When a dog becomes old, it faces a lot of health problems and sclerosis is regarded as one of the banes. Sclerosis, also called Lenticular or Nuclear sclerosis is common among middle-aged dogs and canine senior citizens. A bluish haze develops in the lens of the dogs that are usually between 6-8 years old. This is an ophthalmic disease that is associated with the aging of dogs and is often found in mid-aged to old-age German Shepherds. The cloudiness observed in the eyes of the pupil of the dog getting discolored makes it clear that it is suffering from lenticular or nuclear sclerosis. The arteries get hardened and leading to the obstruction of proper blood flow through the vascular system. The poor dissemination of blood flow happens when the blood vessels lose their elasticity.
Symptoms of Sclerosis
The discoloration of the eyes of an aging dog shows the first sign of this disease. The pupil from pitch-black turns grayish or blue in color. This happens because the small blood vessels of the lenses get thick-walled, causing a disruption in the smooth flow of blood.
How does Sclerosis happen?
With age, physical degeneration starts and the lens of the dogs also gets sturdy. Lens fibers are produced throughout a lifespan but the size of the lens does not increase with age. The new fibers form layers and the retina of the dog’s eyes decrease in size for making a place for the new layers. The nucleus of the eye with the composition of the oldest layers gets hard.
Is Sclerosis happens only in GSD?
No. lenticular or nuclear sclerosis or simply sclerosis can be found in all dogs – especially when they get old. German Shepherd Dogs are no exception. Sclerosis is actually the hardening of the lenses
Is it a threat to visual impairment?
Studies have shown that sclerosis which is commonly found in old dogs, does not cause any pain. In most cases, sclerosis damages the vision but the dog does not lose vision totally unless the dog’s eyes are not affected by any other degenerative condition such as retinal problems or glaucoma. Not all pets who are detected with sclerosis suffer from sight problems until they have become very old. However, it is desired that pet owners should take good care of their dogs.
How to know if is it sclerosis or cataract?
A middle-aged dog may suffer from sclerosis, but it does not necessarily mean that it is suffering from cataracts. Though cataracts and sclerosis are related, they do not share a causal relationship. Some dogs like the well-built German Shepherds, who have been detected with sclerosis when they are middle-aged do suffer from senile cataracts when they become very old. A cataract is a medical condition where the ability of light penetration to the retina gets reduced, affecting vision. It is good to take adequate precautions when you are able to diagnose that your dog is inflicted with sclerosis. It is very necessary to bank only on experienced and expert veterinarians who use some special equipment and minute inspection to examine the condition of the dog’s eye to make the right diagnosis.
Treatment of Sclerosis
Though sclerosis is one of the most common problems that dogs are plagued with during old age, there are no two ways about changing the course of things apart from proper home care. Theoretically, no determined course of action has been prescribed by the doctors since sclerosis does not often lead to graver consequences like visual impairment. A dog is likely to face visual problems with age, but if a dog is suffering from sclerosis, the disease does not tend to destroy the lens of the dog. However, for vision enhancement of your GSD or any dog, your vet may suggest you administer eye drops and vitamins.