Blindness in dogs can range from blurry vision to total loss of eyesight. It is progressive and degenerative, meaning it usually gets worse over time. A dog’s vision normally deteriorates as part of the later stages of the ageing process. It can be caused suddenly and directly by infection or stroke. Or, it may be a secondary symptom of another disease.
Paying attention to changes in your dog’s behaviour can help you identify possible issues. Early diagnosis and treatment by your veterinary professional are vital.
Some signs of loss of vision in dogs
- startles easily
- bumps into walls and furniture
- reluctant to go out at night
- confusion and disorientation
- changes in the appearance of eyes
Caring for a dog with reduced vision or blindness
Often it is the owner that can find it more distressing that their dog has a degree of blindness. With ageing, it’s a reminder of their mortality and the relatively short time our beloved companions are with us.
If the vision loss occurs gradually over time, your dog may have already adopted some coping strategies. Your dog has other highly developed senses, most notably their famed sense of smell and hearing.
Sudden vision loss or blindness can be more immediately distressing to both you and your dog. It can cause issues around timidity, anxiety, and navigational problems – perhaps more frequent accidents like scrapes and falls.
Prevention and treatment
Keeping your dog in a healthy weight range, getting sufficient exercise and having appropriate nutrition is important. These healthy lifestyle habits can go some way to giving them the best chance of delaying or avoiding eyesight issues. It’s reputed by some sources that foods or supplements high in antioxidants may be potentially helpful in protecting the eye.
A blind or vision impaired dog can still have a good quality of life where contributing issues are under control. You can also still enjoy spending time with your dog with some adjustments to their care and lifestyle.
This summary is of an original article from Top Dog Tips. The team there also go into further detail about specific conditions and expand on some treatment and management options available.
Remember to be observant of changes in your dog and seek qualified diagnosis and treatment or management early.