Cloudy Eyes in Dogs after Injury, Suddenly, Overnight, Causes and Treatment

Cloudy eyes in dogs

What do cloudy eyes in dogs mean? Once a dog has cloudy eyes, it is an indication that there is a problem with the internal structure of the eye. While some of the cloudy eyes in dogs common causes occur naturally with age, others may occur suddenly such as after an injury. This post is a guide on cloudy eyes in dogs whether it occurs suddenly or progressively, after an injury or is accompanied by a discharge.

Cloudy Eyes in Dogs Causes

Cloudy eyes in dogs may take the appearance of a blue haze that completely covers the eye or partially covers the white part of the eye. Depending on what the cause is, there may be other accompanying symptoms such as discharge, eye redness or simply cloudy spots. The causes for these varying signs accompanying your dog’s cloudy eyes are discussed below.

Cataracts Cloudy Blue Eyes in Dogs

The first impression that people get once they experience cloudy eyes in dogs is that the dog could be suffering from cataracts. This, though, is not always the case as will be seen as we progress examining various causes. There are other causes of dog cloudy eyes that are not cataracts.

Cataracts in dogs are seen as a blue cloud inside the capsule holding the lens of the eye. The degree of cloudiness varies and the condition is known to progress with time. However, it is also possible for cataracts to develop swiftly and cause blindness in a short time.

Cataracts that lead to dog cloudy eyes can be inherited, caused by diabetes as well as result from toxicity caused by drugs. Other underlying eye diseases, nutritional deficiencies, trauma and normal aging process are other reasons why your pooch may experience cloudy eyes caused by cataracts.


This is a condition that develops when there is increased pressure within the eye of a dog. As a result fluid in the eyes fails to drain properly resulting in painful pressure building up within the eye structure. The condition could be primary or secondary to other infections.

Primary glaucoma starts off on one eye before developing in both eyes, eventually. This type is inherited. Secondary glaucoma, on the other hand, is as a result of other conditions present including advanced cataracts, chronic retinal detachment, lens displacement or eye cancer.

Left untreated, glaucoma will result in the buildup of fluid and pressure leading to enlargement of the eye. Eventually, irreversible blindness will occur.  For the treatment adopted to be effective, it is necessary for the cause to be put into consideration. The aim is always to reduce pressure within the eyes within a short period. This can be achieved by controlling the production of aqueous humor and improving drainage. In case of long-term glaucoma and where the dog may have gone blind, removal of the eye may be recommended.

Corneal Dystrophy

An inherited condition, corneal dystrophy is another cause of cloudy eyes in dogs. This progressive condition affecting both eyes is inherited. It is painless and may not affect normal vision. There are different types of the condition based on its location.

Epithelial corneal dystrophy affects the formation of cells, stromal-epithelial dystrophy results in cloudy eyes in dogs in a blue appearance while endothelial corneal dystrophy affects the corneal lining. Treatment depends on the type and may include removal of epithelial corneal tags, use of contact lenses in case of endothelial dystrophy or flap surgery of the conjunctiva in endothelial corneal dystrophy. Corneal dystrophy results in cloudy eyes which may continue even after successful treatment of the causative condition.

Nuclear Sclerosis in Older Dogs

Also referred to as lenticular sclerosis, this condition results in a dog’s pupils appearing cloudy with a bluish or greyish hue. According to, this is a normal change in the lenses of the eyes and is usually seen in dogs six years old and over.

It is normally present in both eyes and is usually not painful. The onset of the condition is gradual thus gives the dog time to adapt with any minor visual changes that may accompany it.

Anterior Uveitis Red Cloudy Eyes in Dogs

This occurs when there is inflammation of the ciliary body in the uvea as well as the iris. Due to the rich supply of blood in the uvea, the part is a target for issues originating elsewhere within the dog’s body. Also referred to as iridocyclitis, anterior uveitis is quite painful.

In addition to having cloudy eyes, the dog will squint, paw at the eyes, experience excessive discharge and tearing, a change in the pupil’s appearance, eye redness, eyeball swelling as well as cloudy eyes are other likely symptoms.

It is an ultimate threat to the vision of an affected dog. Treatment for this is aimed at preventing further damage. Ointments and eye drops will be prescribed and in rare occasions it may be necessary to undertake a surgery to eliminate secondary causes of eye problems.

Cloudy Spots in Dogs Eyes

When a dog suffers cloudy spots on their eyes, it could be as a result of lipid keratopathy. This occurs when there is an accumulation of fatty substances in the eyes. If you notice these, be certain to visit your vet immediately.

Cloudy Dog Eyes after injury

A dog that suffers eye injury from scratches from another pet, injury by a foreign object or hitting on a hard surface may suffer internal or external eye injuries. When the trauma exerted is of a magnitude high enough to affect the inner eye, the dog may experience corneal ulceration.

When this happens, the dog squints, the eye gets swollen, watery and cloudy. They are also likely to avoid bright light. Additional symptoms may include lethargy, loss of appetite and depression. In serious cases, the cornea could rupture.

To avert secondary infections and the increased risk of loss of vision, seek emergency veterinary service once your dog suffers a cloudy eye from injury.

Cloudy Eyes in Dogs Suddenly or Overnight

In most cases, the conditions discussed above will set in progressively. This is unless there is an injury involved. If you notice your dog’s eyes get cloudy suddenly or overnight without there being any trauma inflicted on the eye, visit your veterinarian immediately. They will give a proper diagnosis as to what condition could have triggered it.

Cloudy Eyes in Dogs with Discharge

When a dog is suffering dry eye, they are incapable of producing enough tears. The eyes become excessively dry and susceptible to infections and corneal ulcerations. Their eyes also get swollen, and there is an accompanying discharge. In addition, the affected dog will blink a lot and experience cloudy eyes. Talk to your vet so they can prescribe artificial tears for the dry eyes so the cloudiness and discharge can clear up.

Cloudy Eyes in Dogs Treatment

For any cloudy eyes in dogs treatment to be effective, the root cause has to be identified and dealt with. As such, the treatment is dependent on the various causes. Any time you notice dog cloudy eyes, visit your veterinarian for correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

The treatment will be aimed at minimizing the symptoms and preventing the cause from deteriorating and causing problems in the dog’s vision. Infections will also be treated. Simple conditions may go away through the administration of eye drops while complex situations may require extensive medical procedures. Your vet will advise on the best form of treatment to control the situation and restore normal appearance of the eye.


1 Comment

  1. Hi Dr. Winnie. Thank you very much for such a Great article regarding dog eye injuries. About 2 months ago my daughters Chesapeake Bay Retriever (90lbs.) attacked our Yorkie mix (15 lbs.) Her left eye was hanging out of the socket & had to be removed (too much damage ). Her right eye lost it’s lens & now is a bluish color. Her eye pressures were 21, 22, & 22. I was hoping to find something to help out are little Gracie. Her vision is gone & she’s is adapting as best as she could. Thank You So Much for your time. Getting her vision back is probably more for me, then her. She’s just a Great family member. Thank You again !

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