Signs a Dog's Vision Is Failing

by Victoria Lee Blackstone
    Your dog may drop his nose closer to the ground in order to smell his way around.

    Your dog may drop his nose closer to the ground in order to smell his way around.

    Jupiterimages/ Images

    As your dog reaches his senior years, gradual vision loss is a possibility. This may be due to normal aging or progressive conditions such as cataracts, retinal degeneration or glaucoma. While cloudy eyes may be a visible sign of failing sight, this is not always the case. Paying close attention to your dog’s behavior can show you subtle hints that your dog may not be seeing things as well as he used to.

    Signs of Vision Loss

    If your dog loved to catch a Frisbee but now struggles, it may be a sign he is not seeing as well. You may witness him missing steps or bumping into walls. With vision disturbance or loss, a dog who once walked with his head held high may now drop his head and nose close to the ground to help him better see and smell his way around. In addition to a cloudy look to his eyes, you may notice inflamed eyes, excessive tearing, squinting and he may paw at his eyes.


    If you suspect your dog’s vision is failing, consult your veterinarian. He will perform an examination and look at your dog’s retina and outer parts of the eye. A dog who loses his vision often adapts very well, as dogs rely more on scent and hearing to navigate.

    Photo Credits

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    About the Author

    Victoria Lee Blackstone is a horticulturist who propagates heirloom and native plants for her nursery. She has authored research-based scientific/technical papers, plant care sheets and magazine and newspaper articles. Blackstone studied botany and microbiology at Clemson University and is a former University of Georgia Extension Master Gardener Coordinator.

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