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Sudden Blindness In Dogs

 Submitted by Michael Adams on March 10, 2010

Sudden blindness in dogs takes place when the dog loses vision in both eyes simultaneously. Since they have a keen sense of hearing and smell, the loss of vision is usually compensated for with the other senses. For this reason, a dog may behave quite normally even with the loss of vision in one eye.

It’s only when the vision is weakened in the other eye as well that the owner notices that something is amiss. There are many causes of dog blindness. Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration (SARD) is one of the reasons.

This condition damages the retina, which is responsible for eyesight, thus causing sudden blindness. Progressive eye diseases like corneal damage, cataracts and glaucoma are also responsible for canine blindness. These are caused by dog diabetes mellitus. When suffering from this, the dog has to be administered insulin injections regularly. Since there is no cure, as such for diabetes, it’s important that the owner feeds the dog healthy food that is high in proteins and fiber, while the intake of carbohydrates and fats should be restricted. A daily exercise program is also recommended to keep the dog healthy.

Sudden blindness in dogs is also caused by serious diseases like Cushing’s disease, epilepsy, brain tumor, and heart, liver and kidney diseases. In epilepsy, if the dog has a grand-mal seizure, the supply of oxygen to the brain stops, and if the attack continues for a long time, the dog loses eyesight. Since dogs often do not show symptoms, it’s important that the owner keeps a check on the dog’s behavior. If the dog seems reluctant to jump in dim lights, runs into objects, becomes clumsy, gets startled easily, sleeps excessively, is inattentive, cannot find his food or water dish and tends to lose his way in the house, it could mean the dog has lost his vision. When you spot these symptoms, make it a point to seek medical help for the dog immediately. The vet will diagnose and prescribe a treatment. On his part, the owner can make the environment friendly for the dog. The owner must remove all obstacles and objects from the house that could pose hazard. It would help if the furniture is not re-arranged as the dog gets used to the set up before blindness. Verbal communication becomes very important; it should always be clear and loud. The owner must make it a point to address the dog before patting it as generally the dog becomes fearful when he loses eyesight suddenly and he may bite as a defense.  

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