Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. The only treatment for cataract is surgery. Your dog should be able to adopt to impaired vision. It should not affect his quality of life.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

What happens if cataracts are left untreated? Untreated cataracts will eventually block light from entering the eye and result in a loss of vision. Worldwide, they are the leading cause of blindness.
There are no known remedies that can reverse the forming of a cataract — surgery is the only option for cataracts once they have formed. Cataracts are removed with a surgical procedure under general anesthesia. The lens is removed, and the veterinarian replaces it with a lens made from plastic or acrylic.
Currently, there are no permanent nonsurgical treatment options for cataracts. Surgery is the only way to entirely remove cataracts from your eye.
Cataracts are cloudiness in a dog`s eyes that can cause blurred vision and, eventually, blindness. Cataract surgery can help restore your dog`s vision. This surgery costs $2,700 to $4,000 for dogs. * Multiple factors can impact the total cost, particularly how severely your dog`s eyes are affected.
The long and short of it is this: there are absolutely no benefits to delaying cataract surgery, but postponing the procedure carries plenty of risks. As such, we always advise our clients to deal with cataracts in a prompt manner – before they start to become really problematic.
Patients who wait more than 6 months for cataract surgery may experience negative outcomes during the wait period, including vision loss, a reduced quality of life and an increased rate of falls.
Can dogs live comfortably with cataracts? No. Cataracts left untreated can cause deep inflammation within the eye and lead to glaucoma. These conditions are very painful.
The most common cause of cataracts in the dog is inherited disease. Other causes include injuries to the eye or diseases such as diabetes mellitus (“sugar diabetes”). Some cataracts appear to occur spontaneously and are age related.
Reduce glare by positioning lights directly behind you, pointed on the task (such as on the book you`re reading). Use magnifying lenses to read or work. Place contrasting colors — such as a dark blanket on a light chair — around your home to help you see better.
Vitamin B2 and vitamin B3 are needed to protect glutathione, an important antioxidant in the eye. Vitamin B2 deficiency has been linked to cataracts.
If needed, your vet may prescribe a medicated eye drop (typically a topical anti-inflammatory or a steroid) to reduce inflammation of the eye, though surgery to remove the cataracts is usually considered the most effective treatment for cataracts in dogs.
If cataract surgery is not done, your dog might do just fine. Many times cataracts are small and will not hamper your dog`s vision. Cataract surgery is not a lifesaving surgery. It is more a choice you must make if your vet indicates blindness will result.
If a cataract makes it difficult for you to carry out your normal activities, your doctor may suggest cataract surgery. When a cataract interferes with the treatment of another eye problem, cataract surgery may be recommended.
It`s possible for people to live with cataracts for a very long time without needing any treatment other than prescription eyeglasses. However, it can seriously affect many daily tasks and compromise a person`s enjoyment of life.
Cataracts are a progressive condition which means that without treatment, your vision will get worse over time. In the case of age-related cataracts, the condition usually progresses slowly over a number of months or years.
In short, yes! During this procedure, an ophthalmologist removes the affected lens and replaces it with an intraocular lens (IOL). This artificial lens is clear, fitted to match your individual needs, and cannot develop cataracts in the future.
In most people, cataracts start developing around age 60, and the average age for cataract surgery in the United States is 73. However, changes in the lenses of our eyes start to affect us in our 40`s.
YES! Carrots contain natural forms of Vitamin A (also known as retinal) a vitamin that supports our and our dog`s eyesight helping to keep their vision clear and helping prevent problems such as cataracts in the future.
Age alone is not a deterrent to cataract surgery. With the use of modern anaesthetic agents cataract surgery has been successfully performed on dogs and cats as old as 19. One concern with older dogs is that their retinas may also have age related degeneration.
Cataracts can develop very slowly or almost overnight. You probably won`t notice any change in your dog during the early stages, but once the cataracts are mature (completely blocking light transmission to the retina), she will be blind.
Diabetes: Diabetic cataracts, possibly due to blood sugar abnormalities, is the leading cause of blindness in both humans and dogs. Diabetic dogs have a 75% chance of developing cataracts, and 75% of those that do will lose their vision within 6–12 months if left untreated.
Overnight vision correction (orthokeratology) is a non-surgical treatment which corrects short-sightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism. Custom designed overnight contact lenses are worn while you sleep and are then removed each morning, resulting in clear, natural vision all day long.
While vision therapy is a serious area of optometry that addresses problems with alignment, tracking and strain, there`s no sound evidence that vision exercises can affect clarity. We can`t correct our vision without professional help, and there`s no quick-and-easy fix for eyesight problems.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. What second surgery do you choose for a failed extra capsular repair or should a second surgery be done?
ANSWER : A. If you have a large breed dog, a TPLO usually works better. Also you have to figure out the reason for the failure. Was it too much activity too soon? Was the surgery not done properly? Was the rehab not followed? You have to allow at least 8 weeks of just post-op healing with rehab and then slowly get back to normal activity. A good 12-14 weeks before any type of normal activity is recommended and some dogs take longer than others. It’s hard or many dogs and even people to restrict their pets activity level post-op because they feel bad, but it really is necessary for proper and complete healing. It’s hard to say why your surgery option failed or if you should have a second one done without knowing your case in more depth. I would recommend a board certified surgeon perform the surgery if it is done again and you didn’t use one the first time.

