Blindness and dogs and diabetes
Unfortunately cataracts is one of the biggest problems that dogs with diabetes face. It happens to over 75% of dogs with diabetes, and usually occurs within 1 year of diagnosis. I've heard from many of you telling me the cataracts developed overnight! With Ella, I began noticing her eyes getting cloudy about a year after her diagnosis. The lens of a dogs eye should be clear. A healthy dog is able to see images clearly. There is a tiny capsular bag that the lens sits in, and the bag is filled with water and proteins. With a diabetic dog, those proteins begin to clump together over the lens. That's that white cloud sitting over the lens of the dogs eye, causing it to see fuzzy images.
I've heard it said that the blindness bothers the owners more than the dogs. Dogs have extraordinary senses of hearing and smell and can rely on those senses more once their eyesight begins to fade. I have noticed that Ella doesn't play as much with her other friends like she used to, she's not running around quite as much and is more timid when I take her on her walks. Many dog owners decide to have Canine Cataract Surgery where the Dr. cuts into that little bag, the cataract is removed and the lens replaced with an artificial lens. It can be costly, though. If you are considering going with the surgery, my vet thought it could be a good idea to check into local veterinary schools to see if they offer the procedure. It can help lower the cost!