Nuclear Sclerosis in Senior Dogs
Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff

Senior Eyes - Nuclear Sclerosis
Although cataracts are a common problem affecting the eyes of older dogs, your dog’s eye cloudiness
Senior Eyes - Nuclear Sclerosis
may mean a common aging condition, and not cataracts, is happening to your dog’s eyes. This common condition is known as nuclear sclerosis.

Nuclear sclerosis is a normal change that occurs in the lenses of older dogs. Nuclear sclerosis appears as a slight graying of the lens. It usually occurs in both eyes at the same time and occurs in most dogs over six years of age. The lens becomes harder and dense, which makes the light going to the lens appear to be scattered and produces the classic haze of nuclear sclerosis. Because the condition is part of the normal aging process, is not painful, usually does not significantly affect the vision of the dog, and there is no treatment, generally the veterinarian will simply monitor the condition.

Did You Know?
Cataracts are one of the most common problems affecting the eyes of older dogs. Signs and symptoms of this disease include: Cloudy appearance to eyes, pet bumping into objects, or not retrieving objects. The most common metabolic disorder resulting in cataract formation is diabetes mellitus.

If you suspect your dog is developing cataracts, contact your veterinarian. Be sure to work closely with a veterinary ophthalmologist to take the best and most effective course of treatment for your dog. Remember, eye exams should always be a part of the physical exam in older dogs.

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