Q. I have a 13 yr old Cocker Spaniel who tore a ligament in back leg. She is blind in one eye and deaf. Should she go through surgery?
ANSWER : A. You need to be guided by your vet. The age needs to be taken into account and I would want liver and kidney blood tests done prior to surgery to ensure they are functioning properly. Also I would expect her to be on iv fluids during the surgery. Recovery can be longer in older dogs too after a general anaesthetic. You should discuss in detail the quality of life and general health of the dog as to wether it is worth putting her through surgery. She is probably too big to be left without surgery so there are really only the two options.

Q. My Dachshund is in a lot of pain. She has back problems and I can’t afford surgery for her. Is there something I can do other than the surgery.
ANSWER : A. Alternative to surgery is medical treatment with pain killers, physiotherapy, acupuncture. There are conditions of spinal cord where medical treatment can be as successful as surgery but there are spinal problems when surgery is the only options. I would suggest you to get back to your vets to discuss available treatments and ask if medical treatment is an option for your dog.

Q. Cataract but I can’t afford surgery
ANSWER : A. The only treatment for cataract is surgery. Your dog should be able to adopt to impaired vision. It should not affect his quality of life.

Q. My dog has been diagnoised with acl torn ligement surgery is told what needs to be done what if I don’t have the surgery?
ANSWER : A. This is a common injury in older dogs and active dogs. Not doing surgery will leave the knee joint unstable and painful. It will eventually scar over and may “heal” to a certain degree but it will not be close to normal and your dog may have a permanent limp. With surgery, your dog can regain almost all of the normal function with less pain and less likelihood of another injury to that knee. That said, a high percentage of dogs who suffer an ACL injury will likely suffer the same injury in the other knee at some point in their lifetime.

Q. My dog is 10 1/2 and has developed cataracts, is there a vitamin or supplement that would help her?
ANSWER : A. No, cataracts can be treated only surgically. Please, note that nuclear sclerosis is a similar condition often confused with cataracts. Unfortunately, nuclear sclerosis is a normal ageing process in the eyes and there is no treatment for that.
Cataracts often develop in dogs suffering from diabetes. It would be worth tho analyse your’s urine and to do a blood test just to make sure he is not diabetic.

Q. Is neutering a good idea? What are the main aspects to consider?
ANSWER : A. Neutering is a procedure that surgically removes a dog’s testicles for the purpose of canine population control, certain medical health benefits, and behavioral modification.

There are several pros and cons to neutering. The positive aspects of neutering include the following:
1. Reduces the risk of prostate disorders, including prostate infections, prostate cysts, or enlarged prostate tissue. It also reduces the risk of testicular cancer, perineal hernias, and perianal fistulas.
2. Reduces the risk of dominance and aggression in many dogs due to a reduction in the amount of circulating testosterone.
3. Reduces the occurrence of sexual behaviors, such as humping, urine marking, or licking of genital regions.
4. Population control – neutering prevents dogs from creating more litters of puppies that need homes.

The following are possible issues to consider:
1. Neutering is a surgery that requires general anesthesia causing slight risks involved in placing an animal under sedation and anesthesia. Performing bloodwork prior to any anesthetic procedure can help decrease the risk of complications prior to surgery.
2. There is an increased risk of neutered dogs becoming prone to obesity because of a change in hormones and activity level.
3. Neutering your dog at too early of an age can have complications.

Overall, neutering is a good idea for your dog in order to prevent population overgrowth and specific medical issues that can result if your dog remains intact. Consult with your veterinarian on the details of surgery and any risk factors based on your dog’s age and breed.

The AVMA supports the concept of pediatric spay/neuter in dogs and cats in an effort to reduce the number of unwanted animals of these species. Just as for other veterinary medical and surgical procedures, veterinarians should use their best medical judgment in deciding at what age spay/neuter should be performed on individual animals.

Read Full Q/A … : Spay/Neuter Your Pet

Q. Can you put your sick 16yr cat down with pills, cannot afford a veterinarian.
ANSWER : A. If you are in financial difficulty, there are ways of still getting your pet treated by a veterinarian. Ask if they take Care Credit and apply online. This is a credit card specifically for medical, dental, and veterinary expenses.

Call a local animal shelter or college of veterinary medicine in your area and ask if they have a low- or no-cost veterinary care program.

GiveForward and Youcaring.com are crowd funding websites that help you raise money to help take care of your pets

Harley’s Hope Foundation is an organization that ensures low income pet parents and their companion or service animals remain together when issues arise.

Many breed rescues and groups have specials funds available for owners who need financial assistance, such as the Special Needs Dobermans, Labrador Lifeline, and Pitbull Rescue Central.

Banfield Pet Hospital has its own programs for owners that can’t afford their pet’s care.

Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance (FVEAP) works with seniors, people with disabilities, people who

have lost their job, good Samaritans who rescue a cat or kitten who may need financial assistance to save a beloved companion.

The Feline Veterinary Emergency Assistance Program is a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization that provides financial assistance to cat and kitten guardians who are unable to afford veterinary services to save their companions when life-threatening illness or injury strikes.

God’s Creatures Ministry helps pay for veterinarian bills for those who need help.

IMOM is dedicated to insure that no companion animal has to be euthanized simply because their caretaker

is financially challenged.

The Onyx & Breezy Foundation has many programs including helping people with medical bills. They are a good resource for information.

Brown Dog Foundation provides funding to families with a sick pet that would likely respond to treatment, but due to circumstances, there is not enough money immediately available to pay.

Some groups help with specific disease, such as Canine Cancer Awareness, The Magic Bullet Fund, Helping Harley Fund, and Muffin Diabetes Fund.

The Pet Fund and Redrover.org are great sources for help to care for your pet.

The Humane Society website has many links to other organizations that help with veterinary expenses.