“Lossing the vision, means the end of the world.” If an owner senses that the pet is having problems in seeing, he should immediately consult the Vet. There are several causes of blindness in dogs.
Signs of Canine Blindness
Depending on the underlying causes, the symptoms can differ from dog to dog. Some signs are:
- Bumping into the furniture suddenly
- Getting scared to move
- General clumsiness or sudden jumpiness
- Clearly being doubtful during the day
- Unable to find foods, water or toys
- Depression and anxiousness, and not willing to go outside
- Sleeping more than the usual
- Excessive thirst
- Enlarged pupils and cloudiness or redness of the eyes
Types of Blindness
- Partial blindness with signs like cloudy vision
- Intermittent blindness where the symptoms persist and fade away randomly
- Permanent blindness where the dog cannot see anything, even light
- Glaucoma, a painful condition
- Cataracts which results in blurry vision
- According to a survey, one in ten dogs are diabetic, and seventy-five percent of them end up being blind
- Sudden infections or injuries
- Progressive retinal atrophy or PRA
- Sudden Retinal degeneration syndrome
Breeds at Risk
Blindness is not gender or breed specific. Some are at higher risks of developing blindness due to primary Glaucoma, such as Beagle, and Siberian Husky, along with certain Spaniel breeds. Shih Tzus seems to be at higher risks as they quickly develop the condition of retinal detachment.
Older dogs tend to develop blindness associated with Cancer and the ones that who frequently go out of the house can contact infectious diseases or trauma associated vision loss.
The Veterinarian may do particular tests such as:
- Pupil Reaction Time
- Reflexes Body Temperature
- Breath Sounds
- Pulse Oximetry
- Heart Rate
The owner will have to inform about the symptoms, abnormalities, and change in the eating pattern of the dog. Before consulting the Vet, keep medical and vaccination records ready.
The Vet may prescribe tests like Serum chemistry analysis or complete blood count, to rule out any underlying cause(s) of blindness, such as Diabetes or Cushing’s syndrome. Some other standard tests usually done are:
- Serum alkaline phosphatase
- Serum alkaline aminotransferase
- ACTH Stimulation test
Treating blindness will depend and vary on the cause(s) of the disease. Some cases of blindness, such as SARDS and PRA, has no treatments. If tests reveal the presence of an underlying cause, it needs to be addressed first. However, the only likely remedy will be to train the dog to live with blindness. There are several help groups for the dogs which can train the dog to live with the disease.
- Diabetes: The dog will get insulin shots on a daily basis for the rest of its life. The dog will also need a unique diet plan and special exercises.
- Cushing’s Syndrome: Treatment for Cushing’s Syndrome depends on the cause of the condition. If the reason is a tumor in the adrenal gland, the vet will have to remove the tumor through surgery.
In most of the cases, the dog will resume its normal life after a week’s training or rehabilitation programme. Their natural ability to adapt to an environment will slowly make them accustomed to this condition. In the meantime, if any problem persists, then the owner must give a call to the Vet.