As dogs get older, it is quite common for them to lose their sight. Their vision can deteriorate rapidly or gradually over time. If you notice any of the following, you should take your dog to a qualified vet for an eye exam to see if he or she is going blind:
- Cloudy eyes
- Swollen eyes
- Redness in the eyes
- Lumps around the eyes
- Bumping into things
- Not finding toys or balls
- Less keen to go outside
If Your Dog Is Blind
If the vet diagnoses your dog with blindness, here are some things you can do to ensure your dog continues to have a happy and safe life:
- Keep the dog’s routine the same and furniture around the home in the same place. Do not leave things where the dog can bump into, like washing baskets in the hallway as this can lead to disorientation. Food and water bowls should be kept in the same place. The same applies to the dogs bed and toy basket, if it has one.
- Communicate with other senses. Use your voice for commands and letting your dog know you are close by. Other dogs in the house can wear a bell so the blind dog knows where they are. Try not to fill the room with lots of air fresheners or diffusers as this could confuse a blind dog. Touch is a very reassuring reward, especially for a blind dog, so lots of cuddles are in order!
- When exercising a blind dog, try to keep it on a lead. The dog will feel your presence on the end of the lead which will provide reassurance. Furthermore, a blind dog could get lost if it was allowed to wander off lead, which would be distressing for both of you.
- Enjoy the time with your dog – caring for it and being the eyes on the ground will strengthen your bond. You could teach the dog new commands or tricks using sound and smell.
Monitor your dog’s overall mental and physical health. If the sight is getting worse or the dog loses weight, appears stressed or looks depressed, take it back to the vet for further investigation.
IWCT runs a free consultation clinic from the Treatment Centre in Concepcion, Tarlac every Tuesday morning. Message via the Facebook page or just show up as there is no need to book onto these clinics.
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