When a dog goes blind: possible causes

Often, eye diseases cause your dog to go blind. But in some cases, eye injuries can also be among the causes of vision loss. Dogs can go blind gradually or suddenly - Shutterstock / hata99

With many eye diseases, your dog will gradually go blind, but there are also insidious diseases that suddenly erase eyesight. Sometimes timely surgery can keep your four-legged friend from going blind. However, this is not always possible. Fortunately, dogs can get used to their blindness and live a full life even without eyesight.

The dog gradually goes blind

For example, if your dog is slowly going blind, there may be an inherited disorder behind it. The so-called progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) occurs as an early form and as a late form. This is a gradual retinal degeneration. Initially, affected dogs can no longer see anything in the dark, and later they cannot see in the light either. With the early form, your dog will go completely blind at twelve months, with the late form only between the ages of three and six years.

Cataracts and glaucomas also gradually make your four-legged friend go blind. Cataracts can be congenital, but also occurs in old age. The lens becomes increasingly cloudy until your dog becomes completely blind. Unless the cloudy lens is surgically replaced by a clear artificial lens. With glaucoma, the intraocular pressure increases, which in turn leads to loss of vision.

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Sudden blindness due to eye diseases

One of the most common causes of immediate blindness is SARD (Sudden acquired retinal degeneration), a sudden degeneration of the retina. How this spontaneous retinal change occurs is not yet clear. After all, the intraocular pressure remains normal, so that your dog does not feel any pain. The rapid loss of vision will initially unsettle him, but after a while he got used to it.

A so-called lens dislocation can cause your four-legged friend to go blind within a few days. The lens detaches from its attachment in the eye and slides back and forth inside the eye. In addition, the intraocular pressure can increase. However, quick surgery can help your woof.

Injuries and other causes

Some congenital malformations on or around the eye can irritate or injure it, causing it to become inflamed. With distichiasis, the eyelashes grow so close to the edge of the eyelid that they constantly touch the cornea. An ectropion is characterized by a drooping eyelid that leads to chronic conjunctivitis. Dog breeds like the Bloodhound are particularly affected. An entropion, on the other hand, consists of a rolled-up eyelid, which causes corneal changes and ulcers. Discuss with your veterinarian whether the malformation can be surgically corrected.

In addition, foreign bodies such as awns or eye injuries caused by scratches should not be underestimated as causes of blindness. If your dog's eyes water, are very red, or are otherwise noticeable, be sure to check with your veterinarian.