All dogs are susceptible to vision loss. Their vision loss comes from aging, heredity, disease, or injury and can range from hazy vision to complete blindness. Vision loss happens to elderly dogs of all breeds but certain breeds are prone to other eye conditions contributing to vision loss more than others. However, with a little work any home can be a safe environment inside and out.
If your dog starts bumping into furniture that’s probably not a good sign. Gradual vision loss is hard to detect. Educating one’s self on vision problems your dog may encounter genetically will help increase awareness of what may be happening when your dog’s behavior starts changing. Progressive retinal atrophy is most common in cocker spaniels, collies, Irish setters, Norwegian elkhounds, schnauzers and poodles, but can affect any breed. Collie eye anomaly usually affects collie breeds and retinal dysplasia is commonly seen in beagles and Labrador retrievers. Breeds that are predisposed to glaucoma include American cocker spaniels, basset hounds, Chow Chows and Labrador retrievers. If your dog sustains an injury around their eye take them to the vet before it beome infected. These types of injuries can result in vision loss. Clumsiness is a big indicator of vision loss along with the formation of gray spots in the eyes. Reluctance to leave a certain spot or lost interest in playing is an additional sign. This behavior change comes from inability to see and fear of running into objects.
Creating a safe environment for your dog is very important. Avoid moving or bringing in any new furniture into the house. Your dog will have memorized for the most part where everything is in the house. Moving things around could cause your dog to run into things. Especially leave food and water in the same spot. If your house has stairs, placing a gate at the top of the stairs will help prevent them from falling down the stairs. Never let your dog run outside off a leash in an unfenced area. Your dog is not familiar with the area and can’t see harmful objects around it.