MY DOG IS LOSING HIS EYESIGHT. WHAT CAUSES THIS AND IS THERE TREATMENT?
There are multiple things that can cause a dog to lose his eyesight. One is actually an aging change known as lenticular or nuclear sclerosis. This condition is when the lens of the eye becomes hard with age, thus preventing it from stretching and relaxing for focusing. Thus, your dog may become far sighted, meaning he can see things far away, but struggles with things close up. So, finding things on the floor may take a little more “nose work” to find that morsel of food that accidentally fell onto the floor, or navigating steps will take a little more caution to go up and down. Another cause could be cataracts, again involving the lenses of his eyes, where they become very dense and light cannot pass through properly to get to the retina and optic nerve. If light cannot get there, his brain will not be able to interpret sight. Cataracts may develop from old age, or even a disease like diabetes. Another cause may be from detached retinas. Trauma, hypertension or renal disease may cause the retinas to detach and light signals cannot get to the optic nerve and brain. In some cases, the cornea or surface of the eye may become hyperpigmented, and block light from entering the eye. These are a few of the more common causes, and as you can see, Susan, some of them need medical attention right away. Some can be treated, and some prevented. So, don't waste any time getting your dog in to your veterinarian for an eye exam right away.
Submitted by: Doctor Doug