The eyes have been called “a window to the soul”. You know when your cat is giving you the look by the way he holds his head and seems to glare. You dog can melt your heart with her adoring big brown eyes that assure you she loves you from the tip of her wet nose to the end of her wagging tail.
Our companions find many ways to communicate with us without words – and their eyes can be fascinating and important communication tool for them. Eye health is important for more than just vision but vision is of course our primary concern.
The following are the most common eye problems veterinarians see.
Any time you suspect a vision problem due to a change in behavior, or you notice your companion squinting or showing signs of eye discomfort, it is important to seek veterinary advice promptly.
Cataracts A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens. The lens is made up of mostly water and protein. A cataract is formed when protein begins to clump together in an abnormal way and clouds a small area of the lens.
Cataracts often require surgery, though the timing of the surgery may or may not be urgent. When a younger dog develops cataracts it is typically due to congenital issues and the cataracts often progress more rapidly requiring surgery sooner rather than later. This is also true for cataracts caused by diabetes.
For an older animal, however, you may be able to slow the progression enough to delay or even eliminate the need for surgery, depending on the extent of vision impairment at the time of diagnosis and the age of the animal.
Prevention and treatment both begin with the basics – a very high quality diet supplemented with additional vitamins and minerals.
Diet is the foundation of good health and this is the most important thing you can do for your companion. Many chronic degenerative diseases such as cataracts develop over time as a result of inadequate nutrition and exposure to toxins in the food and environment.
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