Blindness in dogs

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 20.11.2021

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Any condition that results in a blockade of light falling on the retina disrupts the vision in dogs. This category includes corneal diseases and cataracts. Other important causes of blindness in dogs are glaucoma, uveitis and retinal diseases.

Most of the causes of blindness can not be detected with a general examination of the eyes. But there are some signs that suggest that the dog does not see as well as before. For example, a dog with impaired vision may step too high or too carefully, or step on objects that usually bypassed, bump into furniture or keep the nose close to the ground. Dogs that previously easily caught objects thrown by them can start to miss. Reduced activity of older dogs is usually simply written off for age, but this may be due to a decrease in vision.

Directing a bright light to the eye of the dog to determine the narrowing of the pupil is not an accurate test, because the pupil can only decrease reflexively. This examination does not help you to understand whether a dog can form a visual image.

One way to test vision can be putting a dog in a dark room with redone furniture. When the dog starts walking, notice whether it moves confidently or hesitates and encounters furniture. Turn on the light and retest the test. A completely blind dog will do the same thing in both tests. A dog with poor eyesight will show more confidence when the light is on. Such tests can give quality information about vision, but the level of its reduction can be determined only when examined by a veterinarian.

The diagnosis of blindness or irreversible loss of vision is not a catastrophe. In fact, most of the dogs, even with normal vision, do not see very well. They rely more on their acute hearing and sense of smell. With a decrease in vision, these feelings become even more acute. This allows dogs with impaired vision to easily navigate in the territories that they know. However, you should not remove a blind dog from a leash in unfamiliar places to avoid injuries. At home, try not to move furniture, because your dog has a map of the location of various objects in his mind. If the dog has poor eyesight, try to limit her movement on the street. Walking on a leash will be completely safe workouts. The dog will learn to rely on its master as a guide.

It is very important while the dog can see to prepare for possible blindness. This can be done by training the dog's reaction to the basic commands, such as "stand" and "to me." When the dog becomes blind, obedience can save her life.


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