As dogs age and their eyes get cloudy, pooch parents may think it’s due to cataracts. But there are more common and less drastic reasons for the change.
By the time they’re about 7 years old, most dogs start developing lenticular [len-TICK-ū-lahr] sclerosis, or lens hardening. The lens is suspended behind the pupil — or black circle — in the eye where it serves to focus light and images onto the retina. The lens is normally made up of regularly arranged fibers that render it clear. But over time, more fibers are added and they become disarrayed, thus causing the lens to turn cloudy.
As opposed to cataracts, lenticular sclerosis is a normal part of canine aging. It isn’t painful and it doesn’t significantly alter a dog’s vision.
Cataracts are a different story. If you have questions about your dog’s vision, a veterinary exam can set things straight.