Many of the eye problems in Labrador Retrievers are caused by cataracts.
Cataracts are very common and can be controlled; severe cases will probably require surgery though the chances of recovery are very good.
They have a cloudy appearance and those that occur in young dogsare often caused by deficiencies in the diet.
However, it is more common forcataracts to form because of inherited problems, an injury to the dogs eye or because of age (senile cataracts).
As the name suggests these cataracts effect older dogs and usually effect Labs of over six years of age. This problem usually manifests itself in both eyes.
Though both occur in new born puppies there is a difference between the two.
Congenial cataracts are there when the puppy is born but they are not necessarily inherited from the parents.
They can be caused by the mother picking up an infection in her womb prior to birth and usually effect the puppy in both eyes.
Inherited cataracts though present at birth don’t become apparent immediately. In Labradors inherited cataracts tend to appear from the age of six months.
Cataracts can form if the dog suffers any kind of injury or trauma to its eyes.
Because of the nature of their formation these cataracts usually only effect one eye.
These cause eye problems in Labrador Retrievers from an early age. They can be caused by a number of problems including diabetes and malnutrition.
Early onset cataracts can also be inherited.
In many cases vets recommend not removing the cataracts as the dogs quality of life can be maintained despite the condition. Anti-oxidents such as vitamin C can be used to slow and control the development ofcataracts.
However, as veterinary techniques evolve it is becoming more common for veterinary ophalmologist’s to operate and surgically remove the lens though the vet will first satisfy himself that the dog is strong and healthy enough to withstand the surgery.