It is not rare for an aging pet to begin losing its eyesight. This can seem super scary and difficult to navigate for pet owners, but it can be a lot more manageable than you might think, especially with pet wellness insurance. Blind pets can still live a high-quality life with a bit of help from their pet parents and a pet wellness plan. Here are some tips to keep you and your blind pet safe and happy!
Signs Your Pet Is Losing Its Sight
Often as our pets age, there will be some hints and clues that their eyesight is starting to go. When your pet's vision is declining, you can begin to watch for certain signs that you can share with your veterinarian, including:
- Cloudiness in the eyes
- Red blood vessels appear in the eyes
- Noticeable eye pain
- Low energy levels
- Playing less or having a hard time finding toys
- Increased clumsy behaviors
If you notice even one of these signs, you should book an appointment with your veterinarian. Pet wellness plans cover routine checkups allowing your vet to have a more in-depth understanding of your pet's well being and health history. This is always beneficial for a diagnosis and treatment plan if you think your pet is losing their eyesight.
If your pet is losing its eyesight, it can be caused by various conditions, including:
- Progressive retinal atrophy
- SARDS (suddenly acquired retinal degeneration)
Occasionally, when caught early enough, your vet can diagnose and set your pet up with a treatment plan, restoring some or all of their eyesight. This is one of the main benefits of a pet wellness plan. Having a vet examine your pet once or twice a year can make the difference between a lifelong condition and a treatable one if caught in early stages. Pet wellness insurance will cover the routine vet exams. Pet health insurance will cover any prescribed medications, surgeries, or further diagnostics.
Of course, if your pet gets something in their eyes or has an injury involving their eyes, you need to take them to the emergency vet right away. A pet insurance plan can cover all illness and injury costs, offering you peace of mind that no matter what, your animal is protected, so is your bank account.
How To Care For A Blind Animal
Hearing that your pet has been diagnosed with an eye condition that causes blindness or might lead to blindness in the future can be quite devastating. As pet parents, we hate to hear that our animals might have serious health struggles come their way. Thankfully your pet is lucky to have an excellent pet parent in you, so that you can help them live a happy life! There are a couple of different techniques that you can begin introducing into your daily routine to help your blind pet navigate around the home.
First things first, you must try to block off dangerous areas like stairs, pools, and sharp corners. If your pet has slowly been losing its eyesight, it will have an easier time navigating the home if there is no fear of falling or other dangers. But if your pet has more suddenly lost its vision, it will take time for them to develop a mental map of the home. Slowly introduce the animal to the home room by room, opening up more of the house every time they get more comfortable and confident in an area. Try to not move things around, especially your pet's crate, beds, food, water, or litter box. This should always remain in the same place.
It is essential to continue stimulating your blind pet as much as possible. This is important for both their mental and physical well-being. Sitting in one place all day is not a happy life for anyone, especially our pets. Here are some top examples of adding sensory stimulation to your pet's daily routine:
Scent Markers: You can use different scents around your home to lead your pet to certain areas, choosing a specific scent for different areas. For example, you can use pet-safe essential oils or various household oils to represent pet-friendly areas—olive oil near their food bowls, coconut oil near the back door, etc.
Textural Markers: Using different physical textures around the home can also be super helpful for your pet who just lost their vision. For example, a textured mat near their food, mulch in the backyard to keep them out of dangerous areas, and carpet or soft blankets on their favorite couch or chair.
Sound Stimulants: Adding more sound into your pet's life can help them navigate more independently. Use toys that make noise, and try to find different sounds that they can associate with various activities. Bells near the doors and other jingly noises around the house can help them. Of course, communicating using your voice as much as possible is also beneficial and will be more familiar to your pet.
Navigating blindness in your pet can be tricky at first, but with support from your veterinarian, you will find that it is very manageable. You will notice that your pet is still happy, and the same things still make them cheerful and excited.
Wagmo’s Pet wellness insurance is made for catching health conditions at the early stages. With routine vet visits and exams, your vet will be able to catch an eye disease or potential health condition. This can be extremely beneficial to both you and your pet as you can begin to treat the condition and prepare yourself and your home for the possibility of a blind pet.
Wagmo pet wellness plans also cover blood work, vaccinations, urinalysis, flea/tick care, and more! Pet wellness insurance is designed to help prevent and treat conditions before they cause too much damage.
Rest assured, knowing that you will be covered for all the routine care your aging pet might require. Take our Wagmo coverage quiz today to discover your personalized pet wellness plan and to receive a free quote.