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Puppies have some of the most awake, innocent, and beautiful eyes in the world.
When they look at you, they appear helpless and baby-like and you can move the world for them.
It is as though these sweet little things know this and takes advantage of it to get out of trouble.
Their eyes can manipulate human emotions and get you doing things you never imagined you could.
Sadly, some puppies have what we call ‘lazy eye” or strabismus. This is a rather harmless condition where one eye is not correctly positioned.
For such a pup, the eyes move in different directions more like those of a chameleon.
The pup also has a hard time tracking objects that are in front of him.
If you have such a puppy at home, you have probably asked yourself whether he will outgrow it or not.
We are here to answer your question comprehensively.
Why Do Dogs Develop Lazy Eye?
Lazy eye is basically an eye disorder that is common to humans. A small percentage of dogs also have it.
Under normal circumstances, both eyes are supposed to move in the same direction.
When one moves away from the other, it means there’s an issue with one or more eye muscles.
In most cases, it is a malfunction within the retractor muscles that causes your puppy to have a lazy eyelid.
The disorder can affect one eye or both. Either way, it compromises the focus of the pup.
Both eyes have a hard time concentrating on one thing at once. The dog may also lose control of one eye completely.
There are several reasons your puppy has strabismus. The first and most common is genetics.
Some breeds are especially predisposed to the condition including Irish wolfhound, Shar Pei, Golden retriever, and Akita.
Flat-faced breeds such as pugs, bulldogs, Shih Tzu, and Boston terriers are also at high risk.
Besides genetics, lazy eyes can also be triggered by eye injuries as a result of car accidents and falls.
Other causes include tumors (eye, orbital, and brainstem) and hydrocephalus (fluid buildup in the brain).
Can Puppies Outgrow Lazy Eye?
Since lazy eye is a muscle problem, it is natural to imagine that the muscles will develop properly over time.
For humans, the problem is treated by covering the good eye with a patch to make the weak one strong.
Unfortunately, this solution is not the most ideal for dogs. For one, covering one eye can cause accidents thus causing more harm than good.
Most importantly, an amblyopic dog can be suffering from a neurological disorder.
Covering his eye with a patch will not get to the root cause of the problem. Even worse, it may cause more problems for the pup down the line.
What this means is that the pup will need to be treated for any underlying issue first.
Else, the issue will not be resolved. Without treatment, the condition will only get worse.
Although rare, the problem may resolve on its own. This happens if it is mild. Perhaps the puppy got into an accident that mildly tampered with his eye muscles. With time, they will re-align themselves properly.
It is worth mentioning that very few puppies are this lucky. Many others need medical interventions to treat strabismus.
Since you don’t know where yours falls, your best bet is to bring him to the vet.
They will run several tests on him to determine the extent of the problem and most importantly, determine if the dog has serious issues that need to be addressed.
The tests include a physical exam of the eyes to learn the cause. Blood tests may also be necessary to rule out any severe causes.
If your vet deems fit, they will also run an MRI test as well as x-rays to find if there are any neurological problems.
Treatment will depend on the findings of the above diagnoses.
If your puppy inherited strabismus and has no underlying conditions or injury, he may not need any treatment whatsoever.
The vet may suggest exercises that can strengthen his eye muscles but that’s about it.
The exercise involves you moving your finger in front of your pooch’s face slowly and having him track it.
Thankfully, lazy eye doesn’t affect the quality of a dog much.
In case the dog has the disorder because of other issues like tumors and trauma, treatment will be necessary.
Again, the actual course of action will depend on the underlying problem.
Perhaps the guy has nerve damage on his eyes in which anti-inflammatory drugs will help.
For injury-caused strabismus, your puppy will require medical attention.
Sometimes a surgical operation is needed to remove excess fluid in the brain or the ear, get rid of or reduce tumors, and realign muscles.
All these are pegged on deep diagnosis so contact the vet as soon as possible.
It is the hope of every pet parent that their puppy will grow out of a lazy eye.
Unfortunately, this does not happen in many cases. The wise thing would be to get professional help.
Luckily, with the right diagnosis and early treatment, your pup will live a long and rich life.
Image sources: Reddit