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Dog eye transitioned to dark gray color, now appears blind

by Carol

My dog's eye lens recently started to look "see-through" (like human lens implant). Her pupil got bigger, then her eye matted shut, then her eye turned dark gray. She now appears blind in left eye.

Here are her stats:
- 13 yr old yellow lab mix unspayed.
- Never been to vet until inherited yr ago.
- Couldn't get around well, given Rimadyl (caused bad skin lesions)
- Given antibiotcs 4 weeks. Became nauseated, listless. Stopped meds, got better.
- Found to have heart worms. Gave heart worm preventative.

My dog doesn't seem to be in pain. We didn't want to take her to vet because antibiotics hurt, she lost lot of weight and she's so old.

Q: Is this just age-related? What can we do with her eye? We have other dogs that don't seem to have any problems.

Comments for Dog eye transitioned to dark gray color, now appears blind

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Nov 19, 2011
My Online Vet Response for Dog Eye transitioned to dark gray color, now appears blind
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Carol,
Considering the moderate amount of mucous in her eye, I would not only be concerned about cataracts (which is more common in older dogs), but also about a condition called 'Dry Eye', or Kerato-conjunctivitis sicca - a condition caused by a lack of tear production. The glands in the eyelashes try to compensate and produce an excess mucous in an attempt to keep the cornea moist. But since the mucous is not the same consistency as tears, this can lead to other problems.

Another condition that can occur with cataracts is glaucoma.

The photos you submitted do not show a clear close-up of her eyes, so that it is difficult to see if she has cataracts, or lenticular sclerosis, which is merely a thickening of the lens. It would be best to have BOTH of her eyes checked by a veterinary ophthalmologist.

As for her 'other' problems, which sounds like she may have arthritis in her back and/or hips, there are many other options to help her, besides resorting to Rimadyl! Providing a healthy diet, and considering a raw diet for her, would be the first step. See our page on 10 Best Dog Food Options. Supplementing her with Glucosamine/Chondroitin Sulfate Supplements to support her joints would also be very helpful.

A holistic veterinarian can provide a variety of other options, such as dog acupuncture, Chinese herbs and natural anti-inflammatories such as Vitamin C and Omega 3 fish oil for dogs, depending on her physical exam.

If she has heartworms, giving her a Heartworm preventive does not remove the adult heartworms living in her heart. She would need a specific heartworm treatment to remove the adult heartworms. The preventive merely prevents new larvae (obtained from the bite of a mosquito) from reaching adulthood.

In fact, I doubt that there are many mosquitoes flying around at this time of year in Iowa. So, I do not think she even needs to take a heartworm preventive at this time.


Nov 19, 2011
My Online Vet Response for Dog eye transtioned to dark gray color, no appears blind PART TWO
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Carol,
Here is the rest of my response.

It would be better to provide support to her heart with Vetri-Science Coenzyme Q10 , 15-30 mg two times daily.

The bottom line is that it would be prudent to have her examined by a veterinary ophthalmologist to find out what is wrong with her eyes, then seek the help of a holistic veterinarian for ongoing support for whole body health.

To find a holistic veterinarian in your area click here:
find a holistic veterinarian in your area. Another resource for vets knowledgable in homeopathy is

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

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DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the picture you submitted. The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Related Pages:
- Dog Eye Problems,
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Eye Problems Section

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