Future’s so bright Duke’s gotta wear shades

A referral center in Wiltshire is advising that dogs that need protection from bright light are fitted with specially-designed pet sunglasses.

With temperatures on the rise, Eastcott Veterinary Referrals is helping dogs with eye problems beat the blinding glare by recommending visors and sunglasses that have been specifically designed for animals.

Distinctive designs

Ida Gilbert, head of ophthalmology at Eastcott, said tinted glasses are a quick and practical solution for several conditions and, although they come in many distinctive designs, should not be viewed as fashion accessories.

Dr Gilbert said: “Used alongside surgical treatments for eye conditions, the addition of glasses and visors is part of the patient’s wider care plan.

“It may not be an option for everyone, as the dog will need some training, but it is an alternative and appropriate solution for many, and a good aid to recovery.”

Eye surgery

The shades have certainly gone down well with pet owners, who said they have been beneficial and helped their dogs while recovering from eye surgery, rather than wearing a larger buster collar.

Amy Wilson, from Shaftesbury in Dorset, said Duke, her six-year-old Siberian husky-Alaskan malamute cross-breed, has suffered with cataracts and other eye conditions since he was just 18-months-old, and has already had his right eye removed.

She said: “At first, Duke did not want to wear them and tried everything to get them off, including rubbing against my leg, the sofa, the floor and shaking his head.

“Now, he is much more accepting and has two pairs – a tinted pair for sunny days and when he goes to the beach, and a clear pair to protect his eye on more shady days.”

Chemical filter

Polarised sunglasses are coated with a chemical filter that cuts glare. They work by blocking light waves bouncing off horizontal surfaces.

James Haseler is a resident in veterinary dentistry and maxillofacial surgery at Eastcott Referrals, and he opted for a clear Optivizor for his six-year-old pug, Morka.

He said: “Morka initially had cataract surgery six months ago, but unfortunately developed an unrelated, complicated melting ulcer in her right eye, which caused a cascade of problems.

“In the end, the eye was non-visual and we had it removed, but then she developed a melting ulcer on her left eye. To protect that eye and assist the healing, we bought an Optivizor for her to wear, and it has worked really well.

“It fits nicely and it does not restrict her vision. It also protects her from our boisterous yellow Labrador, who always wants her to play. ”

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