Dog owners should buy mutts sunglasses to ward off eye conditions, says experts

Dog owners are being advised to buy sunglasses for their mutts to ward off crippling eye conditions.

Vets are warning owners that canines who spend a lot of time in the sun should sport goggles or visors to stop them suffering agony caused by ultraviolet rays.

Alison Thomas, head vet at animal charity Blue Cross, warned: “Sunglasses are not essential summer wear and shouldn’t be used as fashion.

“However, sunglasses and particularly those which exclude UV can be helpful for some dogs.”

Eastcott Veterinary Hospital in Swindon, Wiltshire, said dog sunglasses are also particularly helpful for older animals with age-related conditions.

Dog owner Miluse Vojtiskova says shades helped poodle, Celine, 14, cope with iris atrophy, which causes her eyes to struggle to filter brightness.

She first noticed there was a problem when she jumped in front of a car in bright sunshine.

The dog also froze and acted confused in bright rays – but not in the shade.

She said: “That shocked me because I had no idea she was in pain… from an active life, she went to zero, and that was very sad.

“She can walk outside now and she can do anything she did before.”

Ida Gilbert, head of ophthalmology at Eastcott Referrals, added Celine’s sunglasses saved the dog from having to undergo any eye surgery.

She said wearing them is “absolutely appropriate” for animals in various settings, and could lead to medications for dogs’ eye conditions being reduced.

The charity PDSA said signs that a dog has problems with its eyes or vision include redness, swelling, weeping or discharge, and a lump in or around the eye.

Ms Vojtiskova first noticed there was a problem with her poodle when she jumped in front of a car during sunshine.

The dog also froze and acted confused in bright rays – but not in the shade.

She added: “That shocked me because I had no idea she was in pain… from an active life, she went to zero, and that was very sad.”

When she was told by an animal eye specialist shades might be the answer, she thought it was a joke.

But she placed an order for dog sunglasses from America and “Celine got her goggles”.

Ms Vojtiskova added she had to train her pooch not to remove the visor, and Celine now “knows” they are working.

She said: “Now she can do what any dog can do – we are happy.

“Essentially, cutting out UV light and the brightness has made her able to then resume her normal life.”

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