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The most common causes of canine vision loss

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Posted on May 27 2018

Canine vision loss can occur for several reasons and can occur gradually or suddenly, depending on the cause. Recognizing the symptoms of vision loss and controlling the problem early can minimize or prevent blindness in your dog. Dogs with vision problems can go to live a full and active life with the use of their other senses and some patience and training of the owners.



Symptoms of vision loss

Signs that your dog may be losing vision in one or both eyes include:

  • Clumsiness
  • Hesitation before entering dark rooms or unknown areas
  • Difficulty finding familiar objects such as feeders and drinking fountains
  • Lethargy and excessive sleep
  • enlarged eyeball (s)
  • Color change of the pupil
  • Aggressive or surprise behavior, even familiar faces around
  • Scratching, kicking or rubbing the eyes or head
  • watery or inflamed eyes
  • secretion of eyes or eyes with scabs


The most common causes of loss of vision of the dog

Cataracts: Cataracts cause opacity of the lens of the eye and loss of vision and is usually a hereditary disease, although symptoms may develop as a result of eye trauma, diabetes or poor nutrition. Surgery is a common and successful treatment option, but it can not be used in all cases.

Glaucoma: This painful disease is caused by the accumulation of fluids in the eye, resulting in increased pressure. Glaucoma should be recognized immediately in order to prevent vision loss. Homeowners should look for signs of redness, swelling, squinting, rubbing, and watery eyes. Glaucoma can also develop as a result of cataract surgery, eye injuries, tumors or medications.

Dry eye syndrome: Dry eye occurs when the tear film of the eye is damaged due to medication, infections such as canine distemper or a congenital defect. Cocker Spaniel, Bulldogs, Shih Tzu and Lhasa Apso often develop dry eye as a result of an autoimmune disease that attacks the lacrimal glands.

In cultivated on the eyelids / entropion: entropion is a condition that causes the eyelids to roll inward, often irritating the cornea. This problem can develop due to genetics or repeated inflammation of the eye that is left untreated.

Corneal ulcers: These ulcers are a common problem in dogs and cats and can cause vision loss. An ulcer on the cornea due to a foreign object, scratch of another animal or a sharp object and cause an ulcer to develop. If this ulcer is infected and left untreated, a corneal ulcer can cause blindness.

The prevention of vision loss in your dog

CERF, or Canine Eye Registry Foundation, maintains a database to monitor hereditary eye disease in purebred dogs. The CERF certification is only valid for one year, for annual checks are essential to prevent genetic diseases being transmitted through breeding.

Vision loss can occur at any age and owners should look for symptoms of eye problems as part of a routine general health examination. Even small scratches on a puppy's eye can result in glaucoma or corneal ulcers so a trip to the vet is essential for early treatment and prevention of vision loss.

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