Even When Nothing Seems Wrong, Your Dog’s Eyes Need Checking

Eye exams should be part of regular wellness exams.


Of course, if one or both of your dog’s eyes have turned red or cloudy, or there is discharge, you should bring him to the doctor to see what’s going on. Ditto if your dog’s eyes appear to be causing him discomfort. You might notice a fair amount of squinting, rubbing at his eyes with his paws, or moving away when you go to touch his head. But eye exams should also be included in his regular check-ups even when nothing seems wrong. Just as with people, something may be going on that isn’t apparent. A basic ocular exam consists of three things:

  • Checking to see that your dog’s eyes respond properly to hand motion and light.
  • Examining the front of the eye for abnormalities. (The front includes the eyelids, cornea, iris, pupil, lens, and conjunctiva, which is a mucus membrane covering the eyeball and lining the eyelids.)
  • Looking at the back of the eye with a special lens or scope. (The back of the eye is comprised of the retina and optic nerve.)

If your pet’s veterinarian picks up something wrong, she can then decide whether a referral to a veterinary ophthalmologist is called for.

On your own, you may be able to pick up vision changes if your dog starts bumping into things or becomes hesitant to do things that require depth perception, like climbing stairs or jumping into the car. Of course, such decreases in activity could also be a sign of other problems — the vet will help you sort it out.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here