Cloudy Eyes in Dogs: Georgia’s Eyes Turn White

The common conditions that can cause cloudy eyes in dogs are uveitis, cataracts, glaucoma, and nuclear sclerosis. Nuclear sclerosis is the only benign one from the bunch.

Cloudy Eyes in Dogs: Georgia's Eyes Turn White

I bet you never heard of lipid aqueous before, though.

This weird condition too causes clouded, milky appearance to the eyes.

That day, Georgia’s mom came home from work to find Georgia squinting and barely able to open her eyes. Much of Georgia’s eyes were covered by the third eyelid. How likely would injury be with both eyes affected? Could allergies result in such a severe reaction?

There was no redness or discharge one could see, and Georgia wasn’t fussing with the eyes–just wouldn’t or couldn’t open them. And seeing the third eyelid is scary stuff.

I know the one time Jasmine’s eye suddenly looked as if covered with a blueish film, I freaked and rushed with her to a vet immediately.

Georgia’s mom made an appointment the earliest her vet could get them in. What if Georgia is going blind?

The veterinarian figured it was conjunctivitis, but it wasn’t quite adding up. The vet prescribed eye drops, to give Georgia every 12 hours. Then they should see if that helps. But if it didn’t, it would be time to consult a specialist.

In Jasmine’s case, it was a renegade, eyelash that caused all the trouble. It was growing inward and had to come out before it could cause real damage. However, that was nothing compared to what greeted Georgia’s mom the next morning.

Because they woke up to Georgia’s eyes looking milky white!

Now, Georgia’s mom was terrified. What could make the eyes turn this white? Surely conjunctivitis does not look like this?

Meanwhile, their puzzled veterinarian was concerned as well. Things looked much worse than he’d thought. He contacted a specialist to get an appointment for Georgia as soon as possible.

The specialist indeed did figure out what’s happening with Georgia’s eyes. Georgia had bilateral lipid aqueous.

Georgia wasn’t going blind.–that was a big relief. But what the heck is lipid aqueous?

Lipid aqueous is a high concentration of fat in the fluid between the lens and cornea. It explains all Georgia’s symptoms–the milky appearance, and the squinting, and it does come paired with uveitis. It can cause temporary loss of vision.

Eye inflammation can damage the protective barrier in the eye. When there is a high concentration of fat in the blood at the same time (hyperlipidemia), the fat then is allowed to leak into the eye. It is also possible that a high concentration of fat in the blood in itself can destabilize the barrier.

Could it be as simple as Georgia consuming a fatty meal? Could she have secretly snatched a stick of butter?

Naming the problem is only part of the diagnosis.

The big question is why did this happen?

Conditions that cause hyperlipidemia can be to blame for lipid aqueous too; particularly hypothyroidism or Cushing’s disease.

While awaiting her blood test results, Georgia is getting an aggressive treatment of two types of eye drops. She is getting one type every two hours while a different kind twice a day along with pain medication.

The good news is that the next morning, Georgia’s eyes were already clear as day.

Hopefully, the specialist can figure out what was the underlying cause for Georgia’s milky eyes. If she does have an underlying disease such as Cushing’s or hypothyroidism, they would need to be treated anyway.

Related articles:
Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog: Cloudy Eyes

Further reading:
Lipid Aquaeous

Categories: Cloudy eyesConditionsDiagnosesDog health advocacyEye diseasesSymptoms

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Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

19 Comments
  1. That is something I haven’t heard of before. I’m glad that Georgia was able to see a specialist and her eyes are already clearing up!

  2. FiveSibesMom

    Wow, how scary! So glad to hear Georgia’s eyes started to clear the next day after drops. Hope the results are good. I’ve noticed my eldest Huskies blue eyes have really lightened, due to age. No glaucoma or eye disease per her last vet checkup, but anything with the eyes is alarming. Thanks for sharing the info about lipid aqueous.Happy to hear your Jasmine’s was a renegade eyelash…those can certainly wreak some havoc!

  3. Marjorie Dawson

    Now this would frighten any pet parent! Good grief I would be scared stiff and checking online within minutes. THEN I would find you!!!

  4. Scary! When you first mentioned the eyelash, my heart stopped! Henry has the inward growing eyelash and the vet removes it at the same time he does Henry’s glands – lucky Henry, invaded at both ends. I’m so glad this condition was treatable, and not long lasting for Georgia.

  5. impurrfectlife

    Hmm I’ve heard of cataracts before in dogs but never lipid aqueous. This is my first time learning about this. Poor Georgia.I hope they figure out what the cause is. I hate to hear anyone is uncomfortable or in pain.

  6. How scary- never heard of this. So many things that can go wrong. Kilo has had a tiny bit of discharge in his eyes the last few days. I will take him to the vet this week to check.

  7. Sophie has had issues with conjunctivitis so I know what that looks like with her, and I’d know when it wasn’t the cause of something. Eye issues are so worrisome because nobody likes their eyes poked around, and my dogs’ eyelids seem to be bionic – when they’re closed there is no getting them back open without their consent. And getting eyedrops into my dogs’ eyes has never been easy so I feel for you. Good luck!

  8. Wow lipid aqueous is one I’ve never heard of before. Glad to hear the treatment worked quickly. My oldest dog has nuclear sclerosis but, luckily, so far it doesn’t seem to have impacted him at all.

  9. WOW! That’s a new one, I never heard of lipid aqueous before and certainly NEVER thought that fat could get into your eyes. I learn something new every time I visit your blog. Thanks for sharing!

  10. WOW am happy it cleared up. Layla has a cataract in her one eye and we are monitoring it only. As the vet said she is 12 years old and she does not advise any operations which I agree with her. It is not bothering Layla so am not concerned.

  11. Wow, what a scary experience! I hadn’t heard of either of those ailments and am so glad the cloudiness went away quickly. Hopefully it will turn out just to be a fluke incident and not a sign of something major.

  12. dachshundstation

    You are right, I have never heard of lipid aqueous. I have heard of Cushing’s disease though, it is very common in dachshunds. I do hope that Georgia’s test results come back with good news. Good luck Georgia..

  13. Glad it cleared up. My dog’s eyes too are ‘cloudy’ due to age. Both the vet and my optometrist (yes, he went with me there) looked at him and said it’s likely cataracts.

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