How To Tell If Your Dog Is Going Blind

Blind dog

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As your dog progresses through life and gets older, there’s a chance that their sight might start to deteriorate. In some cases, this can result in a previously healthy dog actually going blind.

Being a responsible dog parent, you’ll want to stay alert for any signs of your favorite canine going blind or starting to lose their vision. Of course, you should always see your veterinarian if you suspect your dog might be losing their vision, as well as for regular checkups that can catch eye problems early.

Here’s a checklist to help you pick up on any signs that your dog might be going blind.

Check Your Dog’s Eyes

Dog going blind

(Picture Credit: AJ_Watt / Getty Images)

First of all, it’s important to check your dogs eyes for any telltale signs that they might be starting to go blind. Find a well lit room, get your dog to sit and stay or ask a friend of family member to assist in keeping your dog in position, and take a look at their eyes.

Some things to look out for include any cloudiness or fuzzy looking spots on the eyes. These can, in some cases, be symptoms of glaucoma.

Also, look out for any general signs of discharge or crusty buildup.

Try A Few At-Home Tests

Blind Labrador

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After examining your dogs eyes, you can move on to carrying out some simple tests.

First, shine a gentle light across your dogs eyes and see if their pupils dilate, just like a human’s would. But be careful, and ask your vet if you’re worried about conducting this test yourself.

You can also carry out a reflex test, often called a Menace Response Test, by holding your open hand 18 inches away from your dog’s eyes. Quickly move your hand towards the dog being careful not to get too close, or move your hand fast enough to cause an air current, and check whether your dog blinks or not.

In a similar fashion, drop a favorite toy or a even cotton ball from above your dog’s head down to the ground. If their sight is okay, they will visually follow the object once it enters their line of vision.

Watch For Day-To-Day Signs

Blind dog

(Picture Credit: Fernando Trabanco Fotografía / Getty Images)

In more general terms, watch out for any instances of your dog seeming to walk around in a clumsy or drowsy fashion. If you notice them bumping into furniture or struggling to get up and onto the couch, then that might be an indication that their sight is deteriorating.

When playing outside, take note if they seem to be struggling to judge depth and distances when running and jumping.

In all cases, if you carry out some of the above tests and it seems like your dog might be losing their sight, contact your vet straight away. Remember, a blind dog can still live a loving and fulfilling life, especially if diagnosed early.

Do you have experience caring for a blind dog? What signs did you see that they were losing their vision? Tell us your top tips in the comments section below!

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