Cataracts

Cataracts in elderly pets can lead to blindness and may cause your pet to have to learn to navigate the world without sight, or with limited sight. Cataracts (cloudiness of the eyes) may be the result of unregulated diabetes, trauma or some other cause. Elderly pets with cataracts need special care and a visit with an veterinary eye specialist is often warranted.

Elderly pets with cataracts require careful monitoring as pets with cataracts are prone to other issues, such as glaucoma or corneal ulcers. Special drops may be administered to manage cataracts, but the only “cure” is often surgery, which may not often be recommended for elderly pets.

The good news is, even elderly pets are often very resilient and learn rather quickly how to navigate their world with limited vision. You may need to make some special accommodations for an elderly pet that cannot see. For instance, you may find that you need to guide or carry a pet up and down stairs, or put gates at the top or bottom of a staircase when the pet cannot be supervised.

Elderly pets with cataracts also prefer to be walked on a leash, rather than roam freely as they may have once preferred. Even once they learn to navigate their home, outdoors can be tricky for even the most agile elderly pet. Keeping a pet on a leash when they have limited or no visibility can make the difference between a scared pet or a confident pet. Knowing that you are guiding them can provide a great deal of comfort to an unsure pet.

Elderly pets with cataracts often need a variety of eye drops, administered at various intervals throughout the day. It is very important that you make special accommodations to administer the required drops to avoid complications. Visits to the eye specialist and eye drop medication can be expensive. Pet insurance can help alleviate some of the costs if it was purchased prior to the pet developing cataracts.

Should you need help paying for your pet’s medical treatment and care, we are not accepting applications at this time, but you may contact The Pet Fund at 916-443-6007 to inquire about funding for non basic, non emergency care. If you qualify, payment would be made directly to your veterinarian.

We highly recommend pet insurance for parents of elderly pets. Visit our pet insurance facts page for more information about pet insurance and other products that have helped our elderly pets live longer, better lives.