James Oliver MRCVS, a European and RCVS specialist in veterinary ophthalmology at Dick White Referrals, is calling on veterinary practices to refer dogs with cataracts caused by diabetes cases urgently to avoid irreversible sight loss.

James says he is sticking his neck out after seeing a significant increase in cases where dogs with diabetes are referred too late to save their sight.

He said: “If we are given the chance to assess a dog with diabetes as soon as cataracts develop then it is usually pretty straightforward to restore vision with a specialist operation. 

“Often, diabetic dogs are referred to us too late because vets unwittingly delay referral while they enhance control of the diabetes.

“Unfortunately, this can mean it can become too late to perform sight-saving surgery and the dog may even have to have their eyes removed on welfare grounds.

“When cataract surgery wasn’t commonplace and as successful, maybe 20 years ago, there was more of a justification to delay surgery. But that isn’t necessary now with advances in veterinary care.

“It’s why it’s so important to improve education about this issue and raise more awareness of what can be done to both vets and dog owners alike.”

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