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How To Tell If Your Dog Is Losing Its Sight

Blindness in one or both eyes can be caused by a number of factors, but usually arises from disorders in the stuctures of the eyes. Watch your dog closely to see if he displays any of these signs of vision loss.

Daydreaming: Image by LifeSupercharger, FlickrDaydreaming: Image by LifeSupercharger, Flickr 

Clumsiness And Confusion

Dogs have a tendancy of memorizing their surroundings as their vision goes, so you may not be able to tell right off the bat if your dog can't see his surroundings. However, if he shows signs of confusion or seems clumsy in new areas, it's possible he's experiencing vision loss. To test this, you can take your dog to a new area or home to see how well he moves around in it.

Night Vision

Night vision is usually the first to go. However, loss of night vision often goes unnoticed because it's difficult to gauge vision problems in the dark, and because dogs have a tendancy to memorize their surroundings. To test your pup's night vision, try moving some furniture around in the house, turning off the lights, and calling the dog towards you. If he bumps into things on his way towards you, you might want to have his vision checked.

Fuzziness Or Cloudiness Of The Eyes

If your dog's eyes look cloudy, fuzzy, white, or even teary it may be a sign of vision problems or eye disorders. Cloudy eyes are common in many older dogs, but they can also be a sign that your pup has a corneal ulcer or abrasion. Also, cloudy eyes are usually a sign that the cornea is inflamed, resulting in vision problems. Your pup's eyes may also be teary, and you may notice some squinting or pawing at the eye.

Large Pupils

Eye to Eye: Image by TheGiantVermin, FlickrEye to Eye: Image by TheGiantVermin, Flickr

Large or dilated pupils could be a symptom of glaucoma, or other vision problems such as progressive retinal atrophy which can lead to permanent blindness. Enlarged pupils may also be a sign of toxicity, medication side effects or stress. If your pup develops enlarged pupils, it's a good idea to take him to the vet.

Lack Of Reaction Or Easily Startled

If your dog doesn't react to his favorite treat or toy from a distance, seems to smell things before he sees things, or gets easily startled, it's possible he's experiencing vision problems. To test this, try dropping a toy in front of him without hitting his nose. If he doesn't react to the toy until it hits the ground, or doesn't follow it as it's moving, there's a good chance he's experiencing vision problems.

If your dog shows any of these signs, be sure to take him to the vet as soon as possible to get him checked out. 

Sources: Pet PlacePetMDASPCA

Also Read:  Protect Your Dog's Vision With These 4 Supplements and 7 Natural Treatment Options To Prevent Pet Eye Disorders for more information.

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