Through The Eyes Of Your Dog

Through The Eyes Of Your Dog



Unless you​ were born blind you​ already know how valuable your eyes and vision are in​ coping with life. Helping us to​ process information on​ the​ world around us,​ our eyes constantly work to​ help us enjoy life and avoid danger.

Dogs also use their eyes in​ similar ways but with a​ few minor important differences. We see far and near fine detail in​ a​ wide range of​ colors and shades. Dogs however,​ even sight hounds which have good vision,​ have a​ poorer color range and they are much better at​ detecting movement rather than detail. This gives them an​ advantage with night vision but they are poorer at​ seeing fine or​ close detail. the​ main advantage dogs have is​ that they don't have to​ rely purely on​ vision for information on​ their world. an​ acute sense of​ smell and excellent hearing,​ along with good motion sensing vision,​ mean that dogs sense much more of​ their surrounds than mere humans. This extended sensory ability made them ideal companions to​ early man when danger lurked around every corner.

Dogs eyes even look remarkably similar to​ human eyes. Like us,​ dogs have a​ range of​ eye colors although their predominant color is​ brown. One important difference between us is​ that dogs have a​ third eyelid called a​ nictitating membrane. Although this membrane is​ not easily seen,​ certain diseases and eye irritation can make it​ stand out. the​ third eyelid sits in​ the​ inside corner of​ a​ dogs eye and helps to​ protect it​ from irritation by cleansing and lubricating the​ eye.

Most of​ the​ eye diseases and problems seen in​ dogs are the​ same as​ those found in​ humans. One of​ the​ most common problems seen in​ dogs is​ due to​ simple eye irritation. the​ same environmental irritants that afflict us afflict our dogs. Dust,​ smoke and chemical pollution are the​ commonest cause of​ watery irritable eyes in​ our favorite pets. Apart from seeing red,​ teary eyes which are often swollen,​ you​ will likely observe your dog rubbing or​ scratching at​ their eyes. Look carefully at​ whether both or​ only one eye is​ irritated. Symptoms occurring in​ only one eye usually mean a​ foreign body or​ injury in​ the​ eye involved.

Blocked tear ducts can also produce excessively watery eyes in​ dogs as​ well as​ humans. in​ some dog breeds,​ such as​ older Poodles and Shih Tzu's,​ you​ will often see damp matted fur around their eyes that signals tear duct blockages. an​ expert opinion from a​ vet is​ often needed to​ tell the​ difference between the​ different causes of​ watery eyes.

Another trait that elderly dogs share with elderly humans is​ the​ development of​ cataracts. Most long term dog owners have seen the​ cloudy milky haze that spreads in​ the​ centre of​ each pupil as​ the​ cataracts form. This milky haze is​ the​ lens inside your dogs eye becoming opaque and the​ dog slowly becomes blind. It's important to​ distinguish cataract from another change called Lenticular Sclerosis. Lenticular Sclerosis is​ a​ condition which looks similar to​ cataract but where the​ only the​ center of​ the​ dogs lens hardens and vision remains unaffected. Both problems are seen in​ elderly dogs.

One significant advantage that aging dogs have compared to​ humans is​ that eye damage and blindness does not incapacitate them to​ the​ same extent as​ human blindness. Good hearing and an​ acute sense of​ smell compensate well. There are many stories told of​ blind dogs managing wonderfully well in​ life and it's a​ pity we aging humans are unable to​ see through the​ "eyes" of​ our beloved dogs at​ times!




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