Sadly, some conditions, such as cataracts, glaucoma and diabetes, can cause impaired vision in pets.
Sight may not be the primary sense in all pets (dogs, for example, have an extremely well developed sense of smell), but despite this, when pets go blind, life still becomes disorientating and requires a period of adaptation.
PDSA Senior Veterinary Surgeon Elaine Pendlebury says: “If you are concerned about your pet’s vision you should contact your vet.
“They will be able to check your pet’s eyes and general health.”
Elaine has put together some advice on helping pets to adjust to sight loss.
Each individual pet will react differently to blindness, and the following factors may influence how well they adjust:
Age – the older the pet the more time it might take for them to adapt to losing the ability to see clearly;
Training – are they quick at learning skills?
Speed of onset – gradual sight loss means they should be able to compensate over time;
Personality – more confident pets may adapt better than more anxious ones;
You – how much are you able to help your pet?
Owners need to be as supportive and patient as possible with a pet suffering from impaired vision. To help pets feel safe and secure, owners can do a few simple things:
Keep the furniture in the same place – pets will rely on their other senses to navigate their way around
Don’t leave things lying around that they could bump in to or trip over
Keep their bed and food bowls in the same place
Use your voice - talk to your pet to let them know where you are
Give them attention through physical contact, such as stroking, if they like that
Make their environment safe by blocking their access to hazards like fireplaces or balconies. For more pet care tips log onto www.pdsa.org.uk/pethealth.