Contact Lenses for Your Dog?

Veterinarians foresee medical benefits in them.

By | Posted: Thu Nov 21 00:00:00 PST 2002

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"It's important to note a soft contact lens is not a panacea," Dr. Dice said. "They are just one of the treatments we use to help the body's own healing processes."

In one week in his referral practice, he prescribed TSCLs for only six patients out of 20 cases of corneal ulcers.

Visual sharpness can be tested in dogs by using a retinoscope. Although the tests sometimes reveal dogs are nearsighted, most veterinary ophthalmologists don't think contact lenses ever will be used to correct eyesight problems in dogs.

"Most visual problems in dogs are not caused by something that a contact lens could correct," Dr. Glaze said, "and the lenses wouldn't stay in long enough to be practical."

Putting the lenses on a dog could pose challenges. "People are not comfortable reaching into their dog's eye to put in or take out a lens, and it's highly unlikely the dog is going to let them do it," Dr. Dice said.

The Cutting Edge has custom-made corrective lenses for several field trial dogs that have poor vision, Jordan said. However, most dogs with subtle acuity problems get along perfectly well with their vision as it is.

"As long as the dog can find its food dish and can still jump up on the couch, most people are happy," Dr. Glaze said.

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Rachel   Las Cruces, NM

3/13/2010 3:51:23 PM

I think that contacts for dogs can be a very positive thing. Some dogs not only have vision problems but also hearing loss and their sence of smell has decreased, and for those dogs the contacts could allow them to function better.

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Gillian   London, ON

4/25/2009 5:31:31 AM

Interesting. I have Lowchen and I believe they are near sighted. Not being able to see objects coming towards them or manover stairs has had an affect on their temprement - confidence level. I gather there is no way to test for this and sadly no treatment?

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