Defintion of Blindness
Blindness is the lack or loss of the ability to see. Anything that damages the cornea, retina or other eye structures can cause blindness, including cataracts, glaucoma, uveitis, trauma, ulcers, hemorrhage, lens luxation, retinal detachment, retinal degeneration, retinal atrophy, brain lesions, brain swelling, ivermectin or lead toxicity, inflammation, infection and cancer. Many cases of blindness are thought to be genetic and breed or age-specific. Blindness is more prevalent in white dogs, such as white Boxers and Great Danes. The clumsiness and inactivity of older dogs is often chalked up to age when it may be due to failing eyesight, which makes dogs reluctant to move around, even in familiar environments. Blindness can affect one or both eyes and can come on gradually or quickly; dogs that lose eyesight gradually tend to compensate better. Owners should familiarize themselves with the signs of blindness so that they can get their dogs veterinary attention if necessary.
Any condition that blocks light from getting to the retina can impair a dog’s vision. This includes diseases of or damage to the cornea, retina or other structures of the eye. Blindness can be caused by cataracts, glaucoma, uveitis, corneal trauma, corneal ulceration, lens luxation, retinal detachment, retinal hemorrhage, retinal degeneration, retinal atrophy, cerebral (brain) lesions affecting the optic nerve (congenital optic nerve hypoplasia, inflammation [optic neuritis], neoplasia [cancer], trauma, atrophy, abscess, optic chiasm lesions),
Blindness can affect one or both eyes. If it affects only one eye, it is called unilateral blindness. If it affects both eyes, it is considered to be bilateral. Blindness in domestic dogs can come on suddenly or very gradually. The symptoms of vision loss often include one or more of the following:Dogs whose vision loss happens gradually tend to adjust better and compensate better than those with a sudden onset of vision deficits, especially
When presented with a dog suspected of having vision impairment or loss, most veterinarians will perform a thorough physical examination and take a complete history. They also typically will draw blood samples for a complete blood count and a serum biochemistry profile, and will take a urine sample for a urinalysis, to assess the overall health of the dog and the status of the function of its vital organs. The dog’s blood pressure may also
Most authorities recommend against administering systemic corticosteroids as a form of empirical therapy – which is treatment before the precise cause of the condition is determined - because premature administration of drugs that suppress the dog’s immune system (like steroids) may make it more difficult to diagnose neoplasia (cancer) and other inflammatory disorders, and may actually prompt the proliferation of infectious diseases. The primary cause of a dog’s blindness must be identified for effective treatment