Updated: Mar 3, 2020
Many obstacles and situations are not dangerous for your four-legged buddy if they can see, but can become so if they are blind. No one wants their dog unknowingly wandering in front of a car, falling down the stairs, or running into sharp objects.
Symptoms of Blindness in dog
Bumping into walls and furniture
Startling easily and apprehensive behavior
Inability to find objects like toys, food and water bowls
Reluctance to go out at night
Excessive sleeping or loss of playfulness
Changes in the appearance of the eyes.
There are two types of blindness:
Partial blindness is most commonly caused by cataracts, a condition where the normally transparent lens turns cloudy, preventing light from reaching the retina, resulting in partial blindness.
With complete blindness, your dog is unable to see anything, or unable to sense light.
Causes of blindness in dog
With age, vision problems (ranging from hazy vision to complete blindness) occur in many dogs. Unfortunately it is part of a process that affects all living creatures. There is little that can be done.
An untreated eye infection can lead to temporary vision problems, or to permanent blindness.
A stroke can also result in temporary or permanent blindness.
Other serious conditions
Blindness can however sometimes be a secondary symptom to other serious conditions like heart, liver, and kidney disease; or systemic diseases such as diabetes.
Glaucoma in dogs
Glaucoma is a condition in which pressure is placed on the eye, usually as a result of inadequate fluid drainage in the surrounding area.
If the condition becomes chronic or goes untreated, then it will eventually cause permanent damage to the optic nerve, resulting in blindness.
Injury or trauma
Eye injuries are a major cause of vision loss in dogs, either physical or chemical.
Injuries can range from a benign and removable substance in the eye, to something far more serious.
Acute damage to any part of eye, optic nerve, or any area of the brain related to vision, often causes permanent vision loss.
Cataracts in dogs
A cataract is opacity in the lens of a dog's eye, which causes blurred vision. If the cataract is small, it will not impact the vision heavily, but serious cataracts can cause extensive blindness.
If your dog has cataracts, they must be monitored as the thicker and denser they become, the more your dog’s sight is impacted.
Cataracts can be caused by:
If your dog is suffering from diabetes then it may develop into cataracts, which can result in partial or total blindness.
In fact, development of cataracts can be the first indication that a dog is diabetic.
It is a leading cause of blindness and is one of the most common intraocular diseases in dogs.
If your dog has been diagnosed with diabetes, then we suggest you speak to your vet about putting your dog on our Diabetes Support Mix.
Our mix helps to improve food metabolism, normalise blood sugar levels and prevent long-term complications – like blindness – that can arise from diabetes.
Our mix contains:
Rich in nutrients & antioxidants, vitamins C & K, phenolic acids and anthocyanins. Bilberry helps to lower blood sugar levels.
High in calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, copper & zinc. Gymnema reduces the absorption of sugar from the intestinal tract and boosts insulin
Rich in ginsenosides and gintonin, a potent anti-inflammatory & antioxidant. Panax Ginseng lowers and normalises blood sugar levels.
Rich in Iron, Manganese & Magnesium. Fenugreek helps lower blood sugar levels and improves insulin function.
High in vitamins A, B & C and amino acids, it is a strong anti-inflammatory. Rehmannia also lowers blood sugar levels
Diabetes and poor diet are linked...but it should be remembered that it is vital to ensure your dog has the correct diet right from the start, as malnutrition, particularly in puppies, can also lead to blindness. So make sure your dog is getting all the right nutrients for its age and stage in life.
Herbal treatments for infections
Herbs can be used in infusion form in the eyes, but teas and decoctions must be cooled while covered, and made fresh every day. Rather than being dropped in the eye, they should be used to wipe them down thoroughly
Euphrasia (Euphrasia Officinalis)
This herb is used for conditions that produce serous or mucoid discharges of the eye. It is most often used for allergic or irritant conjunctivitis.
It will help in resolution or improvement of catarrhal conjunctivitis in dogs.
Goldenseal (Hydrastis Canadensis) or Barberry (Berberis Vulgaris)
These herbs are commonly used for conjunctival inflammation, superficial corneal ulcers, and blepharitis.
As with all conditions - the first port of call for your dog should always be your local veterinary clinic. A good vet will examine your dog's eye, check your dog's history, and make a sound diagnosis. When this has been done, they can then assist you with the correct course of action to help your dog.