What can I do for my dog that has gone blind?

Bob
Walk-about, OK

A number of conditions can cause blindness in pets. Fortunately, people whose pets have suffered vision loss can take solace from the fact that blindness almost never compromises pets’ quality of life.

For both cats and dogs, smell is the most important sense. Vision is number two. This is different from humans. For us, vision generally is considered the most important sense. Yet people who have suffered vision loss are still able to lead normal lives.

A few minor accommodations make things easier for pets who have lost their vision. People with blind pets should try to avoid rearranging the furniture in their houses. Blind pets usually memorize the locations of objects in their environment. Changing those locations can make it hard for them to navigate.

Cats who have suffered vision loss should be kept indoors. Blind dogs should be walked on leash and should not be forced to go too fast. Many animals with impaired vision may require gentle coaxing before they will go down stairs or step off curbs, since they can’t tell whether they are about to step down six inches or six thousand feet.

And that’s all the advice I have. Your dog’s blindness should not interfere too dramatically with his lifestyle, or with yours.

Photo: Zoe’s blindness doesn’t get in her way!