Diagnosing Dogs' Eyesight Problems

Dogs' eyesight problems may be caused by numerous internal and external factors. Diagnosing the eyesight problems may be done judging by the dog's symptoms and by performing a few tests. An ophthalmologist should be consulted for a proper diagnosis.

Dogs' Eyesight Problems

A dog's eyesight problems can range from minor blurred vision caused by an eye infection or a more severe condition, such as glaucoma that can lead to blindness. The loss of eyesight in dogs may be temporary or permanent. If you suspect that your dog has eyesight problems, you should try a simple test. Get a cotton ball and drop it in front of the dog. If the dog has vision problems, he will not notice the cotton ball. If you see no reaction from your pet, he may have a vision problem.

Dog Eyesight Problems Symptoms

If your pet has an eyesight problem, you should be able to notice that the dog has trouble finding his way and he may be bumping into walls or furniture. There may be additional symptoms that are present:

  • Pawing of the eyes
  • Dry eyes
  • Ocular discharges
  • The eyes can become irritated and red
  • Swelling of the eyes
  • Opaque conjunctiva, which is normally transparent
  • Lack of appetite or no eating, due to the fact that the dog may not be able to locate the food bowl (but may be guided by the sense of smell)

Not all these symptoms may be present, but any of these should prompt you to get veterinary help and some tests.

Eye Examination

A vet or an ophthalmologist can perform an eye examination. The specialist will take a look at the eyes and determine if the dog can see. The specialist will isolate the problem. The conjunctiva may be affected, but the problem may start at the optical nerve. The tear duct may also be affected.

Tests Performed

The tests performed will be determined by the vet, based on the initial consolation. Blood tests may be performed and the vet will also analyze the composition of the ocular discharge, if this is present among the symptoms. A tear duct test may be needed if the dog has dry eyes. A strip of paper will be introduced under the eyelid and the vet will observe the natural moisture of the eye.

Treatment for Eyesight Problems

In some cases, the eyesight problems cannot be treated and the condition is not reversible (i.e., glaucoma). However, minor problems such as infections can be treated with eye drops. Surgery may be needed in more serious cases.

Treatment shouldn't be delayed, because some eyesight problems may be treated and the dog's discomfort may be relieved. Certain eye problems may lead to blindness, which might not be reversible, so it is best to apply treatment as soon as a problem is signaled.