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Pets with Cataracts



Chances are you know someone who has had cataracts. Did you know that dogs can also get them? Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in pets. Fortunately, like in humans, cataracts in dogs can be corrected surgically. We are fortunate here at Colonial Heights Animal Hospital to have two referral centers within easy driving distance that can perform cataract surgery: the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine in Blacksburg, VA and the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine in Knoxville, TN.

One of our patients recently had surgery to remove his cataracts. “Rowdy” is an 8–year-old Miniature Schnauzer who developed diabetes. This endocrine disease frequently causes cataracts in dogs as well as people. Rowdy’s vision progressed from visual impairment to complete blindness. His personality changed and he was depressed because he could no longer see. We examined his eyes here at Colonial Heights Animal Hospital and then he was referred to the Ophthalmology service at the vet school at UT. Rowdy received a complete eye exam and was found to be a good cataract surgery candidate. He underwent cataract removal and had artificial lenses implanted in his eyes. Rowdy made a quick and complete recovery (after several days of having eye drops put into his eyes) and now can see again!

This type of success is common with today’s cataract removal procedure. His owner’s report that he was watching the traffic on the interstate on his way home from surgery. Today, Rowdy is a happy, visual dog with a new lease on life. Eye exams can detect early formation of cataracts and we here at Colonial Heights Animal Hospital can refer your dog to the vet school s at VA Tech or UT for surgical evaluation and removal. Annual physical examinations and labwork are an important part of detection of cataracts. Schedule your dog’s exam today!