How to Tell if Your Dog's Eyesight Is Getting Bad

Blindness in dogs can come with senior years.
Blindness in dogs can come with senior years. (Image: Images)

As your dog reaches his senior years, his eyesight may begin to fade away. It can be difficult to watch your treasured companion struggle with bumping into things and going through this change in his life. Vision loss usually happens gradually, sometimes due to medical reasons such as diabetes. With love and support, your buddy can adjust to his blindness and live a happy, high quality life.


While you may think your sweet buddy is acting like a goofball and being clumsy, loss of vision may be to blame when he bumps into something. If he can't seem to find his usual way around the house, it can leave him feeling and appearing disoriented with his surroundings. He may also seem startled when he bumps into something or notices that familiar people are near because his eyesight is deteriorating.

Sleeping More

A dog who is experiencing loss of vision may be clocking more hours in doggie dreamland. He may have an increased need for sleep, especially if he's a senior dog. Just finding his way around the house and bumping into things can exert a lot of energy while creating a lot of confusion. This can also lead to depression. Your dog may not feel as playful as a result of the changes taking place in his world.

Eye Appearance Changes

The appearance of your dog's eyes may change during vision loss. While his eyes once appeared clear, they may take on a foggy or cloudy appearance. For example, cataracts will form a film over the lens of the eye. Glaucoma causes fluid to build up in the eyes, which can also lead to a cloudy appearance. Progressive retinal atrophy may give the appearance of large, dilated pupils in your dog.

Veterinary Exam

If blindness or loss of vision is a concern with your dog, your veterinarian will most likely want to give your dog a complete physical exam. The exam may include various tests including blood work to determine if there is an underlying illness that could be responsible for blindness. An opthamalogic exam, CT scan and neurological exam may also be recommended by your dog's veterinarian. In some cases, treatment of an underlying condition may improve or slow the blindness.

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