Types, Causes, and Treatment Of Blindness In Dogs
Canine owners need to know why dogs go blind to understand how to respond well to the disability. Visual impairment is different for various pooches. They are born that way or became like that. Some have partial blindness, while others can’t see for good. Our four-legged pals may also experience intermittent sightlessness. It means that vision loss may come and go. Thus, before addressing the visual impairment, it matters to know the extent of the issue.
Many of our beloved pets become sightless due to aging. But other things bring about blindness in pups and adult canines. Below are some of the known reasons why dogs go blind.
Damage to the optic nerve of canines can cause blindness in dogs too. Like humans, our furry friends can also experience vision loss due to this disease. Many things cause this to surface. Some of what brings about this condition include lens damage or dislocation. Eye inflammation, infection, tumor, and bleeding may also make it happen. But it does more than cause visual problems. This disease may let pooches to experience discomfort and pain. Bloodshot eyes, ocular discharges, and pupillary discoloration may show because of it. Pupil dilation is also another symptom of it. Even if it is chronic, at least treatments for it are available. So it doesn’t have a cure, but there are ways to manage it.
It may be one of the reasons why dogs go blind, but at least it’s a progressive condition. It means that it develops, and people can slow its progression. Through eye drop medications, our pets can experience relief from ocular pressure. These drugs may help improve eye fluid production and drainage. In some cases, veterinary ophthalmologists may recommend eye removal as an appropriate treatment. Thus pet owners usually have varied options to address this condition. Also, since it’s a lifelong issue, it may involve prolonged use of medications. What’s clear is that there should be other supportive measures.
It results in blindness in dogs by way of diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. Too much sugar in the system causes damage to the retina. The disease forms extra and abnormal blood vessels to come out. It affects the fluid in the eye due to poor drainage or blockage. The condition also damages the optic nerves, leading to high ocular pressure. Because of these things, partial or complete vision loss may occur. Veterinarians diagnose diabetes in canines, but some symptoms show its existence. Unlike other pets, diabetic dogs keep drinking water and urinating. They may also have weight reduction despite their appetite. Some suffer from long-term and recurring infections too. The consistent results of testing diabetic canines also reveal high sugar levels. Hence, dogs with diabetes and eye conditions need constant monitoring.
After a vet diagnoses a dog to have diabetes, it must have lifestyle changes. It’s not only that the condition is why dogs go blind. Canines can have severe complications without treatment and support. A dog usually has dietary restrictions and prescribed exercise routines once diagnosed. Insulin therapy may be necessary too. It is to counteract the sugar surplus present. Canine diabetes may mean that the body can’t produce enough insulin or any of it at all. These are also appropriate measures for responding to diabetic cataracts. But at least surgical remedies for eye opacity in canines are available. Cataract removal or lens replacement can restore failing vision. Thus not acting right away when a dog has diabetes is why dogs go blind too.
Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration
It’s the condition that results in immediate blindness in dogs. Canines become sightless in a matter of days or weeks with this health problem. Affected dogs may experience partial or complete and irreversible blindness because of it. Also, the exact cause of it is unknown. Yet some theories point out what gives rise to it. Some say it results from an autoimmune or metabolic response. But it doesn’t cause pain in affected canines. It only causes vision loss despite displaying dilated pupils and red eyes. So it’s unfortunate for our canine companions to have it. But at least supportive measures are available to live with it.
There is no treatment for this lasting condition, but there are measures to make life easier for a blind dog. For instance, keeping its environment the same helps it adapt. It already has the muscle memory to traverse areas it finds familiar. This strategy reduces the chances of a furry friend bumping against surfaces. Instead of using gestures, try switching to verbal and tactile commands. It can help a sightless pooch adjust better since it can respond to what it hears and when it feels you touching it. Putting on a halo to protect it from the environment is also helpful. With a protective barrier, it won’t hit furniture pieces and the wall. Thus there’s always hope, even when there’s no telling when and why dogs go blind sometimes.