Labs, as a breed, are prone to many eye problems. The eye problems in these adorable and friendly dogs can range from cataracts to retinal difficulties. The medical issues these dogs have can even progress to total blindness.
- Cataracts will usually appear in puppies that are 6 years old or less. A cloudy film covers the eye. Surgical intervention can cure this but the surgery is known to be extremely costly.
- Retinal dysplasia is when the dogs retina does not develop as it should. There seems to be layers of the retina that actually creases and creates folds in the sensitive tissue of the eye. Read also cost of surgery dog knee pain problems
- Many times these folds will disappear on their own. In extreme cases, these folds can cause a complete detachment of the retina causing permanent blindness.
- In dogs that develop PRA, or progressive retinal atrophy, the symptoms of eye problems in Labrador Retrievers may start with an unwillingness to go out at night, then, a hesitancy to go up or down familiar steps.
- Night blindness usually starts after the first couple years of life and will eventually progress to a total lack of sight within a couple more years.
- Treatments are basic common sense measures.
- Luckily, dogs do learn to make up for their visual deficiencies by using their other senses more. They can learn to function well with your guidance and support.
- Keep everything as natural as possible. Do not make sudden changes in the set up of the areas your dog frequents.
- If changes do need to be made, they should be done slowly and gradually. Positive reinforcement and continual showing of physical attention is vital to your dogs quality of life.
- Exercise is very important, so keep walking routes routine and take the same paths every time you are out.
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