Dog has got five working senses with vision being one of them. Of the five, vision is the less used in fact the remaining four senses of a Dog are better than those of a human being.
The loss of this sense of vision whether partially or totally is a condition known as dog blindness. Dog blindness may be present from birth, occur all of a sudden or gradually develop with time.
The latter scenario is the most common among Dogs. The owner upon noticing this will rush to the veterinary with claims of sudden blindness but in real sense the dog has been suffering from the condition over a longer period.
It has proven hard to immediately notice dog blindness in its initial stages since dogs are better equipped to deal with blindness as compared to man. Few cases of sudden dog blindness are recorded and it’s hard for the dog to adjust to especially Suddenly Acquired Retinal Degeneration (SARDS).
Sudden dog blindness has adverse effects since the dog is plunged into darkness without warning. Nervous breakdown and depression are among such effects. The owner also has his share of effects in making quick adjustments to assist the dog in adjusting to his new condition.
All the same it is important to identify some common signs of sudden and gradual dog blindness that the owner can take precautionary measures and consult the veterinary before it’s too late.
Some common signs indicating dog blindness include failure to find toys and food, uneasy behavior, colliding with furniture and walls, general clumsiness, excessive sleep, change in eye appearance, eye rubbing, discolored iris, teary eyes and misjudging heights especially when trying to jump. If the owner notices any one of these symptoms he should seek further medical consultation from his veterinary.
Dog blindness is definitely not a common condition in dogs and further diagnosis by professionals is the only sure way to establish the cause of the condition. These causes range from genetics and normal aging to injury and disease.
Normal aging as a cause of dog blindness is characterized by hazy vision and is easier to cope with. Definitely and old dog will have completed its productive years and a loss in vision as it ages will be anticipated by the owners thus will not have drastic effects.
Diseases are a major cause of dog blindness. Blindness can show up as a secondary symptom to other Dog diseases. Such diseases affect the liver, heart and kidneys.
Diabetes is a more common cause given that it’s on the rise. It may be developed due to poor nutrition, obesity or genetics. It will exhibit in many symptoms one of them being dog blindness though it shows up in the latter stages of the disease.
Other symptoms that will indicate diabetes are drastic weight loss, abdominal pain and frequent urination.
Any observation of such symptoms by the owner should be noted with the veterinary to contain the disease as soon as possible and avoid dog blindness as the disease advances.
Cataracts is another illness that causes dog blindness. It is also a common cause that entails the alteration of the transparent lens of the dog’s eyes causing opacity which prevents light from reaching the retina. The opacity is gradual and the dog sees less and less as the cataracts advances. It can be caused by injury, infections, old age and even diabetes.it can only be treated through surgery.
Another medical condition that causes dog blindness is Glaucoma. This is where the fluid within the eyeball accumulates and exerts pressure in the inside causing a pain similar to that of a migraine headache to the dog.
Further symptoms of Glaucoma include slow response to bright light, bloodshot eyes and pupil dilation. It can be treated medically and surgically.
Inherited causes of dog blindness include genetic conditions that run in the dog’s family. The common genetic causes of dog blindness are Suddenly Acquired Retinal Degeneration(SARDS) and Progressive Retina Atrophy(PTA). SARDS is a condition which affects the retina and prevents it from functioning. It is commonly observed in dogs between 6 to 14 years. Read about bullmustiff lab Mix – Mastador
It is the major cause of sudden blindness in dogs with dogs going completely blind within four weeks after it is notices. The chances of successfully treating SARDS are narrow being that it occurs suddenly and the cost involved may be too high. PTA is another genetic condition which causes the degeneration of the retina. It is more common in certain types of breeds such as poodles, schnauzers and collies.
Some common indicators of PTA include a decrease in the night vision since it will strain to focus. Unlike its counterpart this condition develops gradually over a period of less than one and a half years. Thus is an agent of gradual dog blindness. This degenerate condition has no known cure but only supplements to slow the rate of degeneration.
Finally injuries can cause dog blindness if they damage the eye to a great extent. Some common injuries are severe cuts, scratches and scrapes on the eyes. Minor cases can be corrected using surgery but extreme injuries will lead the dog to losing sight permanently.
Dog blindness caused by genetic conditions is not preventable however all other causes are within the owner’s entire control. Some measures that can be out in place to prevent dog blindness include a good dog diet.
The owner should avail fresh food to the dog rich in vitamins and other nutrients such as lutrin. The nutrients will enhance the dog’s eye health by nourishing it. Another preventive measure is a regular examination or check up by the veterinary on the dog’s eyes.
Especially to notice any change in the appearance of the eyes together with any behavioral changes. SARDS has been linked with the release of a steroid-like substance by the dog’s body glands. This steroid like substance interferes with the dog’s sex hormones which lead to adrenal diseases causing SARDS.
The owner should allow the dog to maintain his sex hormones to reduce the likelihood of obtaining SARDS. Finally the owner should prevent obesity in the dog by maintaining a low- carbohydrate diet to reduce the chances of the dog acquiring diabetes which causes dog blindness as a secondary symptom.
Dogs may not rely on their sense of sight as much as we humans do but a loss of this sense will affect the dog’s normal living. This calls for the precautionary measure to be taken to enable a dog to keep his sight for a longer while.
Video credits goes to YouTube Channel – MercolaHealthyPets