8 Ways to Help a Blind Pet
By JoAnna Pendergrass, DVM
Dogs and cats can become blind, either suddenly or gradually, for many reasons. For example, diabetes can lead to cataracts, which cause a clouding of the lens and eventual blindness. Diseases of the retina (located in the back of the eye) can cause either sudden or gradual blindness. Other causes of blindness include eye trauma, glaucoma and genetics.
Your pet’s blindness might not be noticeable right away. Look for signs of blindness, such as bumping into things and becoming startled more easily. A cat with vision loss will misjudge heights when jumping on or off furniture. If you look at your pet’s eyes, you may notice that the pupils don’t change size in bright lights.
If you think your pet is becoming blind, take them to your veterinarian. Your veterinarian will perform tests to assess your pet’s vision and determine the cause of blindness. In some cases, vision loss can be reversed if diagnosed and treated early enough. Early diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma, for example, can lower the ocular pressure enough to restore vision. However, in many cases, vision loss is irreversible.
Irreversible vision loss isn’t as bad as you may think, though—dogs and cats are very good at adapting to blindness. Sometimes, it can be the pet owner who has trouble adjusting! If your pet is blind, there are many ways to keep them happy and safe. Continue reading to learn what you can do to help your blind pet.