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To those of us who are blessed with sight, losing vision is scary, even as a thought. It is perhaps worse still to watch darkness slowly creep into the eyes of those of whom we love. What do we do when we suspect that our beloved pets are going blind? How do we help?
Identifying the signs
In some cases, blindness is curable, if treated in time. That is why the first step to helping an animal that may be going blind is rightly identifying this condition and giving timely medical attention.
How do you know if your pet is losing his vision?
- Check his night vision – By the time your pet starts bumping into furniture and doors, his eyesight would have become far too compromised. Instead, try watching your pet’s behavior in the dark. See whether he is able to make it across a room even when furniture has been rearranged.
- Watch his eyes – If your pet’s eyes are becoming blurry or inflamed, if there is a consistent discharge from them or if he is continuously scratching or rubbing them, it may indicate an eye issue. Also, watch his pupils when exposed to light. If the size of pupils doesn’t change, it may be another warning sign.
- Look for unusual behavior – Is your pet misjudging distances and heights? Does he need to come close and catch the smell to identify his favorite food or toy? Does he get startled easily or show less interest in exploring the unfamiliar? They may be signs that your pet losing his eyesight.
How to help your pet
If you suspect vision loss in your pet, take him to the vet immediately. By conducting a thorough examination, a vet will be able to identify abnormalities if any and recommend further course of action. The next steps may involve consulting an eye specialist, giving your pet medications, conducting a corrective surgery or making lifestyle changes.
However, if the blindness is incurable, do not lose heart. There are ways and means to make your pet’s life comfortable and gradually give him a near normal life. Some things that you can do include:
- Removing or cushioning any objects around the house that your pet may accidentally bump into or accidentally injure himself with and restricting access to potential dangers.
- Not rearranging furniture altogether so that your pet is not confused by any drastic changes in layout.
- Being wary around other animals which may attack your pet.
- Alerting strangers, especially children, to the condition so that they don’t startle your pet.
- Training your pet to certain commands so that he can navigate new places based on your voice cues.
- Spending time with your pet and playing with him using toys that make sounds.