Small Mammal Cataracts

Small Mammal Cataracts are a common eye condition in small mammals, such as cats, dogs, and rabbits. A cataract is the clouding of the lens of the eye, which can lead to blurred vision or blindness. Cataracts can be caused by age, disease, injury, or genetics. In small mammals, cataracts are most commonly caused by genetics or age-related changes.

Age-related cataracts in small mammals usually start to appear after the age of 8 years old. The lens becomes cloudy and vision starts to diminish. Cataracts can also occur due to disease, such as diabetes or glaucoma, or from an injury. Infection can also cause cataracts in small mammals, but this is rare.

When cataracts are suspected in a small mammal, it’s important to have an ophthalmologist (animal eye doctor) examine the animal. The veterinarian might recommend surgery if the cataract is causing vision problems. Surgery can be successful in some cases and can improve or even restore vision. After surgery, it’s important to follow up with regular appointments to monitor for any recurrence of cataracts .

If your small mammal has cataracts, it’s important to keep an eye on their vision and make sure to take them for regular check-ups at the vet. Surgery can be a successful way of treating cataracts in some cases, so it’s important to discuss this with your veterinarian if you think your pet can be helped.

Symptoms of Small Mammal Cataracts

Cataracts in small mammals can cause a number of symptoms, including:

  • Blurred or hazy vision
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Eye irritation or redness
  • Cloudy eyes, especially in bright lights
  • Poor night vision
  • Squinting
  • Cloudy lens on eye exam

If you notice any of these symptoms in your small mammal, make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible to have them examined. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent or slow the progression of cataracts.

Diagnosing Small Mammal Cataracts

Your veterinarian will perform an eye exam to diagnose cataracts in your small mammal. The vet will also use special equipment to look for signs of cataracts, such as a slit lamp or ophthalmoscope. If the veterinarian suspects that your pet has cataracts, they might recommend additional testing to confirm the diagnosis and determine the severity of the condition.

Stages of Small Mammal Cataracts

Cataracts in small mammals can be split into four stages, depending on the severity of the condition. The stages are:

Stage 1

Small, non-progressive cataracts

Stage 2

Moderately sized cataracts that are beginning to cause vision problems

Stage 3

Large, progressive cataracts with significant vision impairment

Stage 4

Severe cataracts that cause total or almost total vision loss

Treating Small Mammal Cataracts

Treating cataracts in small mammals depends on the stage and progression of the condition. In some cases, medications or dietary supplements can be recommended to slow the progression of cataracts. In more severe cases, surgery will be required to remove the cloudy lens and restore vision. Your veterinarian will discuss all of your options with you and help you decide which treatment is best for your pet.

Preventing Small Mammal Cataracts

The best way to prevent cataracts in small mammals is to practice good eye care. This includes regular eye exams by a veterinarian, as well as avoiding any injury or trauma to the eyes. In addition, feeding your pet a balanced diet and making sure they get enough exercise can help keep their eyes healthy.