Your dog’s eyes, in addition to her tail, may tell you a lot about how she is feeling, including whether she wants to play, go for a walk, or is happy. The health of her eyes, one of her body’s most priceless and intricate organs, is essential to her happiness for the rest of her life.
Dog eyes are different from human eyes in a number of ways, including:
- larger pupils to improve vision in low light
- greater ability to perceive movement than colour and detail
- Long-nosed dogs have excellent peripheral vision because they focus intensely at a distance.
- Short-nosed dogs are excellent at understanding facial expressions and other short-range visual cues.
- a thin shutter-like third eyelid that serves as protection for the eyeball.
These variations explain why they view the world differently than we do. Similar to how we see at dusk, most dogs see shapes rather than clearly defined images. Dogs rely more on their keen sense of smell than on their vision to “see the world around them.
The health of your dog can be learned a lot from looking into her eyes. The ASPCA provides nine health recommendations to assist you in identifying both healthy eyes and warning signals that your dog may require veterinary or eye care attention.
- Look directly into your dog’s eyes in a well-lit environment. The white area around the eye should be white, and they should be bright and clear. Healthy eyes should not tear, discharge, or have crust in the corners. The pupils should be the same size. Bring your dog to the vet if you see cloudiness, yellowish whites, uneven pupil size, or a visible third eyelid.
- Gently roll down the lower eyelid of your dog with your thumb to reveal the lining. Instead of red or white, it should be pink.
- Your dog may have some dirt in her eyes if you see discharge or runny eyes. Wipe a damp cotton ball gently from the corner of the eye outward. Please avoid touching her eye or rubbing the cornea. If the issue persists, your dog can have an eye infection that needs medical attention from your veterinarian.
- To prevent hairs from scratching or poking your dog’s eyes, groom the region around their eyes. Use round-tipped scissors with great caution. You might ask a friend or family member to hold your dog’s head while you do this.
- If you are using any sprays or flea-control solutions, keep your dog’s eyes safe. Avoid using grooming items that can irritate your dog’s eyes.
- Watch how your dog acts. Keep an eye out for any frequent rubbing or squinting. These could be signs of something else going on that needs veterinary care.
- When you’re driving, resist the urge to let your dog hang her head out the window. The risk of infection or harm if debris or an insect touches your dog’s eye is not worth it. The wind might dry up your dog’s eyes.
- To ensure that your dog’s eyes remain in the best possible condition throughout her life, research her breed.
- Make sure your veterinarian examines your dog’s eyes during routine well-animal visits.
Your dog will age naturally, going through changes brought on by growing older. Many dogs get lens clouding beyond the age of six. Your dog will adjust to these changes as this process unfolds gradually.
With ageing, their night vision will become less sharp. Extra illumination can help your dog feel more at peace so she will be more willing to venture outside at night.
As they age, certain dogs may become more sensitive to light, but they will adjust as the change takes hold.
An antioxidant-rich, healthful food is crucial for supporting your dog’s eye health. These items should be fed raw unless otherwise stated. For optimum digestion, lightly purée the fruits and vegetables:
- Carotenoids, phytonutrients, and flavonoids in blueberries
- Vitamin A and beta-carotene in carrots
- Lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants in kale
- Beta-carotene and anthocyanins from sweet potatoes (always serve well cooked)
- Lutein, sulphur, and cysteine in eggs (lightly cooked or raw)
- Salmon and sardines contain omega-3 fatty acids, particularly DHA (raw salmon must be deep-frozen before serving)
The commercial food of your dog will benefit greatly from the addition of these antioxidants in order to enhance eye health. The consequences of the free radicals produced by oxidation will be mitigated by them. Similar to human bodies, cells and tissues can be attacked by free radicals brought on by stress, improper metabolic processes, and a poor nutrition.
Although free radicals can harm other body tissues as well as the immune system of your dog, they are particularly damaging to eye tissues. A diet high in antioxidants at a young age will benefit their general health as they get older.
Our hormone-free, antibiotic-free, and only human-grade meats are used in our bland diet recipes. They are free of pesticides and colours and are gluten-free. produced and sourced in the United States.
Can a dog get his eyesight back?
Each dog’s signs of blindness or visual problems are unique based on the source and extent of their blindness.
If your dog exhibits any of these typical signs, he may be blind or is beginning to lose his vision:
- eye look that is cloudy
- Your dog keeps running into things.
