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Blind Dog Day

August 15 2023

August 23rd is Blind Dog Day. This is an international awareness campaign, which both celebrates and raises awareness about blind dogs. While there’s no hard number on how many of our canine companions are vision impaired, a 2010 estimate put the number at about 300,000 here in the U.S. A Champaign, IL vet offers some information on blind dogs below.

Causes Of Blindness In Dogs

Fido can lose his vision for many reasons. Some common ones include cataracts, glaucoma, hypertension, and retinal detachment. Our canine friends may also lose their sight because of infections, injuries, dry eye, tumors, or cancer.

Warning Signs

Your furry best friend can’t tell you if his vision is failing, but there are warning signs to look for. You may notice your pooch bumping into things, or having a hard time finding his dishes or toys. Fido may not look you in the eye, and may miss that squirrel running across the yard. You may also notice behavioral clues, such as a reluctance to get on or off beds or couches or get into the car. Some blind dogs become fearful, which can manifest as aggression.

Caring For A Blind Dog

FIdo can still have a long and happy life, even if he can’t see well. You may just need to make adjustments. Safety is the biggest issue. Block off potential hazards, such as pools and stairs, and don’t let him out unsupervised. Your furry friend may also appreciate things that can help him find his way around, such as carpet runners. Scent markers, such as stick-on odor-eaters, can also help.

Toys

Just like any other pup, Fido will still need enrichment and stimulation. Choose toys that incorporate scents or sounds, such as snuffle mats and puzzle toys. Cat toys that make noise can be fun for smaller dogs, but present choking hazards for large or medium breeds. You may also want to offer your canine buddy things like bacon-scented balls or bubbles, durable squeaky toys, or stuffed Kong toys.

If you suspect that your furry pal has vision trouble, contact your vet immediately. Some issues can be treated: others may require surgical intervention, up to and including the removal of one or both eyes. The sooner the problem is diagnosed, the better.

Do you have questions about your dog’s health or care? Contact us, your Champaign, IL pet hospital, today!

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