How to Tell If Your Dog is Going Blind?- Aging is a process that every living creature on this planet must face sooner or later. Dogs, regarded as the humans' best friends, also pass through this phase, bringing various unforeseen health issues for them.
Although they are known for their sharp vision, it gets reduced drastically as their paws step into the stage of aging. To find out the early signs, you need to know how to tell if your dog is going blind.
Determining if a dog is going blind involves noticing changes like clumsiness, difficulty finding toys or food, changes in the eye's appearance, or reluctance to go out at night. Unexpected behavioral changes may also occur. Consult a vet for an accurate diagnosis and guidance.
How to Tell if Your Dog is Going Blind?
Vision in dogs doesn't decrease in a day or two. It is a gradual process that may take months or even years. Being an owner of your dog, this gradual decline is quite positive. The reason being you can notice the earlier signs and take precautionary steps accordingly to further reduce this pace.
Therefore, knowing about different signs your dog may show during the initial phase of vision loss becomes essential.
Before heading towards clinical symptoms, it is crucial to understand your dog's day-to-day lifestyle changes. If you observe any of the following signs, you should not forget to take your dog to a vet for further testing and treatment.
Sudden Behavioral Changes
Dogs are among those animals known for their strength, courage, and loyalty. Strong senses, including vision and smell, enable them to perform the majority of tasks demanding proper attention and observation. But lowering vision can steal these qualities instantly.
A dog with poor eyesight starts acting in a hesitant and scared manner, usually at the time of visiting an unknown place.
This may even affect the behavior patterns of your pet and often creates a panic situation in the house. Being a parent of a pet dog, you need to address this issue seriously and look for methods that can improve the deteriorating condition.
Trouble in Judging the Staircase
Dogs' poor vision seeds the plant of misjudgment in their minds. Even a small staircase can become a huge challenge for your furry friend.
If you notice that your dog, who is already familiar with the stairs, misestimated the steps while moving up or down, it can indicate depleting vision power.
Moreover, increased cases of falling from the staircase also spark the concern that your dog is suffering from an eyesight problem.
Loss of Ability to Finish Tasks Quickly
Dogs tend to accomplish their daily tasks in a shorter period without demanding much precious time from their owners.
But declining vision and partial blindness can significantly reduce their reaction time to the given commands. Running in the streets turns out to be a tough activity because of the high fear level of moving objects.
You have to prevent your dog from going into low-light conditions. Furthermore, you can arrange bright objects in the dog's room to help them regain their lost confidence and strength.
Other Possible Lifestyle Signs
In addition to the above changes, the presence of a few other signs can tell you that your dog is going blind. Dogs stop making eye contact with their owners when they can't identify their faces properly.
Continuous jumps to or from the couch and the increased desire to get emotional support show the urgent need to meet the vet to identify the reasons behind them.
Formation of Clouds in Eyes
It is one of the most common clinical signs that a dog going blind can show. The creation of a gray-blue hue or cloud-like formation in the eyes is an indicator of cataract or glaucoma. You can observe other symptoms, such as discharge from the eyes, nuclear sclerosis, and corneal dystrophy.
Evolving White Spots
If you see white spots in their eyes, consulting with the vet is a much-needed measure. These white spots are the collection of calcium or lipid around the cornea, blocking the passage of light from falling clearly on the lens. They usually evolve into big spots covering the entire lens area.
Improper Functioning of Pupil
This aspect often drives blindness in dogs. Dogs' pupils function similarly to that humans' pupils.
It means that the pupil enlarges and narrows down in darker and brighter conditions, respectively.
If the pupil stops contracting during extremely bright situations, it indicates that the dog is going blind.
Presence of Thick Mucus Around the Eyes
Tears' absence leads to thick mucus-forming the corners of the dog's eyes. When dogs suffer from chronic dry eyes, their body discharges thick mucus to provide moisture to the eyes. But it blocks normal vision and reduces the power to focus on objects.
In such a scenario, you must immediately visit your vet to obtain the medications and treatment for your furry friend.
How to Conduct Easy Tests at Home?
Apart from noticing the different signs, you can also know your dog's eyesight condition by performing some effective tests.
To understand the pupil's functioning, you can light a torch to check for the contraction of the pupil. It must be done carefully as it may impact the dog's normal vision.
Menace Response Test, a form of reflex test, is also considered to be effective in knowing whether the dog is going blind or not.
In this test, you need to place your open hand at a distance of 18-inches from your dog's eyes.
Move your hand in a manner that can lead to the creation of an air current.
However, ensure to maintain a proper distance (preferably 2-inches) of your hand from the dog. You need to see if the dog blinks his eyes at this sudden action.
Another quick test can also be done at the house only. Take one of your dog's favorite toys and drop it from a height above the level of his head. If his vision is improper, the dog will not follow the visual direction of the toy.
Treatment Methods to Cure the Vision of Dogs
The effectiveness of dog blindness treatment is dependent on the reason that has led to vision loss in your dog and the stage at which it is detected. Research studies have shown that two-fifth of dogs suffering from glaucoma become completely blind as the ailment progresses.
Similar can happen in the case of cataracts if not treated at the right time. You don’t need to worry when your dog suffers from minor trauma due to an infection or accident. It is usually corrected by providing the appropriate help.
Several dog owners search for various methods to cure glaucoma in their pet dogs. However, the lack of information can make the condition worse.
It is suggested that you should visit the vet for regular checkups and use the medications provided to decrease the pressure from the eyes.
In the worst-case scenario, removing the eye through surgery is typically recommended.
Surgeries often help restore the vision of dogs with a cataract in their eyes. However, the effect of treatment varies for different breeds.
This can save a dog from going blind. Moreover, the cost of treatment may be high, so you should take a paws' pet insurance at the time when your dog is just a puppy.
How to Live a Happy Life with a Blind Dog?
The future is uncertain, and no one knows what can happen the very next moment. Even after furnishing the proper treatment, restoring the dog's vision is difficult. So, it becomes essential for you to understand how you can have a great time with your blind dog.
- First of all, you can make use of the other senses of your furry friend. Dogs are blessed with amazing smelling abilities. You can put flavor extracts or scents in essential corners of the house. Follow this practice even for your dog's toys so that the dog can have some fun time every day.
- Next, you have to make the home a safer place for your dog, considering the potential external threats as well.
- Always speak or walk with heavy feet whenever you approach your dog. It will prevent the dog from sudden shock and allow him to make up his mind accordingly.
- Never allow any stranger to pet your dog without verbal communication. Provide training to your dog to respond to only certain commands.
- Patience is the Key. Never force your dog to do a specific thing. If he is facing difficulty learning a particular command, give enough time and maintain a positive atmosphere in the house.
Thus, several dogs' signs and actions indicate his eyes' existing health. Early diagnosis of symptoms, appropriate treatment, and patience can do wonders for your dog. Hence, thorough knowledge of symptoms and vision tests can tell if your dog is going blind.
That’s why, at that point, it is the responsibility of the dog parent to understand the dog’s condition and take effective measures quickly by knowing how to tell if your dog is going blind.