Is Your Dog Experiencing Vision Loss?

If your dog is losing his eyesight, these five steps will help you work through this difficult time together.

Losing one’s eyesight is a hardship that both humans and dogs sometimes endure. Unfortunately, no one’s invented canine contact lenses or glasses (yet?), so there’s no cure for your pup’s failing vision. It can be a difficult transition, for both dog and owner.

But don’t lose heart! There are ways to ease your pooch through the transition, as well as some tips on how you can adjust to the change, too.

1. Visit the veterinarian

If you have a hunch your dog is losing his vision, don’t delay: make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible—vision loss can be a sign or symptom of a previously undiagnosed life-threatening illness. And, regardless of your animal handling background, receiving an official diagnosis from a professional will help you dictate your next steps together with your vet.

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2. Start recommended treatments immediately

Follow your vet’s advice: Although some treatments and/or exercises may seem tedious, expensive or unnecessary, remember that a vet is your dog’s best friend when it comes to health. After speaking with the doctor, prepare both yourself and your pup for all the recommendations needed to help combat your dog’s vision loss.

Creating a new routine and keeping your dog on a regular schedule will make the process easier for you both. But don’t attempt any natural home remedies without consulting your veterinarian first!

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3. Create a comfortable environment

It’s almost a guarantee that if your dog is losing his vision, he’s already in some form of discomfort. Try subtle changes, such as removing obstacles from the floor, creating safe sleeping spaces and filling the spot with your dog’s favourite comfort items will help ease him through the transition. And if your dog has a favourite bed, blanket or chew toy make sure it’s easily accessible.

As long as there aren’t too many changes in the home that he would find disorienting, his loss of vision may not affect his overall ability to live within the house.

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4. Puppy-proof your home

This is a necessary step when your dog loses his vision. Sadly, he won’t be able to maneuver around obstacles or avoid certain hazards as a result of his condition. When planning a strategy, think of it as similar to baby-proofing for toddlers.

If you have a home with stairs, set up baby gates to block off the pathway. You’ll also want to remove large obstacles and tripping hazards from the floor, as well as any sharp objects. Your pup will largely rely on touch and smell, and he’ll have to explore with his mouth more than ever.

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5. Attend regular check-ups

Even if your dog’s diagnosis isn’t a worst-case scenario, regular check-ins with your family vet is a general rule of thumb. As your pooch ages, he’s more likely to get sick, or suffer from ailments related to aging. If your dog is losing his vision, it’s important to check the progress of his vision loss and investigate other options for treatment.

Most importantly, be there to emotionally guide your dog through this difficult transition.

Article courtesy of World of Angus. For more information and stories you love about your best friend—and premium products for your pup—visit their website.