Cataracts are a fairly common ailment that affects all breeds of dogs.
The cockapoo has a large chance of developing cataracts in their lifetime, due to the fact that both the poodle breed and cocker spaniel breed are high risk breeds to develop cataracts. Puppies can begin to show signs of having cataracts from birth, but they can also develop between the age of 1 to 3 years old, or with aging, as in six to eight years and up. A dog that has diabetes will also have more of a chance of developing cataracts, or if your dog has had an eye injury during their lifetime. If your dog is taken to the veterinarian for eye cloudiness, he will undergo a series of blood tests and may have eye tests to determine the best course of action to take.
The eye that has a cataract will begin to cloud over and turns a bluish-white color. The cataract can be very small and not obscure much of your cockapoo’s vision, or can fully cover the pupil, making your dogs vision very cloudy and hard to see in darkened areas. Good news though; with monitoring and treatment, cataracts can be removed in a relatively simple surgery done by a ophthalmic specialist veterinarian.
When exploring the cataract issue, we need to also address something called nuclear sclerosis. This is a different eye issue that looks to the owner like it could be cataracts and occurs with aging mostly, in all dogs. This is a normal thickening of the surface of the eye and will look gray and cloudy. In most cases, this will not affect the vision much or be uncomfortable to your cockapoo, but anytime you notice discoloring of the dogs eye, you should take him to the veterinarian to be checked out. Only a trained professional can give you a true diagnosis and recommend the needed treatment options.
In some cases of cataracts, your vet may prescribe an ointment or drop to keep the eye moist, due to the fact that the eye can sometimes be dried out with age or sickness. This can only be recommended by your veterinarian and most vets have not found much use in natural supplements for eye health. There are a few herbal supplements out there that claim to reverse or greatly decrease the symptoms of cataracts. We here at cockapoocrazy.com, cannot recommend or endorse any of these supplements because we have no first-hand knowledge of their effectiveness, and do not want to steer our readers wrong. If you find one that works, please let your fellow readers know.
The final, and most common and effective form of treatment for cataracts is surgery. You will be referred to a veterinarian ophthalmologist, who will remove the lens of your cockapoo’s eye and replace it with a plastic or acrylic lens. This will be done while your dog is under anesthesia and will not be painful to him during surgery. The surgery done on dogs to remove cataracts are the same as in humans. They have a high success rate and can restore your cockapoo’s vision almost entirely. There will be drops to put in the dogs eye several times a day for a while after surgery and he will have to wear a head cone, commonly known as an Elizabethan collar.
This can be a very expensive surgery and some owners are not able to afford it. In many cases, the dog may not have to have the surgery, and the vet may give you the choice. In this case, make sure your cockapoo has regular checkups to make sure there is no worsening of the eye, and keep your options open. If it is given to you as a choice, don’t feel that you are necessarily doing a disservice to your cockapoo if you decide not to get the surgery for him. Most dogs can live a fairly full and happy life, even with a cataract obscuring their vision. But if you notice eye pain or worsening symptoms, visit your vet again and further consult on what can be done. In some cases, cataracts can mature to a high state and could lead to glaucoma. This would then need to be treated.
Remember as the pet parent, only you and your vet can make the decision for you pet’s health. You need to be confident in the choice you make and just keep on top of your dog’s eye health. There are a few eye health vitamins and vitamins that include supplements for your dog’s whole body, including his eyes, that you can give throughout your dog’s life that may help to prevent eye issues later in life. If you know that your cockapoo’s parents have had eye health issues, you may want to look into trying vitamins or supplements like these.