How to Tell If Your Cattle Dog Has Eye Problems


Your Australian cattle dog is acting a bit strangely. Perhaps he's bumping into things or his eyes look cloudy. You think he might have an eye problem, but how do you know? Australian cattle dogs are generally healthy dogs, but they do have some hereditary and health problems that extend to the eyes.

Look at your dog's eyes for signs of redness or discharge. Redness, yellow or green pus, or any other discharge other than the normal amounts suggest an infection, irritation or allergies. Dogs don't tear up and cry like humans do, so any tearing is a sign of a problem.

Use a penlight to look for cloudiness or dilated pupils. Shine a light briefly at you dog's eyes. Any cloudiness suggests cataracts, pannus (a type of blindness in dogs), glaucoma or PRA (progressive retinal atrophy--a hereditary condition leading to blindness). If his eyes are nonreactive to light or the pupils remain dilated, he may be blind.

Look for signs of night blindness. PRA often starts as night blindness and your cattle dog may show uncertainty or bump into things in the dark.

Check your dog for blindness by waving your hand slowly beside your dog's left and right eyes, one at a time. Be sure that you don't touch the eyelashes and whiskers because that will cause your dog to blink or move. If your dog doesn't react, there's a chance he may be blind in that eye.

Tips & Warnings

  • Only a veterinarian or veterinary ophthalmologist can diagnose eye problems with your dog, but you can look at your dog to determine if there might be an eye problem.
  • Never touch your dog's eyes directly.
  • Seek veterinary attention for any suspected eye problems.
  • If your dog becomes distressed with a penlight shone in his eyes, stop and have a veterinarian examine him.

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