Cataracts: Any opacity of the lens is called a cataract. There are many causes for cataracts, some of which are inherited. If the cataracts are in both eyes and they mature the animal may become blind. Surgery is available in the cases where the cataract grows and causes vision loss.

The posterior, polar, subcapsular cataract (PPS) is better known as the star cataract. It is usually in both eyes and becomes apparent between 6 to 18 months of age. Some dogs may develop this problem as late as 6 to 7 years of age, or I some cases as early as 6 to 8 weeks. This cataract may be slowly progressive, but rarely interferes with vision. It is advised not to breed from affected animals as matings with affected dogs have produced litters of blind pups.

The condition is inherited, probably as a dominant trait with incomplete penetrance.

We advise not to breed with affected dogs.

Breeds seen at Animal Eye Care with Star cataracts

1. Golden Retrievers
2. Labradors
3. Rottweilers

Humans with this type of cataract report considerable vision problems. It is difficult to watch television or to drive a car with this type of cataract. Most dogs with this cataract are clinically normal. In some cases the star cataract can grow, and vision can be affected. In such a case cataract surgery is an option.