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Your dog seems to be bumping into, tripping over, and barking at normal household objects. While this sudden clumsiness may strike you as a little humorous, it can actually be a sign that your pooch is losing his sight. Blindness is very common in dogs and can be caused by a whole bunch of different problems.
Depending on what is messing with your four-legged friend's vision, you may be able to stop things from getting worse. Some dogs are born blind, but the loss of sight can also be caused by preventable illnesses and injuries. Learning more about these precursors can help you take steps now to keep your dog bright-eyed and bushy tailed.
Causes and Prevention of Blindness in Dogs
Blindness is often a symptom of an even larger health issue. In some cases, sight can be restored once it has been lost. In others, the deteriorated vision is permanent. Below are three of the main causes of acquired blindness in dogs.
This well-known disease is super common in canines. Some dogs do have a genetic predisposition to the issue, but many acquire it because of lifestyle. Obesity paired with low activity can speed up diabetes’ onset. Diabetic dogs may rapidly lose weight and have severe abdominal pain, but the first symptom is often blindness from cataracts. To combat this major health problem, a basic routine improvement can work wonders! Take your pooch out for daily walks, hikes, or runs. Exercise has been proven to fight against diabetes. The other key component is to feed your pooch a high quality, super nutritious diet. Dog foods that are extra high in carbs and preservatives are a no-no. These two simple changes can eliminate diabetes before it even starts!
Trauma to the eye can cause it to malfunction. Sometimes it's not the actual injury, but the infection that a wound brings with it that renders your beloved fur-baby blind. Because your dog can't tell you why they're hurting, you need to proactively look for injuries by thoroughly checking your pet each day. If you notice an unusual redness or swelling of the eye, bring your dog into the vet's for a full examination. Treating the wound early can stop an infection from ever infiltrating your pup's eye. Another way to prevent blindness from eye injuries is to take extra precautions so that they don't happen in the first place. Try not to let your dog run wild in wooded areas where running into brush is likely. Always monitor your dog if another animal is present. You can't stop every wound from happening, but you can greatly reduce their likelihood!
This acronym stands for “sudden acquired retinal degeneration syndrome”, which, although painless, can cause a dog to go blind in a matter of days with hardly any warning. It affects middle-aged to older canines and seems to happen more in plumper females. While the problem can be hard to spot in its earliest stages, there are some general things you can do to fight it from ever happening to your pooch. Dogs that are allowed to keep their ovaries or testicles seem to have a lower chance of getting SARDS, so you may want to forgo neutering your pet. Keeping your pupper’s weight in check can also fight against this rapidly developing syndrome. This can be done with a combination of regular exercise and a healthy diet.
High Blood Pressure
Too much pressure in the body can make your dog's eyes bulge to the point where vision is lost. High blood pressure is often a symptom of a more serious health issue. Taking your dog for annual or even semi annual vet check-ups will help you spot high blood pressure sooner. Once you know your dog has it, you can carefully watch for signs that your canine companion's eyes are starting to suffer. Many health issues that cause the increase in pressure can be alleviated with daily vitamins and antioxidants. If your dog is deficient in these things, problems will be more likely to occur. Feeding your dog fresh, raw food can also lessen the chance that it will suffer from high blood pressure.
Importance of Preventing Blindness
Vision loss can be a scary and even painful thing for your dog. So why not save your four-legged friend the stress and prevent it if you can! While blindness itself isn't usually life-threatening, some of the diseases that cause it are. By stopping these diseases from advancing, you could be lengthening your fur-baby’s life and saving yourself many visits to the vet.
Keep an Eye Out for Trouble
Going blind can make walking through your living room a terrifying experience for your dog. No one wants to see their barky buddy sad, scared, or in pain. At the first sign of eye troubles, take your dog to the vet for a closer look. Be extra careful if your poochie is high risk for diabetes. Do your best to prevent eye injuries and infections. Keep your doggo’s blood pressure in check and his weight down. All of these steps can make the difference between a dog who ages in a distressed state or a mutt that calmly enjoys his senior years.