German Shepherds Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,274 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Is there a way for vets to test how well a dog can see or is it somewhat of a guessing game?

Ranger can catch treats or balls/toys tossed to him from several feet away, but sometimes he cannot find a stick in the water while swimming, even when it appears he is almost on top of it. Ollie never lost a single stick in his 4 short years of life and both girls rarely slip up either. Ranger is new to playing fetch in water, swimming is not new though. It's just something we decided to use to get him more exercise with hopefully less impact.

I'm going to take him and one of the girls for a swim this weekend and see if it's a swimming position/line of sight thing and I might give a bumper a try too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
906 Posts
Overall. I’ve been wondering about Finn’s Eyesight.

Searching for a submerged stick...
A couple of times the stick was right under where he was looking, less than a foot of water.

The things I’ve considered are the movement of the water and the color of the stick matches the color of the sand.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,134 Posts
I've seen the vet opthalmologists test in different lighting conditions, with fingers coming near, tracking objects with the eye etc. Alas, there's no eye chart for dogs asking them the smallest line they can read! ;)

Keep in mind that dogs don't have "great" vision compared to their sense of smell and hearing. It's a third-level sense for them. They see fewer colors than we do and seem to rely on contrast and movement more than we do. You might try fetching in the water with a bright yellow (not red or blue!) toy -- they see yellow very well.

If you have eye concerns, it's really worth scheduling a comprehensive exam with a vet opthalmologist. It's around $150 or so. They find stuff that regular vets lack the tools to evaluate. I've been incredibly impressed with every one of them that I've worked with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,274 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Overall. I’ve been wondering about Finn’s Eyesight.

Searching for a submerged stick...
A couple of times the stick was right under where he was looking, less than a foot of water.

The things I’ve considered are the movement of the water and the color of the stick matches the color of the sand.
Not sure on this, but could there be a bit of deflection when looking down into the water at submerged things? Or is this only with partially submerged stuff?


I've seen the vet opthalmologists test in different lighting conditions, with fingers coming near, tracking objects with the eye etc. Alas, there's no eye chart for dogs asking them the smallest line they can read! ;)

Keep in mind that dogs don't have "great" vision compared to their sense of smell and hearing. It's a third-level sense for them. They see fewer colors than we do and seem to rely on contrast and movement more than we do. You might try fetching in the water with a bright yellow (not red or blue!) toy -- they see yellow very well.

If you have eye concerns, it's really worth scheduling a comprehensive exam with a vet opthalmologist. It's around $150 or so. They find stuff that regular vets lack the tools to evaluate. I've been incredibly impressed with every one of them that I've worked with.
Lol, I was trying to imagine what a vet could do other than examine the eyes themselves. I may have to schedule him a visit with the eye doctor just to be sure. There have been other situations where he'll bark at someone he knows when they approach from a distance, but not always. In those situations I blew it off to light/shadows or whatever.

I know with him he is more muscular than my other dogs, no fat on him at all. If he wasn't a coatie he probably look pretty defined. I wonder if this may cause him to sit a little lower in the water and affect his line of sight?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,451 Posts
When I needed to test Shadows eyes it was a crapshoot. There really is no apparent method and the results are subjective since dogs cannot talk. They are reliant on the dogs responses to determine anything.
In my case it was largely a waste of money that was needed for more important tests since all they were able to tell me was that she could see but wasn't for some reason processing the information.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,274 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
When I needed to test Shadows eyes it was a crapshoot. There really is no apparent method and the results are subjective since dogs cannot talk. They are reliant on the dogs responses to determine anything.
In my case it was largely a waste of money that was needed for more important tests since all they were able to tell me was that she could see but wasn't for some reason processing the information.
Seeing, but not processing the information? I'm not sure I understand what they mean by this or how they came to this conclusion. Without communication it makes some healthcare very difficult.
@Magwart, I checked the Petco close by and they only had orange bumpers, weird they'd make them like this as it is so close to red. I'll look elsewhere later as I have seen some almost neon looking yellow/green ones before.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,134 Posts
Yeah, the yellow/green neon ones are what I'd get. Orange would be my second choice if it's the only option.I've seen the yellow bumpers on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/New-Floating-Fetch-Toy-Bite/dp/B07CJ5WNFS



I have a neon yellow/green soft disc that my dogs LOVE -- they routinely lost the red one when we would throw it out in wild areas, but they can spot the yellow one a lot easier. They could almost be standing on the red one and not see it in leaf litter, but that doesn't happen now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,388 Posts
Nigel, I took Rocky to an ophthalmologist for his right eye. I had been told he was blind in that eye, but someone I know (not a medical person) told me that he thought it looked like a cataract, so I made an appointment to have it checked out. They were able to tell by examining his eye that he did not have a cataract but a corneal scar that he said he probably got when he was a puppy. But he also had me hold Rocky's head still, covered his left eye with his hand, and dropped a cotton ball several times. Rocky's head tracked the cotton ball down when he dropped it in front of him, but did not when it was dropped more to the side, so that's how he determined that Rocky did have some vision in his right eye looking straight forward, but probably no peripheral vision.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,162 Posts
For water retrieving we use a yellow RuffDawg floating stick. Its hollow rubber, floats well and easy to see.
I too often wonder how one tells if a dog or cat is visually impaired without obvious eye issues like cataracts.
Ziva sees an ophthalmologist for plasmoma. Next visit I'll have to ask the doc how they determine if a dog can see and how well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,274 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Yeah, the yellow/green neon ones are what I'd get. Orange would be my second choice if it's the only option.I've seen the yellow bumpers on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/New-Floating-Fetch-Toy-Bite/dp/B07CJ5WNFS



I have a neon yellow/green soft disc that my dogs LOVE -- they routinely lost the red one when we would throw it out in wild areas, but they can spot the yellow one a lot easier. They could almost be standing on the red one and not see it in leaf litter, but that doesn't happen now.
For water retrieving we use a yellow RuffDawg floating stick. Its hollow rubber, floats well and easy to see.
I too often wonder how one tells if a dog or cat is visually impaired without obvious eye issues like cataracts.
Ziva sees an ophthalmologist for plasmoma. Next visit I'll have to ask the doc how they determine if a dog can see and how well.
Surprisingly there are not all that many yellow toys made for water play, at least not ones that are of larger size. Both option you posted look good though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,274 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Nigel, I took Rocky to an ophthalmologist for his right eye. I had been told he was blind in that eye, but someone I know (not a medical person) told me that he thought it looked like a cataract, so I made an appointment to have it checked out. They were able to tell by examining his eye that he did not have a cataract but a corneal scar that he said he probably got when he was a puppy. But he also had me hold Rocky's head still, covered his left eye with his hand, and dropped a cotton ball several times. Rocky's head tracked the cotton ball down when he dropped it in front of him, but did not when it was dropped more to the side, so that's how he determined that Rocky did have some vision in his right eye looking straight forward, but probably no peripheral vision.
Just for my own curiosity I might try the cotton ball test, thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,274 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top