Determining If A Dog Is Blind


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Dogs have a good sense of smell and they can go around following their noses. Our neighbors had a dog that was blind and I will never know that she was blind if they didn't tell us. What are the signs or symptoms that a dog is going blind?


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That is a fantastic question! Like us humans, dogs adapt to the loss of one sense by relying on their other senses. A dog's sense of smell is so good that it can easily help compensate for vision loss. While this is great for dogs, it can make it difficult for us to tell when our babies might be experiencing vision problems.

Here are some signs a dog might be losing vision or has gone blind:
  1. She bumps into things in her environment.
  2. She has difficulty finding food and water bowls and toys.
  3. Catching a ball or Frisbee in her mouth is a challenge for her.
  4. She walks cautiously.
  5. She has dilated/enlarged pupils.
  6. She becomes anxious, depressed, or lethargic.
  7. She walks with her nose to the ground.
  8. She walks with a high-stepping gait.


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Good list you have there DenverDog. Bumping into things is the first sign that there is something wrong with the eyesight. When that happens then we should immediately go see our vet and let the dog have a check-up.


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I appreciate your list because it gives us a way to determine whether our dog is going blind. Besides age, what are the common causes of blindness? The neighbor's dog that I mentioned had an operation because the vet determined that the cause of the blindness is a cataract. It repaired the eyesight, but the dog died shortly because of deteriorating health and old age.


Many years ago I adopted a 3 year old blind min pin. He was blind from birth as best the vet could tell because of the severe damage to the optic nerve.
He was prone to anxiety when it stormed or there was fireworks until the last year or two of his life..but then again so are many sighted dogs.
I made simple adjustments to our lifestyle-don't move furniture, his bedding, water-food bowls as well as teaching him "up" to step up a curb-"down" well you get it. Diligent on looking on the ground while out walking for broken glass, burning cigs, poop etc. Things a sighted dog would avoid. In fact it wasn't until later in life when he developed cataracts that some people even knew he was blind. I was blessed to have him 13 years-BEST DOG EVER!!!