.
After all, the two eye conditions are extremely similar. Read on to find out the differences between nuclear sclerosis and cataracts.
Nuclear Sclerosis VS Cataracts
As you can see, both of these conditions are similar in the way they cause cloudiness in your Pug’s eyes. So let’s take a closer look at these two conditions.
The cloudiness starts developing in the lens of the eye. This is the part of the eye that takes the outside light and transmits it to the retina.
This condition is the normal aging process and there is no treatment option.
The cloudiness in your Pugs eyes will show up as opaque areas on your Pug’s lenses, and can eventually lead to total vision loss.
Total vision loss occurs when the opaque cataract covers the entire lens.
Cataracts In Dogs
Cataracts in dogs cause a clouding of the lenses, similar to nuclear sclerosis. This condition occurs in both cats and dogs.
Many dog lovers confuse nuclear sclerosis to cataracts because they look similar.
The difference is that cataracts in dogs are most commonly caused by genetic inheritance or diabetes.
However, it can also be caused by trauma to the eye, the aging process, other underlying eye conditions, and nutritional deficiencies in puppies.
This is why it’s so important to feed your Pug puppy the right food. I’ve put together some of the best puppy food for Pugs, that will ensure they get all the nutrients they require.
Unlike nuclear sclerosis, if not treated, cataracts can eventually lead to blindness or erosion of vision. The dog breeds that are more susceptible to inherited cataracts are:
- Golden Retrievers
- Boston Terriers
- Siberian Husky
- Labrador Retrievers
- Bichon Frise
- Cocker Spaniels
- West Highly White Terrier
These are just a few of the dog breeds that are more susceptible to this condition and the condition can occur in they are puppies or as they age.
So as a pet parent, how do you tell the difference between the two?
What Do Cataracts In Pugs Look Like?
This condition is so similar to nuclear sclerosis, so I thought I would share what cataracts in Pugs look like. This will give you a better idea of what to expect.
As you can see, the cataracts are pretty bad. The cloudiness has almost taken over the complete eye.
How to Treat Dog Cataracts?
Fortunately, cataracts are not fatal in dogs or cats. Most dogs will learn how to live with the condition.
Surgery is the only way to remove cataracts in Pugs. You can expect to pay anywhere from $2,400 to $4,000 per eye depending on where you get the surgery.
This estimate includes the preliminary surgery, EGR and ultrasound, anesthesia, and operating room as well as the postoperative checkups.
As modern medicine improves, pet owners have more cost-effective treatments and options to help care for their pooch. Ask your veterinarian if there are any oral supplements you can give your pooch that act as antioxidants to help reduce the inflammation in the eyes that are caused by cataracts.
Do Cataract Eye Drops For Dogs Work?
If you’ve Googled “treatment for cataracts in Dogs,” you’ve most likely seen some Can-C Eye Drops that promise to safely reverse cataracts in canines.
I NEVER used those for Mindy, but a friend of mine used these eye drops which seemed like a viable and effective treatment option for Pugs with cataracts.
Those eye drops have been proven to help treat animal cataracts and provide the nutrients needed to repair their eye.
The best thing you can do is get regular eye exams so your veterinarian can catch the symptoms early and give Fido the appropriate treatment as early as possible.
Natural Home Remedies For Treating Cataracts In Pugs
If you’re the type of pet owner who would rather try some natural solutions first before taking your pet to the vet or buying eye drops, this video will walk you through on how to treat your Pug’s eye cataracts.
Dr. Jones will show you everything you need to know about what cataracts in dogs is, what causes it, and how to treat it. I’ve written down some notes that come directly from the video.
If you notice any changes to your dog’s eyes, the first step is to get an exam, especially, if you see a sudden onset of changes.
Completely Blind: If cataracts have caused your dog to go completely blind, there are no natural home remedies. The only thing you can do is get surgery for your pooch.
Dealing With Senile Cataracts: Find a natural complete dog supplement, one that includes the antioxidants such as zinc, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and etc.
These types of supplements will help decrease some of the oxidated stress on that eye as well as the other organs that are affected by natural wear and tear from aging.
Some nutrients such as this one can help slow down the aging process of that lens which may help decrease the rate of the cataract forming.
Fish Oil: Studies have shown that people who consume fish at more than three times per week, lowered their chances of cataract formation by over 10 percent.
Most likely, it was the fish oil that was beneficial. Fish oil can be beneficial for dogs and you should give your pup a fish oil supplement.
Ocu-Glo RX: This is a veterinarian eye supplement, that includes 12 different antioxidants and they are as follows:
- Lutein Extract
- Vitamin C
- Green Tea Extract
- Vitamin E
- Alpha Lipoic Acid
- Vitamin B3
- Vitamin B5
- Vitamin B9
- Vitamin B7
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin B1
All these antioxidants are believed to be extremely beneficial for canine eye health. You can pick up a bottle or Ocu-Glo RX here.
Don’t expect it to mature the signs of a cataract. However, it can help delay the cataract process and it is beneficial for your Pug’s overall eye health care.
This is a natural herb that can be used to treat dogs with cataracts. Make sure you’re using the glyercin based, not the alcohol based one.
Chinese Remedy Ju Hua
It contains a part of the chrysanthemum plant in it. It is one of the remedies that is used in China to help treat cataracts.
Watch the video above for step by step instructions on how to properly implement the following home remedies for Pug cataracts.
How to Prevent The Cloudiness In Your Dog’s Eyes
Unfortunately, there is NOT a lot you can do to prevent nuclear sclerosis in your Pug, as it’s a common aging process and this is known as senile cataracts.
Veterinarian Dr. Belfield has treated over several dogs with cataracts. He recommends giving your dog a good diet and a supplementation program can help prevent cataracts.
The best thing you can do to protect your Pugs eyes and keeping them healthier longer is to clean them on a regular basis, prevent trauma, provide adequate nutrition, and implement the right supplements.
I’ve put together a list of some of the foods that Pugs love eating and are actually good for them, so be sure to check it out.
You also want to ensure they receive regular eye exams and talk to your doctor to find out what you can to do help protect your Pugs eyes.
Final Word On The Pug Cataracts
Unfortunately, as a Pug parent, it’s NEVER a good thing to see your pooch aging and going through these changes.
However, like us as your dog ages, their bodies will go through different changes.
References and Further Reading
Canine Health Foundation – Canine Eye Health
Whole Dog Journal – Older Dogs and The Onset of Cataracts
Dubois VD, N-Acetylcarnosine (NAC) drops for Age-Related Cataract