Swindon vets forecast bright future ahead for dogs with sunglasses

By Jessica Durston - 18 May 2022

BusinessCommunity
  • Duke, the six-year-old Siberian Husky/Malamute crossbreed

    Duke, the six-year-old Siberian Husky/Malamute crossbreed

An award-winning Wiltshire veterinary hospital is advising that dogs who need protection from bright light are fitted with specially-designed pet sunglasses.

Eastcott Veterinary Referrals in Swindon, Wiltshire, is helping troubled dogs beat the blinding glare by recommending visors and sunglasses which have been specifically designed for animals. 

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

She added: “Sunglasses for dogs may seem peculiar but it is a viable solution to help pets in situations where their eyes need protection or may need that extra bit of support because of surgery or a previous trauma.

“There are certain conditions in dogs which worsen from exposure to UV light such as pannus, an immune-mediated condition affecting the cornea or clear part of a dog’s eye.

“Dogs with such conditions may be able to reduce the need for topical medications if sunglasses or a visor is worn. However, it is important they have a thorough examination and a proper diagnosis before trying them out.

“Some animals with reduced vision can benefit from improved confidence as they can sense their surroundings better through the visor, whilst others may find it easier to eat and drink than when they wear a more traditional buster collar after surgery.

“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.”

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

Amy Wilson, from Shaftesbury in Dorset, said Duke, her six-year-old Siberian Huskey/Malamute crossbreed, had suffered with cataracts and other eye conditions since he was just 18 months old and has already had his right eye removed.

She said: “It’s vitally important to protect Duke’s left eye, so when Ida recommended RexSpecs I thought ‘Whatever you say, you are the expert!’

“At first, though, 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.

“I’ve had plenty of comments from passers-by such as ‘why’s your dog wearing sunglasses?’ and ‘oh, your dog’s wearing ski goggles!’. I would certainly recommend them to other dog owners whose pets have serious eye problems.”

Eastcott offers specialist expert care in cardiology, dentistry, internal medicine, ophthalmology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, oncology, orthopaedics, soft tissue surgery, laparoscopy, neurology, diagnostic imaging, CT and MRI, anaesthesia and analgesia and emergency and critical care.

More information about Eastcott Vets can be found on its website www.eastcottreferrals.co.uk or by searching for Eastcott Veterinary Referrals on social media.

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