- signs of trepidation or fear when visiting new places
- Your dog has abruptly stopped doing things they normally did, such climbing stairs or jumping onto furniture.
- eyes are swollen, puffy, or red.
- obvious ocular irritability or facial pawing
- If your dog appears uncertain, disoriented, or easily scared
- stumbling onto objects
- appearing hesitant to move
- general awkwardness
- tense while playing
- lacking access to toys, food, and water
- not wanting to leave the house
- more sleep than normal
- extreme thirst
- bigger pupils
- Missing or unable to collect treats thrown at me
The most blatant indication that your dog is losing their vision is when they start running into furniture or other things in your house, especially when they are brand-new. Although your blind dog may have memorised the layout of your house, if you add something new, they’ll probably run into it. Another sign of eyesight impairment is dog anxiety. As a result, if your dog hesitates when going outside to relieve himself at night, it may be a sign that they are losing their vision.
The way your dog’s eyes seem might reveal a lot about their vision. The eyes of blind dogs sometimes appear clouded, red, or bulging. Additionally, when they are exposed to light, their pupils could stop dilating.
Types of Blindness in Dogs
Dogs can get one of three types of blindness. Knowing what kind of blindness your dog has is essential so you can provide the best care possible. Each form of blindness might have various causes, symptoms, and treatments. These canine blindness conditions include:
Causes of Blindness in Dogs
Blindness in dogs can have a wide range of reasons. Dogs may lose their vision as they age, from illness, trauma, or genetic problems. If your dog is partially blind, this could be a sign of an aging-related health condition such heart disease, kidney, or liver issues. Knowing the cause of your dog’s blindness is essential so that, if feasible, you can discover the right treatment.
Some of the most typical reasons for canine blindness include the following:
Blindness is one of the symptoms of diabetes, which has become more prevalent in dogs. This is due to the fact that most diabetic dogs experience cataract development within six months of diagnosis, which may result in partial or total blindness. Diabetes is more likely to affect older dogs, female dogs, and obsessive dogs.
Glaucoma, which is an accumulation of fluid inside the eye, can cause your dog significant discomfort. Blindness may arise from retinal damage brought on by glaucoma. Glaucoma usually has observable symptoms that develop gradually, making it simple to identify the condition in its early stages. Eye discharge that is yellow or green, dilated pupils, an eye colour that is slightly blue, and bloodshot eyes are all signs of glaucoma. If detected early enough, glaucoma is easily treated with prescription eye drops. However, if the condition is left untreated for a long time, it might result in partial or total blindness.
Suddenly Acquired Retinal Degeneration (SARDS):
SARDS is uncommon in dogs, but it can result in rapid, irreversible blindness. Degeneration of the retina is a result of SARDS. The illness progresses incredibly swiftly and can leave a person totally blind in as little as a few days. SARDS has no established cause, but it’s believed that dogs with Cushing’s illnesses may be more susceptible. Due to the rapid nature of their blindness, dogs with SARDS sometimes struggle to adapt.
Dogs with cataracts are simple to spot since they frequently have milky or foggy eyes. Cataracts often begin in a tiny area of the eye, but they can spread to the whole lens. The disease prevents light from properly reaching the retina and blocks a dog’s pupils. Both eyes or just one may be affected. Although cataracts are frequently a sign of diabetes, they can also appear in response to trauma. It will be simpler to treat cataracts if you catch them early. Treatment options frequently include prescription drugs and nutritional supplements, however surgery is another option that can be used to remove the cataract and implant a lens implant to restore eyesight. A veterinarian eye specialist must do the surgery.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy:
The genetic disorder known as Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) causes the retina to degenerate and can result in blindness. It is painless. The development of PRA can either be early, affecting puppies, or late, affecting older dogs. There is no cure for PRA, which manifests more slowly than SARDS. Breeds of dogs like Bedlington Terriers, Rottweilers, Golden Retrievers, and Labrador Retrievers are more prone to acquiring PRA.
An injury to the cornea’s surface is known as a corneal ulcer. When a dog develops a corneal ulcer, fluid builds up in the stroma, giving the appearance of cloudiness in the eye. Because a corneal ulcer causes a dog great agony, your dog may rub the injured eye to ease some of the discomfort. They might also tend to close the damaged eye in an effort to shield it. Eye trauma is the most frequent cause of a corneal ulcer. Less frequent but still potential causes include viral infections, bacterial infections, or other disorders. Surgery can be necessary to prevent the eye injuries and encourage healing.
