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  • Claire Bannister

A Distinguished Older Gentleman | Tales of a Senior Dog Part 2

By Claire Bannister MSc Applied Animal Behaviour and Welfare

Last time I wrote about Rufus and researching glaucoma, so here’s an update so far. You can find part 1 here:

I have been giving Rufus carrot everyday and it may be my imagination but Ru’s eyes seem much clearer and there is also a reduction in eye watering. This is very interesting and very surprising after only a couple of weeks but I have asked the team here and they think there is a big improvement too.

I have been talking about it mostly with Aunty Lizzie and after reading my blog, she looked into glaucoma for herself to better understand the anatomy and physiology. She found a condition called nuclear sclerosis which is very similar in appearance to glaucoma, ie cloudy eyes, but has none of the accompanying symptoms or pain. In fact, it is very common and the most likely cause of cloudiness, affects eyesight very little and there is no need for treatment. The only way to be sure which condition it is, is to have the eye checked microscopically by a vet.

This could be the case with Rufus. Although he did have watery eyes and rubbed his head on the floor now and then, this could be down to just the watery eyes, possibly caused by allergies, which he usually suffers from in early spring and, yes, make his eyes watery, so he could be reacting to a different allergen.

This is good news as hopefully Rufus has nuclear sclerosis rather than glaucoma at this time. Nuclear sclerosis, in very basic terms is ageing of the fibres in the eye. It causes a cloudy appearance but has little impact on vision as the dog adapts to the slow changes. I will continue to give him the carrot etc and make the eyewash for when his eyes do look itchy as it will be of benefit to him anyway, supporting his eyes as he gets older and hopefully preventing further degeneration.

What is strange, however is the fact that I cannot find any reference to either of the conditions improving, treatment for glaucoma is to slow further degeneration and nuclear sclerosis does not need treatment, but isn’t supposed to go away. I am surprised and puzzled by this turn of events but needless to say, very happy with the results. I am going to cut the carrot down to every other day and see how we go from there.

Look out for my next blog about Rufus’s back issue.

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