Can Poor Nutrition Affect a Dog's Eyesight?

by Naomi Millburn
Grayish-blue tinged eyes sometimes denote cataracts.

Grayish-blue tinged eyes sometimes denote cataracts.

George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Although it might seem bizarre, an improper diet can adversely affect your pooch's vision. Poor nutrition can trigger cataracts, a condition that is characterized by hazy eyesight. Apart from diet, a handful of other things can sometimes lead to the emergence of cataracts -- and its associated vision issues -- in canines.

About Cataracts

Cataracts occur when an eye's lens loses clarity and becomes dark and foggy. Within the eye, the lens is responsible for carrying out focusing duties. Cataracts arise due to the collection of excessive proteins inside of the eye. The ailment is relatively abundant in canines. The bigger cataracts are, the more bothersome they are to canine vision. Cataracts sometimes bring upon full vision loss. Some cataracts come on gradually, while others appear rather abruptly.

Nutrition and Cataracts

A bad diet can lead to cataracts and eyesight difficulties. Controlled diets often can eliminate cataract in dogs who were previously suffering with them. If your pooch has any nutritional deficiencies, then those could lead to cataracts further down the line. Speak to your veterinarian regarding planning a nutritious and well-rounded food plan for your pet -- and minimize his risk of future eyesight woes.

Puppy Milk Replacer

Delving a little deeper into nutritional issues, cataracts are also prevalent in wee puppies who were not nursed by their mother dogs for whatever reason. If a puppy was brought up on puppy milk replacer rather than on his mother dog's milk, these nutritional cataracts indeed become a possibility. This typically is a result of inadequate arginine in the formula, a type of amino acid.

Causes Outside of Nutrition

Malnourishment can bring upon canine cataracts, but a lot of other potential causes for them also exist. For the majority of pooches out there, they are genetic. Injuries to the eye can also trigger cataracts. Other causes to consider include the natural aging process, diabetes mellitus and radiation therapy. All dogs can potentially develop cataracts. However, certain breeds are particularly prone to them. These breeds are golden retrievers, miniature schnauzers and poodles, among several others.

Symptoms

Make sure your dog visits the veterinarian on a regular basis, not only to check for cataracts but for any and all other possible ailments. Routinely observe your dog's eyes for any abnormalities, whether they look unusually foggy or have a grayish-blue tint to them. Any hints of vision problems also often signify cataracts. Take your pet to the vet immediately if you think that he might be dealing with any eyesight issues.

Photo Credits

  • George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

About the Author

Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.

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