What is Canine Lens Luxation?
The lens of your dog's eye is a thin, transparent sphere that is held in place by small ligaments called zonules overtop of the retina ( where vision occurs). The function of the eye lens is to focus light on the retina.
Lens Luxation is when the zonules holding the lens in place become weak allowing the lens to move around and wobble. The movement of the lens can cause acute pain and vision loss in your dog.
Types of Luxating Lenses
Anterior Lens Luxation
The movement of the lens forward into the front of the eye blocking the drainage of fluid and causing glaucoma
Posterior Lens Luxation
The movement of the lens backwards into the back half of the eye. Typically posterior lens luxation will not cause your dog pain or discomfort.
What Causes Canine Lens Luxation?
Lens luxation is commonly a secondary condition to other illnesses such as uveitis, glaucoma, cancer of the eye, or in more rare cases, trauma or the improper use of medications, such as atropine. Lens Luxation is also hereditary so breeds can pass along the condition to their litters. Hereditary Lens Luxation is what causes the zonules of the eye to be weak.
Treatment of a Luxating Lens
The only treatment for this condition is surgical intervention. The out-of-place lens is removed through a tiny incision in the eye. The incision is closed with absorbable sutures that do not need to be removed. Additional sutures may be placed in the corner of the eye (the canthus) depending on your dog's condition. Alternatively, the lens can be essentially liquefied and then sucked out of the eye in a procedure called phacoemulsification. This procedure is less traumatic for your pet and may carry a better prognosis.
What Breeds are Susceptible?
Primary Lens Luxation or PLL or an inherited condition so if you have any of the following breeds you will want to be aware of the symptoms so you can watch out for it!
- Most Terrier breeds: Jack Russel, Rat, Tibetian, and Welsh terriers just to name a few
- Australian Cattle Dog
- American Eskimo Dog
- Chinese Crested
- Border Collie
- Shar Pei
- Brittany Spaniel