Cloudy Eyes in Dogs


One of the cutest things about our dogs is their eyes, but if they begin to have a cloudy appearance, it can be troublesome to owners. Cloudy eyes can be a natural phase of the aging process or can be the symptom of a serious eye problem.

The most difficult part can be determining the actual cause of cloudy eyes in dogs. It can be something as simple as dry eyes or something more serious like glaucoma. Your veterinarian is probably the best person to help your dog and determine the cause of your dog’s cloudy eyes.

Cloudy eyes are often accompanied by the following symptoms.

  • Yellowish mucous production
  • Discharge of pus, mucus or other liquid from the eye
  • Redness around the eyes
  • Whining and rubbing near the eyes
  • Excessive blinking
  • Vision loss in severe cases

What are some causes of cloudy eyes in dogs?

There are many possible causes for cloudy eyes in dogs.

Corneal Edema

The cornea is the see-through dome that covers the eye’s iris, which is the part of the eye that shows the eye color (blue, brown, green, and hazel). When edema (swelling due to fluid retention) occurs in the cornea, it can give the appearance of looking cloudy or hazy. It can show up as a specific area of white or may spread throughout the entire eye.

This can develop if there is irritation or inflammation to the dog’s cornea. Causes may include trauma, corneal ulcers, glaucoma, spontaneous idiopathic development, anterior lens luxation or corneal endothelial degeneration.


Surprising as it is to many pet owners, dogs can develop cataracts the same as humans. A dog who has cataracts will have cloudy eyes. Dogs with cataracts will experience an intense sensitivity to glare and strong light and will also have difficulty seeing at night. Cataract don’t just appear in their final stage one morning but develop through four stages.

  • Incipient
  • Immature
  • Mature
  • Hypermature

Cataracts are often difficulty to determine when they’re in their early or incipient stage. The dog’s eyes can develop uveitis (inflammation of the eye during the early and later stages of cataract development. Owners who suspect their dog might have cataracts are advised to check in with a veterinarian because earlier diagnosis generally means better and quicker treatment and success. Once the cataracts get to the hyper mature stage, there is danger of having the cataracts rupture. There are many possible causes of cataracts in dogs. There are also several treatments for cataracts depending on their severity.

Nuclear Sclerosis

This benign condition is generally an age-related issue that affects the dog’s lens. It doesn’t interfere with vision but can occur in all breeds of dogs. While cataracts are usually asymmetrical, nuclear sclerosis usually occurs in both eyes almost simultaneously. There is no treatment for this condition, and it seldom requires treatment.

Corneal Endothelial Degeneration

This disease, which can be inherited, occurs when the cells at the back of the cornea state to degenerate. In its beginning stages, a grayish area in the center of the eye may be notices. Eventually, it extends to the outer edges of the eye as well. Finally, the entire eye will have a white appearance, and blindness will finally occur. There are no specific treatments for this disease.

Corneal Deposits

These begin as a white haze or white spots on the cornea, which can occur for many reasons. This disease can be part of an inherited disease or can be caused by inflammatory conditions of the eye, high blood cholesterol levels or an over accumulation of calcium. If it is calcium, this can often be cured with eye drops.


This is a medical condition that refers to inflammation of the eye. Dog with uveitis generally have a white haze across the eye. Dog owners might also notice pus or blood collecting in the eye. It’s important that dogs that may have this condition be seen by a vet so they can get to the cause and then provide proper treatment.

Dry Eyes in Dogs

This generally happen when the dog’s body produces an insufficient amount of tears, which are required not only for lubrication but also for general good health. Dogs suffering from dry eyes will often have cloudy eyes.

Diagnosis for Cloudy Eyes in Dogs

Because of the various causes of cloudiness in the dog’s eyes, this condition can sometimes be difficult to diagnose. After examining the dog, the first thing the vet will do is determine if the cloudy eyes are just part of the aging process. If the vet suspects dry eyes is causing the problem, he use a tear test to determine the dog’s ability to make tears. If the vet feels it might be glaucoma, he may test the eyes with a tonometer.