Q. When the eyes on a dog begin to get some “bluing” to them, does that necessarily mean they are going blind?
A. If you notice a bluish tinge to your dog’s eyes that was not there previously, you should seek veterinary attention immediately. A bluish tinge to the globe can indicate increased pressure within the eyeball, which is glaucoma.
Untreated, glaucoma is a very painful eye condition which can lead to blindness. Because it is often genetic, it often leads to blindness in both eyes. Dogs such as Cocker Spaniels, Shih Tzu and Chinies Shar-Pei are particularly prone to glaucoma. They should be screened for glaucoma on a yearly basis.
The diagnostic test for glaucoma is a measuring of the pressure within the eyeball, done with an instrument called a tonometer. New tonometers are digital and provide quick, accurate results, but are very expensive, so may not be available in every practice. Be sure to ask your veterinarian if the office hasa tonometer before you have your dog’s eyes checked.
If the blue color is in the iris, or the colored ring around the pupil, it is probably a normal coloration of the iris, but be sure to have it checked out if it is something new.
Jon Geller, DVM