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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 16927
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My 11 year old Shihztu has become very jumpy in the last couple

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My 11 year old Shihztu has become very jumpy in the last couple of months, she goes past things in my bungalow that she has seen before but now she suddenly gets spooked by something, is this a sign of anything?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 2 years ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am sorry to hear that Rosa seems to have gotten jumpy, and appears spooked by things in your home that she should be used to seeing. I would be concerned that she is losing her vision. Dogs don't have great vision to start with. They see things better at a distance and have poor near vision. That makes sense because they don't need to read or do much close-work, and their very sensitive nose and ears can guide them when things are close.But when they start to lose vision they may see more shadows of things that are present near them and that can scare them.Progressive retinal atrophy, a slowly progressive degeneration of the retina (the back of the eye that processes images and sends information to the brain), cataracts (clouding of the lens or the focusing part of the eye), or glaucoma (increased eye pressure causing nerve/retina damage) are all possible causes for vision loss in an older Shih Tzu.The other possibility is that she has a metabolic disease process (kidney or liver disease, diabetes) that is affecting brain function, but I would expect you to see other symptoms such as changes in appetite, water consumption, nausea or weight loss.Ideally Rosa needs to see her veterinarian for an examination and some basic blood tests.Please let me know if you have any further questions.
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