Cataracts

Clouding of the lens in the eye causing vision loss

Cataracts, clouding of the lens of the eye, can cause a variety of symptoms in pets. Signs may include:

  • Cloudy or opaque appearance in one or both eyes
  • Changes in eye color, such as a gray or bluish tint
  • Decreased vision, leading to bumping into objects or difficulty navigating familiar surroundings.
  • Eye redness, discharge, squinting, or eye pain may indicate the presence of a separate or underlying eye condition

Other health conditions may share similar symptoms with cataracts including nuclear sclerosis, retinal detachment, or glaucoma. Cataracts may also be associated with related health conditions such as Diabetes Mellitus, uveitis, or certain genetic disorders.

If you notice any of these signs or have concerns about your pet's health, consult with your veterinarian. Early detection and intervention can improve the chances of successful management and prevent complications.

When you visit your veterinarian for concerns related to cataracts, the following may occur:

  • Medical history: Discussion of your pet's medical history, including any observed symptoms and potential risk factors.
  • Physical examination: The veterinarian will perform a thorough physical examination of your pet, checking for any abnormalities in the eyes and overall health.
  • Diagnostic testing: Diagnostic procedures such as a complete eye examination or ophthalmic tests may be recommended to evaluate the presence and severity of cataracts. Blood work or urinalysis may also be performed to screen for underlying health conditions that may contribute to the development of cataracts.
  • Treatment options: Treatment options for cataracts can vary depending on the severity and impact on your pet's vision. In some cases, surgery may be considered to remove the cataracts and improve vision.
  • Advanced diagnostic or treatment options:In some cases, referral to a veterinary ophthalmologist may be advised for more advanced diagnostics and treatment.
  • Follow-up care: Your veterinarian will discuss a follow-up plan, which may involve regular monitoring of the cataracts, additional tests, or adjustments to the treatment regimen. Maintain open communication with your veterinary care team throughout the process.

Remember, the decision regarding treatment options should be made in partnership with your veterinary care team, taking into account your pet's individual circumstances and well-being.

It's important to partner with your veterinary care team to decide which treatment option is best for your pet's specific condition and situation.

Unfortunately, there is often no way to prevent cataracts in pets. The exception to this is cataracts developed secondary to Diabetes Mellitus. With well-controlled diabetes, the risk for development of secondary cataracts decreases. Other methods of promoting overall eye health include:

  • Protect from injury: Take precautions to protect your pet's eyes from potential injuries, such as avoiding sharp objects or hazardous environments.
  • Regular veterinary check-ups: Schedule routine visits with your veterinarian to monitor your pet's eye health, follow your veterinarian’s recommendations for screening for underlying health conditions, and address any concerns.

Consult with your veterinarian for personalized advice and guidance on managing and preventing cataracts in your pet.

Please note that the information provided here is not a substitute for professional veterinary advice. If you suspect your pet has cataracts or any other health concerns, consult your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Nationwide® pet insurance claim example

Veterinary bill

$332

You pay only

$33

Cataracts

You save

$299

Example reflects Accident & Illness plan with optional Congenital & Hereditary rider as well as the optional Cruciate rider added after the first year of coverage, with unlimited annual limit for each category with 90% reimbursement after the $250 annual deductible has been met. This plan may not be available in all areas. Pre-existing conditions are not covered. Veterinary bill amount is based on expenses incurred in the first 30 days after initial diagnosis.

Nationwide® pet insurance claim example

Veterinary bill

$332

You pay only

$33

Cataracts

You save

$299

Example reflects Accident & Illness plan with optional Congenital & Hereditary rider as well as the optional Cruciate rider added after the first year of coverage, with unlimited annual limit for each category with 90% reimbursement after the $250 annual deductible has been met. This plan may not be available in all areas. Pre-existing conditions are not covered. Veterinary bill amount is based on expenses incurred in the first 30 days after initial diagnosis.

Nationwide® pet insurance claim example

Veterinary bill

$332

You pay only

$33

Cataracts

You save

$299

Example reflects Accident & Illness plan with optional Congenital & Hereditary rider as well as the optional Cruciate rider added after the first year of coverage, with unlimited annual limit for each category with 90% reimbursement after the $250 annual deductible has been met. This plan may not be available in all areas. Pre-existing conditions are not covered. Veterinary bill amount is based on expenses incurred in the first 30 days after initial diagnosis.