ASK DR CLAIRE
My Beagle is 16 years old, and has a great deal of trouble with the sun in her eyes, making it difficult to walk her except around the middle of the day. She sometimes stumbles in her efforts to avoid the sun. Do you have any suggestions?
As compared to humans, dogs and cats have a much greater light sensitivity.
There is an age related problem called iris atrophy, which means the iris is no longer allowing them to constrict their pupils and regulate the amount of light getting into their eyes. This causes light sensitivity.
There is no treatment for iris atrophy but it can be helped by avoidance of the harsh light, and although not all dogs like to wear these, you can buy sunglasses made for pets. Check out Doggles sunglasses.
There are other possible causes, such as uveitis, and it is sometimes triggered by cataracts which are also common in older dogs. In this case, we see a sore red eye and a hands-on examination from your local vet would be a great place to start. Medication is required to help.
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