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Q&A: Why Is My Dog's Lens Loose in Her Eye?

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Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He has been working with dogs for more than 40 years.

Lens luxation in dogs is a serious issue that can lead to other problems like glaucoma.

Lens luxation in dogs is a serious issue that can lead to other problems like glaucoma.

What Is This Loose Film Moving Across My Dog's Eye?

"I have an 11-year-old female husky and today I woke up to find that she has some sort of loose film/lens moving across her right eye. It reminds me of a contact lens moving over our own eye, but it's thinner and changes shape.

Since Christmas last year, I would say she’s started to develop cataracts and does have cloudy eyes depending on the lighting. Her eyesight isn’t terrible, she just has difficulties seeing in rooms with low lighting.

It doesn’t seem to be bothering her whatsoever; she hasn’t been scratching at her eye or anywhere near her face, she blinks normally, doesn’t seem to be tearing up at all and there doesn’t seem to be any redness or irritation either.

What could be wrong with her?" —Holly

Dog Lens Luxation (Detachment)

Your dog may have a detached lens. They are usually seen in younger dogs that are born with weak lens attachments but are also seen in older dogs with inflammation in the eye or with tumors in the eye.

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If it is a lens luxation, it can become an emergency, so call your vet to make an appointment to take her in right away.

Glaucoma and Increased Pressure

If the lens falls into the wrong position, it can lead to glaucoma or increased pressure in the eye. Think of it like a throbbing headache 24 hours a day. When this happens, most dogs appear to be in a lot of pain, so since you said it does not seem to bother her, that has not happened yet.

How to Treat Lens Luxation in Dogs

The only way to take care of the problem is through surgery, and the best success is through taking care of the problem before the dog develops glaucoma. (1)

Other Possible Conditions

There are several other possibilities (if it is just a film, it may just be glaucoma or inflammation) so there is no one answer here. The only way to be sure is to do a hands-on exam where the veterinarian can look into your dog's eyes with an ophthalmoscope.

Source

  1. Glover TL, Davidson MG, Nasisse MP, Olivero DK. The intracapsular extraction of displaced lenses in dogs: a retrospective study of 57 cases (1984-1990). J Am Anim Hosp Assoc. 1995 Jan-Feb;31(1):77-81. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7820769/

This article is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from your veterinarian. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2022 Dr Mark

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