By: Nancy O, AAHA Certified Diabetes Educator, for Muffin’s Halo
Do all dogs go blind from diabetes? The simple answer is no. That answer depends on some factors though.
Factors On Dogs Going Blind From Diabetes
It depends on how quickly you catch the disease and begin treating it. The sooner you get on the management of the disease will be a factor in whether your pup might go blind. Another factor is how quickly you can get your pup in a safe BG (Blood Glucose) range. We recommend that if your pup is still sighted, you keep the BG (Blood Glucose) numbers as close to 200 as possible. How do you do that? Get a meter and start testing your pup right away. Knowing where the numbers are will not only potentially save your pup’s sight, but will also in the long run save you countless hours of worry and ultimately, will save you a whole lot of money!
The blindness that is caused by Diabetes is Diabetic cataracts which means that sugar builds up on the lens of the eye and causes it to become cloudy and brittle. This is not the same condition as cataracts caused by age. Diabetic cataracts can be removed by a fairly pricey surgery, but once done, they will not reoccur. That is because a synthetic lens is inserted during the surgery and glucose can’t adhere to the synthetic lens. There are also supplements that you can give that will protect your pup’s vision if you start them early on after diagnosis.
Should I Use Home Testing For My Dog With Diabetes?
I know that the statistics on this are very bleak, but I have to believe that they are old statistics and were taken before home testing was as widely used as it is today. This is one of the reasons that we encourage home testing. It not only will help you manage the disease, but it will also, oftentimes save your dog’s life. Plus, it will give you the best chance to combat blindness in your “sugar baby”.
If your pup does go blind, it is not the end of the world for him/her or for you! A dog’s vision is the third sense to develop in a pup after their sense of hearing and smell. So if they go blind, they still have their 2 more powerful senses to help them navigate the world.
Learning how to deal with a blind dog can be a bit of a challenge depending on your attitude and your pup’s ability to pick up on your positive outlook. You have come to the right place if your pup does in fact go blind from Diabetic Cataracts.
There is a great helpful Canine Diabetes Support and Information (CDSI) Facebook Group that is important to join. You will have so much information and support to get you through this. (https://www.facebook.com/groups/CanineDiabetesSupportandInformation) there are lots and lots of pups that have been Diabetic and sighted for 10 years or more!
At Muffin’s Halo, your blind diabetic dog’s health is our number one goal. Call us at (818) 943-9673 or email us at Muffinshalo@gmail.com to learn more about how our blind dog halo harness can help your blind dog, navigate safely without bumping into things while increasing their confidence.