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