Is your pet irritable? Unable to find her toys and food bowl, or frequently bumping into objects at home? Your instinct that’s telling you something is wrong is likely spot on.

Vets will tell you that there are many reasons why your dog or cat may be facing blindness, and it’s helpful to understand what the types and causes of blindness are.

Some Causes of Blindness in Dogs and Cats

  • Uveitis 
  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Retinal detachment
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Sudden acquired retinal degeneration syndrome
  • Optic neuritis

Understanding the Causes

Uveitis is one of the common causes of blindness. It occurs when the uvea, the part of the eye which contains the iris, among other structures, becomes inflamed and infected. This is a painful condition and can afflict either one or both eyes. Any kind of bacterial, viral or parasitic infection can bring on this condition. Your cat may blink rapidly all the time, turn away from bright lights, or squint uncomfortably. To treat this condition, the vet may prescribe anti-inflammatories, and topical eye medication. If the uveitis is identified quickly, there is an excellent chance of recovery. However, if your pet has a severe case of this disease, blindness is inevitable.

Cataracts are another cause of blindness in your pet. It develops as a cloudiness in the lens which is supposed to be transparent to allow light to pass through. Due to cataracts developing, there is increased cloudiness and vision is affected. Genetics, diabetes, eye trauma and nutritional deficiencies bring on this condition. 

Glaucoma is caused when there is increased pressure in the eye. This condition, if left untreated or undiagnosed, can result in blindness pretty quickly. Fluid in the eye is balanced in the healthy eye, but if there is a problem draining that fluid, it builds up pressure and results in glaucoma. 

Retinal detachment happens when the layers in the retina separate. This means the retina cannot perform its job which is to convert light signals to nerve impulses, which are then sent to the brain for interpretation. That’s how your pet can ‘see’. Trauma, tumours, infections, and uveitis are some reasons for this condition which eventually causes blindness.

Progressive retinal atrophy, a genetic disease generally occurs in dogs, not in cats. The retina will start to degenerate, and then lead to blindness in your pet. 

Sudden acquired retinal degeneration syndrome also occurs only in dogs and the cause of this disease remains unknown. Within a short period of time, the retina degenerates irreversibly, and your pet becomes blind. 

Optic neuritis deals with inflammation of the optic nerve, and causes blindness in cats and dogs. Fungal infections, immune conditions and tumours result in neuritis. 

Next steps

Don’t despair if you notice signs of blindness in your pet. The best course of action would be to schedule a visit to the vet. As well, dosing your pet with our Fish Oil supplements will ensure overall good health. Our fish oil supplements are vegan, non-GMO, and gluten-free, with no preservatives. 

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