Help! My Pet Has Lost Vision! Information from Animal Eye Doctors serving Fort Myers, Estero, Naples, and Southwest Florida.



In this blog, Animal Eye Doctors serving Fort Myers, Estero, Naples, and Southwest Florida addresses pet vision loss.

Visual impairment may be caused by conditions affecting different parts of the eye.


The cornea is the “windshield” of the eye. Conditions that disrupt corneal tissue can affect clarity and therefore, vision. Scar tissue from previous injury can obscure vision. Pannus, common to German Shepherds, is a disease in which fibrovascular tissue covers the cornea. Short nosed pets with prominent eyes, such as Pugs, Pekingese, and Shih Tzus, can develop pigmentation of the cornea as a response to inadequate eyelid protection. Corneal edema, or fluid in the corneal tissue, will give the cornea a cloudy appearance, like a foggy windshield. Whenever these conditions occur, a decline in vision occurs.


The lens of the eye is a clear round structure inside the eye used to focus. A cataract is an opacity inside the lens. Small cataracts may have minimal affect on vision, though large cataracts can cause vision loss. Genetic cataracts can occur in young dogs. Diabetes mellitus may cause full cataracts, also causing complete vision loss.


The retina functions as the film in a camera. Inflammation or detachment of the retina will decrease vision because retinal function declines. Genetic retinal diseases occur in many breeds and can cause loss of rod/cone function (retinal cells), eventually causing a slow loss of vision. Another retinal disease, called Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome, causes a more rapid loss of vision in middle aged to older dogs. High blood pressure in aged cats can cause retinal bleeding and detachment.

Optic Nerve and Brain:

The optic nerve connects the eye to the brain (like an electrical cord). Autoimmune conditions, infections, tumors, or injury can damage the optic nerve and cause a disruption of transmission of images from the eye to the brain. Glaucoma, a condition of increased intraocular pressure, can cause vision loss by damaging the optic nerve. Additionally, cerebral injury, inflammation, or infection can affect the visual center of the brain and result in vision loss.

If your pet shows visual impairment, please call for an appointment with the veterinary ophthalmologists at Animal Eye Doctors serving Fort Myers, Estero, Naples, and  Southwest Florida to evaluate your pet. A number of conditions causing vision loss can be treatable and lost vision may be regained.


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Our veterinary ophthalmology specialty practice serves southwest Florida with offices conveniently located in Estero and Naples and office hours Monday through Friday.