There are many factors that can cause dogs to go blind including old age, genetics, illness or a medical condition like diabetes. Understanding the cause of your dog’s change in vision can help you to care for them and ease the transition into life without sight.
Medical Conditions That Cause Pets to Go Blind
There are many diseases that can impact a dog’s vision and cause them to go blind. Some of the most common conditions causing blindness in dogs include: cataracts, SARDS, and Glaucoma.
Cataracts are among the most common medical causes of vision loss in dogs. A pet develops cataracts when there is a change in protein that alters the lens of the eye.
This protein causes a cloudy, white film to appear on the lens. The dog’s vision will worsen over time as the lens becomes more and more opaque. As the lens clouds over, it blocks light from reaching a dog’s retina. Some dogs with cataracts may see a slow transition to blindness, while others may seem to go blind overnight. A dog with diabetes stands a high probability of developing cataracts.
Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration or SARDS is a leading cause of sudden blindness in dogs. SARDS is a degenerative eye condition that causes an otherwise healthy dog to become suddenly blind. The condition is not painful, however most dogs with SARDS are irreversibly blind.
Loss of sight from Glaucoma occurs due to a buildup of pressure from fluid in the eye. Glaucoma is a painful condition, and may occur in one or both eyes.
If treated quickly by a Veterinarian they may be able to save a pet’s eyesight by relieving the eye pressure. Most dogs with glaucoma will be diagnosed between the ages of three to seven years old. If glaucoma is left untreated, it will cause a dog to go completely blind.
There are other medical conditions that causes a dog to go blind including retinal detachment, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), or traumatic injury.
Helping a Dog Adjust to Vision Loss
Many blind dogs or dogs with poor vision adjust well to loss of sight. With a strong sense of smell, keen hearing, and assistive devices like a blind dog halo your pet can live a long, happy life.