What is Asteroid Hyalosis In Dogs?
Asteroid hyalosis is a degenerative eye condition that involves the liquefaction of the vitreous humor. This benign condition is also known as liquefied vitreous or vitreal degeneration.
It got its name as it has a clinical manifestation of asteroids (or stars) in the night sky. Increase in age is the most consistently reported risk factor for asteroid hyalosis. The liquid crystals formed by calcium and phospholipids in the vitreous humor (highly hydrated gel-like substance between the dog eye’s retina and lens) give the look of ‘asteroids in night sky’.
The important aspect of asteroid hyalosis is it is often an incidental finding. This will be rarely the ophthalmic reason for the Dog’s complaints and other conditions should be ruled out.
Only when it is severe enough and coupled with other conditions, it can interfere with your dog’s vision.
Symptoms Of Asteroid Hyalosis In Dogs
- Floaters or small white spots in the field of vision
- Small, round, multiple refractile particles inside the vitreous humor
- Decreased visual sharpness
Treatment Options For Asteroid Hyalosis In Dogs
In the majority of dogs, treatment is not needed. However, as eyes are involved, it is better to get the suggestion of a veterinary ophthalmologist. Supportive therapies may be suggested, for example, food supplements can be helpful.
Vitrectomy: This surgery treats problems with the retina or in the vitreous humor. Using a suction tool, portion or all of the vitreous humor from the affected eye will be removed.
Dog’s with syneresis have the potential to develop a retinal detachment. Retinopexy may be recommended to remove detached retina in such situation.
Treatment is geared towards preventing progression of asteroid hyalosis and maintaining overall eye health.
Home Remedies For Asteroid Hyalosis In Dogs
Discuss with veterinarian for any home care specific to your dog’s situation.
This may include dietary changes, exercise, further medications to administer and future veterinary visits for treatments as needed.
How to Prevent Asteroid Hyalosis In Dogs?
Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent asteroid hyalosis and the only way available is to make sure your pet eats a healthy diet. This will strengthen your pup and also increase immunity.
Because so many canine eye diseases are hereditary, there’s not much a pet parent can do to prevent them, but a high-quality diet with an antioxidant supplements may help in one way or another.
Consult with your a veterinary nutritionist to know what is the proper diet for your dog’s eyes and its overall health.
Affected Dog Breeds Of Asteroid Hyalosis
This is commonly seen in middle-aged to older dogs.
Additional Facts On Asteroid Hyalosis In Dogs
In 1894, Ireland ophthalmologist Alfred Hugh Benson first described the conditioncalling it as ‘scintillatio nivea’ and differentiating it from ‘synchysis scintillans’. The condition is also called Benson’s disease in recognition of Benson’s contribution.
The exact pathogenesis of asteroid hyalosis remains unclear; however, liquefaction of the vitreous occurs with age as fatty calcium globules spontaneously settle within the vitreous. This results in the formation of small white precipitates that deposited inside the gel, described as "floaters" in the vitreous.
In addition, when a dog experiences an inflammatory event in the eye, they may develop these floaters alongside deterioration of the vitreous gel itself, resulting in liquefaction of the gel. This common ophthalmic condition is called vitreous syneresis. During eye examination, the appearance is similar to a "snow village scene," that when the toy is shaken, snowflakes are seen to whirls on every side.
Some studies suggest a link between asteroid hyalosis and other health issues, such as:
- Higher body mass index.
- High cholesterol.
- Heart disease.
- High blood pressure.
- Hereditary pigmentary retinopathies.
However, no studies have found any substantial link between asteroid hyalosis and any of these risk factors.
When To See A Vet For Asteroid Hyalosis In Dogs?
Asteroid hyalosis condition is not improved by conservative treatment. So treatment is rarely recommended.
Dog Food Suggestions For Asteroid Hyalosis
Although the condition is usually self-limiting and benign, it is always good to get opinion of a veterinary ophthalmologist.
Sometimes, if severe enough, the condition can hamper your dog’s vision.