Lenticular Sclerosis in Dogs

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Key takeaways

Lenticular sclerosis in dogs is a normal part of the aging process in which the lens of the eye (the structure that focuses light onto the retina) hardens and thickens. This causes a bluish, cloudy appearance to the lens. 

  • Lenticular sclerosis is often mistaken for cataracts, but unlike cataracts, does not significantly impair vision
  • Symptoms are an equal, bilateral hazy appearance to the pupil, without apparent vision changes
  • Lenticular sclerosis is caused by the gradual increase in the density of the lens fibers, which occurs with age
  • Diagnosis requires a complete ophthalmic exam, in particular to differentiate it from cataracts
  • There is no treatment necessary, as it is a harmless condition
  • Prognosis is excellent; in advanced cases depth perception and near vision may be less accurate, especially in dim lighting
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A closer look: Lenticular Sclerosis in Dogs


The lens is a part of the eye structure which sits behind the pupil and is responsible for focusing vision. The lens is flexible and its curvature is adjusted to focus the light coming into the eye. This flexibility allows for vision to adapt to see close up and far away. Over time, the lens naturally becomes less flexible and malleable which leads to lenticular sclerosis.

Although the appearance of cloudiness in dogs’ eyes may be alarming, there is no need for concern if the cause is lenticular sclerosis. It is important to pursue veterinary care to rule out other causes of cloudiness of the eye which do cause blindness and other complications. If there seems to be a significant change in vision, a thorough eye exam is warranted.

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Risk factors


Though no significant loss of vision is associated with lenticular sclerosis, it is a progressive condition. In later stages depth perception and near vision decrease, especially in dim lighting.

Lenticular sclerosis is a normal aging change, usually seen in dogs 7 years of age or older.

Possible causes


Lenticular sclerosis develops as the lens fibers in the eye gradually harden and become denser with age. Sun exposure may accelerate this process.

Main symptoms


Testing and diagnosis


The first step in diagnosis of lenticular sclerosis is a complete ophthalmic exam. This involves dilating the pupil for better visualization of the lens.

Steps to Recovery


No treatment is necessary, though regular eye exams are recommended to monitor for other changes, such as cataracts.

Lenticular sclerosis is progressive, but does not impair vision to any significant degree. The prognosis for lenticular sclerosis is excellent.

Prevention


Lenticular sclerosis is a condition caused by aging, and cannot be prevented. Limiting sun exposure may slow down its progression.

Is Lenticular Sclerosis in Dogs common?


Lenticular sclerosis is very common in dogs. Almost all dogs will develop some degree of lenticular sclerosis as they age.

Typical Treatment


Benign neglect

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