Blindness may occur in canines due to several reasons, and because they adapt well to change, it may be hard to see that your dog is going blind if it is gradual. It is possible to catch symptoms early to prevent irreversible blindness. If your pet does go blind, however, it can still lead a happy and full life. Below are the signs, causes, treatment options, and caring tips concerning blindness in dogs.
Signs of Canine Blindness
Canine blindness often has physical and behavioral signs. If you sense anything is wrong, it is best to take your pet to the vet for an accurate diagnosis, as various symptoms can be signs of different health problems. Even so, common signs your dog may be showing include:
- Sleeping more often
- Eating more often
- Drinking excessively
- Fear of going outdoors
- Bumping into things
- Unable to find food and water bowls
Any abnormality of your dog’s eyes is something to take seriously. If your dog has continuously red eyes, enlarged pupils, or white or brown film over the eyes, it may be going blind.
Blindness in dogs can happen due to genetics, diabetes, SARDS (Sudden acquired retinal degeneration syndrome,) glaucoma, cataracts, old age, infection, or injury. Some breeds are more likely to develop blindness than others, like short-nosed dogs, Siberian huskies, poodles, collies, German shepherds, and English springer spaniels.
While one can catch and correct glaucoma and cataracts early on, SARDS can happen overnight with no known cause. There is currently no cure for this type of blindness. However, if there is an underlying condition with the dog, like diabetes, hypertension, or Cushing’s syndrome, the vet will need to treat that first. If it is one of the first two, you will likely need to care for your dog with a special diet, medication, and exercise routine from then on.
Caring for a Blind Dog
In some cases, like SARDS and old age, your pet may go completely blind. Each dog reacts differently; some may become more anxious about food, become depressed, oversleep, or lose some of their luster. Even so, it is possible for your dog to have a happy life nonetheless. Ways to help include:
- Not rearranging the furniture
- Keeping food and water in the same place
- Communicating through sound, touch, and smell
- Creating a blind-dog-friendly house
- Introducing a sighted friend
Trust the Care of Your Pet to the Professionals at Everhart Veterinary Medicine!
At Everhart Veterinary Medicine, our veterinary professionals strive to provide your pet with the very best of veterinary care. We believe that the best care for your pet should be provided by experienced, compassionate, and knowledgeable veterinary professionals. With two Maryland locations in both Baltimore and Pasadena, we are always ready to welcome your pet as a new patient! Give us a call today at 410-355-3131 or 410-793-7670! For more information, as well as updates on veterinary news and topics, visit us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Pinterest!