Quinn, or Harlequin Valentine (named after Neil Gaiman’s fantastic short story of the same name), turned 6 this February 18th. He celebrated it with a home-made Ribena popsicle and a huge bowl of milk (which I eventually had to pay for, given his penchant for soft poop).
My point being, the lifespan of a typical Shih-Tzu crossbreeds are estimated at 12 to 14 years. By 10 years or so, Quinn’s eyesight would start deteriorating, and by 12 years, his motor functions would’ve decreased and his senses less attuned.
With this knowledge, I worry every single day. There has been research done that dogs that have lost up to 80% of their vision can easily fool their owners into assuming they can still see perfectly fine. It’s part of their genetic code, to appear useful so that their owners won’t ‘discard’ them – just as wolves fear being disowned from their pack – dogs do the exact same thing.
It’s not till dogs go completely blind when their owners realise that their dog has actually been losing their vision the entire time. Diabetic dogs are also at a higher risk of contracting vision loss and diabetic blindness.
TIP: Vision supplement OcuGLO can greatly help support rod photoreceptor cell health in dogs, prolonging their vision.
Here are a couple of tell-tale signs that can help spot a dog with vision problems:
- When Spike no longer catches the squeak ball that you tossed. Even if their ears prick up, they no longer run towards the area where the toy lands.
- Your pup, who usually has no problem leaping onto your bed/couch, now displays hesitance or reluctance to do so.
- He avoids going out for walks at night, or down a dark passageway/flight of stairs, unless the lights are all switched on.
- Your pooch bumps into new furniture, or furniture that has been rearranged and not in its original position.
- Your dog seems stunned by the sun, looking around in a blur frenzy. Reason being, pupils constrict in sunlight, limiting whatever little vision your dog has left.