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Dog losing Vision

Kelly asks:

Q. Hello, and Thank You for the opportunity for my question.

I have a Miniature lab/husky mix, named Indigo. She is 8 years old and has been in good health up until about 3 weeks ago I started to notice changes in her. Her eyes have become dilated all the time, she keeps her tail between her legs and her ears back. She sleeps a lot and is not eating normally.

She lost her playfulness and spunk. She acts very scared and nervous all the time and acts like she doesn't know who we are. She also has been shivering and trembling. Just today, she jumped at me and growled, this is totally not normal for her at all, she seems to get startled easily with loud noises and quick movements.

There has been no changes in the home like new pets, people, food, etc. If I had to diagnose her in human terms, she is a withdrawn, depressed, schizophrenic, with alzheimers. I, unfortunately do not have the means to take her to the vet at this time, all though I love her very deeply, I don't want to see her suffer if there is something truly terminal with her I would rather put her down that to see her go through hell for my own greed of love for her.

Please, Please, Please, any response would be greatly appreciated, I do understand that you really can't diagnose her without blood work and tests but maybe you have seen these symptoms before and might be able to point me in the right direction with medications etc. I do appreciate your time.

A. I consulted with the other specialists in the practice and we all agree that the dog has probably gone blind or at least heading in that direction.

The cause of which is unknown without an examination. This may be a degenerative type of lesion with the retinas but that is about all I am willing to speculate on.

There may be other causes as well, infectious, metabolic or possibly even cancer.

I would recommend an examination by a doctor soon. One thing the owner can do is try some tracking exercises to evaluate vision.

Using a dog treat or some other object, move it in front of the dogs field of view and see if the dog follows it.

This is not an exact science but it may help the owner evaluate the dog vision.

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Veterinarain Gregory Herndon DVM

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