Losing our sight is an unfortunate aspect of life that almost all animals have to endue – even dogs.
Like humans, dogs experience much of life through vision, and rely greatly on their eyes for guidance. When a dog begins to lose his sense of sight, every part of his life is altered.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for canine blindness. However, there are a few things you can do to help your dog through the transition to being vision impaired, as well as some tips on how you can adjust to this change as well.
Just remember that, regardless of your dog’s age, he is still the same lovable pup as before.
1. Visit the Veterinarian
If you believe your dog is losing his vision, making an appointment with your veterinarian is the most important step to make. Regardless of your medical or animal handling background, receiving an official diagnosis from your vet will dictate your next step. This is important for your dog’s safety, as vision loss can be a symptom or sign of a much more life-threatening illness, such as diabetes, cancer, or other diseases.
Book an appointment with your veterinarian, and bring your dog in for a checkup if you believe he may be losing his sight. From there, you and your vet will come to a decision on how to treat your dog’s medical condition.
2. Start Recommended Treatment or Exercises
Once you leave the vet’s office, be sure to follow all of their advice! Though some of the treatments or exercises may seem tedious, expensive, or unnecessary, remember that your vet is your dog’s best friend in health. After speaking with the doctor, prepare yourself and your dog for all the recommended treatments, medications, etc. to combat your dog’s vision loss.
Creating a routine and getting your dog on a consistent schedule for any possible treatments will make the process easier.
Do not attempt any home remedies without consulting your veterinarian first!
3. Create A Comfortable Environment
Creating a comfortable environment for your dog is important. We can guarantee that, if he is losing his vision, he is already in some form of discomfort. Removing obstacles, creating a safe sleeping space, and filling it with your dog’s favorite things will help ease him through this transition.
If your dog has a favorite bed, blanket, or spot, make sure it is easily accessible, and is equipped with his special possessions, like toys or chews.
As long as there aren’t too many changes in the home, his loss of vision may not affect his ability to exist within the house.
4. Puppy Proof Your Home
Puppy proofing your home is a necessary step. Once your dog loses his vision, he won’t be able to maneuver around obstacles, or avoid hazards. Consider this situation similar to baby proofing.
If you have a home with stairs or steps, set up baby gates to block off the pathway. You will also want to remove large obstacles, tripping hazards, and sharp objects from any area your dog frequents. Without his sight, he will be relying largely on touch and smell, meaning that he may begin to explore with his mouth more often. This is important to remember when removing hazards that may harm your dog if ingested.
5. Attend Regular Checkups
Attending regular checkups is necessary, even if your dog’s diagnosis is definite. As your dog ages, he becomes more likely to fall ill, or to suffer from ailments related to aging. If your dog is losing his vision, it is important to check the progress of his vision loss, investigate other options for treatment, and focus on preventative care for other age-related ailments.
Unfortunately, we can’t cure vision loss, but we can support our dogs through this difficult time.