Some autoimmune diseases, like Pannus, have the potential to make dogs blind. The cornea is harmed by the disorder known as pannus. Eye medication can quickly alleviate pannus, but if it goes untreated for a long time, it can result in serious vision loss or possibly blindness.
Another autoimmune disease that can make dogs blind is uveodermatologic syndrome. The body’s pigmented cells are impacted by this disorder, notably in people with blue eyes. Eye difficulties, such as redness, squinting, and hazy eyes, are frequently the first symptoms to appear. Systemic corticosteroids are frequently employed as a kind of therapy. Your dog’s vision may be temporarily restored if the problem is discovered early enough, but it still has a chance of progressing to blindness.
Dogs may go blind if they have tumours in, on, or behind their eyes. The growth may obstruct a dog’s eyesight and harm the eye’s structure. The only option to treat an eye tumour is to also remove the eye if one is discovered in or near the eye. Additionally, brain and nerve tumours have the potential to result in blindness.
Dogs who have had certain traumas, such as being struck in the face, scratched, or hit by a car, may go blind. Blindness may develop from injury to the eyes themselves or to the brain or nerves that control vision. Usually, this kind of blindness would develop abruptly as a direct result of the stress.
Risk Factors That May Increase Likelihood
There are some risk factors that can raise a dog’s chance of developing blindness. These elements consist of:
- Breed: There is a higher hereditary propensity for visual problems in Cocker Spaniels, Poodles, Siberian Huskies, Schnauzers, Golden Retrievers, Maltese, Boston Terriers, Old English Sheepdogs, Shih Tzus, Pugs, and Yorkshire Terriers.
- Age: A dog’s vision tends to decline with time, just like a human’s does. Older dogs are more prone to glaucoma and cataracts, two medical disorders that can eventually result in blindness. As your dog ages, it’s crucial to take them to the vet as frequently as every six to nine months so that their eyesight may be regularly assessed.
Diagnosing Blindness in Dogs
It’s critical to take your dog to the vet as soon as you fear they may be getting blind. Your pet’s vet will perform a thorough physical examination that includes measurements of the eye pressure, pupil reaction time, body temperature, blood pressure, reflexes, weight, oxygen level, respirations, and heart rate. It’s critical to monitor your dog’s symptoms and note whether they improve or worsen so you can inform your veterinarian. To rule out underlying conditions like Cushing’s disease or diabetes, your veterinarian may also do additional diagnostic testing.
Antioxidant lutein has been demonstrated to improve canine retinal response and visual performance. Spinach and other leafy greens contain it. We comprehend if your dog is reluctant to devour a plate of raw or cooked spinach. Ollie tries to hide some greens like spinach in our dishes because of this. The peas in our beef dish are also rich in lutein, which supports your dog’s vision. You can also give your dog a nutritional supplement that contains lutein if your veterinarian advises giving them more lutein than they are currently getting from their diet.
What is this elixir of magic incapable of? Our top supplement recommendation for a variety of ailments, such as joint, heart, and even skin problems, is fish oil. It has been shown to lower inflammation. Fish oil is beneficial for your dog’s eyes since it contains DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid), a fatty acid that is naturally found in the retina. Give some salmon, krill, or cod liver oil as an option. Your dog is already receiving a healthy dosage of cod liver oil with every meal if they enjoy Ollie’s Chicken Recipe. You can buy fish oil capsules or just drizzle oil directly on your dog’s food if they need an extra boost. Keep in mind to put their fish oil in the fridge.
For good vision, enough vitamin A levels are essential. Consider giving your dog foods high in vitamin A and beta-carotene to keep his eyes keen enough to detect the tempting treat across the kitchen. Foods like carrots, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes fall within this category. In Ollie’s turkey recipe, we use a lot of pumpkin and carrots. Kale is another excellent option to increase the amount of beta-carotene in your dog’s food and is included in our recipe for lamb. They’re a terrific treat to give your dog if you want to give him some extra vegetables. Some dogs prefer cooked carrots to raw ones, so consider gently boiling them.
This colourful fruit, often called a European Blueberry, is brimming with anti-inflammatory compounds. Dogs with eye issues frequently receive treatment with it. Additionally, it has demonstrated potential in the treatment of several tumour forms. If you’re thinking about giving your dog bilberry supplements, check with your veterinarian to see if they’re a good fit for him or her.