is apparently having trouble with his eyesight. This
especially appears to be the case when there is lower
ambient lighting. His caretakers, who wish to remain
nameless, have watched Hulu bump into objects in the
house with increasing frequency over the last two months
and are wondering if he might have cataracts.
I delve into Huluís case, I want to make it very clear
that if you as a caretaker of an animal, regardless of
species, and you notice a change in their eyesight, take
them to their veterinarian. Eyesight degradation can be
an indication of several potentially serious conditions.
X and/or her partner did not share with me what breed of
dog Hulu might be, but they did share that they have
noticed: Huluís eyes appearing to turn somewhat blue
over the last few months. This might offer a clue as to
why his eyesight is worsening.
than list a bunch of possible causes for decreasing
vision in dogs, letís focus on some of the more common
conditions that might be causing Huluís partial
blindness and also one potentially very serious cause
that can lead to blindness in dogs.
as mentioned by Huluís caretakers, can indeed cause
partial and in many cases, total blindness. Cataracts
involve the lens and/or the lens capsule of the eye and
show as an opacity. They prevent normal vision. They can
be present from birth or become acquired as a dog ages.
They can also occur as a result of underlying metabolic
disease the most common of which is diabetes mellitus.
Cataracts are easily diagnosed by a veterinarian and if
causing total blindness, they can be removed to allow a
return of some vision.
very common potential cause for a decrease in vision in
dogs is a process called lenticular sclerosis. This
process is a normal part of aging of the lens in the eye
that results in the lens crystallizing to the point of
blocking some light from reaching the retina in the back
of the eye and producing a visual image. This process
does produce a blue cast to the eye as the lens becomes
blindness does not result from lenticular sclerosis and
some of these patients do not appear to suffer any
vision loss. Some patients with this lens change however
will have problems seeing in low ambient light
situations owing to the fact that the lens lets less
light through and there is less light available to begin
with. If I was to wager a guess, I would bet Hulu has
eye disease that is very serious and will cause total
blindness is glaucoma. This disease results from an
increase in the fluid pressure within the eyeball, which
left unchecked, causes destruction of the retina in the
back of the eye rendering the eye functionless. This
disease process is very painful.
problem with glaucoma in dogs is that we seldom catch it
before vision is destroyed as our companions do not show
symptoms early enough in the disease course so that we
can intervene. The symptoms that we do note are redness
around the eyes and often a blue cast to the eyes with
redness in the white portion of the eyes. These dogs
will sometimes rub their eyes in response to the
discomfort from the increased intraocular pressure. If
your dog ever shows any of these symptoms, have him seen
immediately by his veterinarian. Glaucoma is treatable
in many cases and if caught early enough, vision can be
the list representing reasons for vision loss in dogs is
protracted but in Huluís case, I suspect his condition
is not serious. That said, a veterinary visit is
necessary to verify my assumption, an assumption I hope
to be correct.