One of the main reasons Dachshunds, especially pups, are adored is that they are blessed with the cliched “puppy eyes” that melt your heart. But if you own a Dachshund, you should be aware that those beautiful eyes can be seriously prone to several forms of eye diseases.
Read on to know more about the various Dachshund eye problems, how to deal with them, and whether there are any ways to prevent them from occurring.
Common Eye Problems in Dachshunds
If you notice redness, swelling, watery eyes, or any other symptom in and around the eyes of your sausage dog, do not take it lightly. The reason behind such symptoms could be any of the following, hence it is best to let a vet take care of it.
Commonly known as dry eye syndrome, this condition affects many dog breeds, not just Dachshunds. It results from a lack of enough tears in the eyes, which in turn leads to thickening of the cornea due to lack of lubrication.
Your Dachshund may be frequently scratching its eyes or you may see mucus discharge from its eyes. Dry eye syndrome can be treated by a surgical procedure or through the regular application of artificial tears. If untreated, severe cases can result in blindness.
Cataracts are unsurprisingly more common in elderly Dachshunds, although they can be genetic and occur in younger dogs, too. In the early stages, the eyes of your dog may appear cloudy and assume a whitish appearance. If left untreated, cataracts can impair your dog’s vision and can cause complete blindness.
Surgery options are available to treat cataracts, although they could be expensive. Diabetes can also be the cause of cataracts, in which case, treating your dog’s blood sugar levels is essential.
If your Dachshund has been experiencing blurry vision, redness, or bulging eyes, it could be Glaucoma. Glaucoma in dogs is similar to that in humans, which means that it occurs when the fluid chambers of the eyes do not function properly.
Glaucoma in Dachshunds may not be fully curable, but medications and sometimes surgery can help improve your pet’s quality of life by enabling it to see better.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
It is, as the name suggests, a degenerative disease in which the Dachshund’s retina cells slowly begin to die, causing vision impairment.
Typically, the disease begins taking a hold on your dog’s eyes during nighttime, when the Dachshund experiences difficulty in navigating through its surroundings. Over time, as the condition progresses, your dog may have trouble moving about freely during the day as well.
Providing your dog with space, time, and comfort is the best you can do in this condition, because, unfortunately, there is no cure for this disease at this time.
Dachshunds typically have big, round, lovable eyes. But if you notice that your Dachshund has sunken eyes that are abnormally small, it might be a sign of a genetic condition called Microphthalmia.
There is no cure for this disorder either as this is a birth defect. This defect is likely to cause visual impairment in your dog.
Other signs include cloudy eyes and a small opening of the eyelids. It can occur in one or both eyes and the dog may experience vision problems either from birth or at an older age. Related Post: Are Dachshunds Prone to Ear Infections?
How Can You Prevent My Dog from Getting Eye Problems?
Even though some eye conditions affect Dachshunds genetically, you can still prevent them from getting worse. And for diseases that are not genetic, prevention is always better than cure. Here are a few ways to keep your dog’s eyes healthy.
Eye conditions such as cataracts and progressive retina atrophy can be detected early through DNA testing. This is especially beneficial to you if you are the owner of a Dachshund because it helps you make informed decisions.
If your dog has tested positive for degenerative eye disease, you can help make its life comfortable at an early stage. Further, DNA testing allows breeders to prevent mating of a dog with a genetic disorder to prevent its occurrence in an offspring.
Check Your Dog’s Eyes Regularly and Clean Them Gently
A quick daily eye examination for your dog can be carried out at home and may shed some preliminary light on whether they need a vet’s intervention. For example, are your dog’s eyes clear? Is there any mucus formation? Is your dog able to move around without bumping into objects?
If any of these questions have a negative answer, talk to your vet immediately. Also, ensure you clean your dog’s eyes regularly with a moist cloth or a cotton swab to prevent infections.
Clip Your Dog’s Nails
Overgrown nails can pose a serious threat to the well-being of your dog’s eyes as the dog can accidentally scratch its eyes causing pain, swelling, and even infections. If your dog is an outdoor lover, its nails would most likely be beaten down from long walks and runs, but you may still need to keep an eye on them in case they grow to a dangerous length.
When clipping its nails, ensure the dog is relaxed and use a nail trimmer specifically designed for pets.
Close Windows When Driving
It is indeed adorable to watch your dog stick its head out of the window when you are driving. Most dogs just love to do that. But you must be watchful of this action if your dog has existing eye conditions, especially dry eyes.
The gushing wind outside a moving car’s window can further dry up the dog’s eyes, causing pain and irritation. Even if your dog’s eyes are healthy, it is best to train it to keep its head inside to prevent injury from small pebbles or stone chips.
Schedule Routine Vet Check-Ups
Apart from monitoring your dog’s eyes at home regularly, you must ensure to schedule check-ups with your vet without fail. If annual wellness check-ups are what you have signed for, make sure the check-up covers your dog’s eyes as well.
You could also meet separately with a veterinary eye specialist if you feel any symptom is occurring or getting worse. In a typical eye exam, the vet watches your dog for abnormal movements, bumping into obstacles, the ability to follow small objects, and also performs tests for Glaucoma and other common eye ailments. Related Post: Common Dachshund Health Issues To Be Aware Of
How Can You Tell if Your Dog Is Losing its Sight?
Regularly making a note of your dog’s eyes will set alarm bells ringing if you notice any sort of irregularity, such as cloudiness, discharge, dryness, etc. Additionally, some behavioral changes may indicate that your dog is losing its vision.
For example, it may not react to familiar toys because it cannot see them anymore. The dog may also have trouble finding its food. You may notice a reluctance to play and an increase in lethargy as well. As its vision begins to completely fade away, the dog may cling to you for support and show aggression when left by itself.
Help Preserve Those Puppy Eyes
The “oh-so-cute” eyes of your Dachshund may have been the reason you fell in love with the dog at the pet store or the rescue center. If you wish your dog to retain those adorable puppy eyes forever, it is important to take care of its eyes from day one.
Be vigilant and check your dog’s eyes regularly. And in cases of genetically caused eye diseases, try to get an early diagnosis so that you can provide your beloved pet with a better quality of life.
Most importantly, do not neglect the importance of scheduling routine eye exams with your vet to help prevent infections and other treatable eye conditions. Related Post: Do You Need Pet Insurance For Your Dachshund?