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 Post subject: Blindness in dogs
PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 12:43 pm 
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I need some help here. I know that many of you have fostered or adopted blind dogs from past forum. My Fuzzy is going blind and I am heart broken. She is scared and very disoriented.( her good eye finally gave out due to the glaucoma) I need some help as to how some of you have handled the training or helping them get used to thier surroundings again. I have had Fuzz since a pup and she is my miss personality dog. People do not come to see me, they are her guests per her thoughts. She is not herself. How do I rebuild that confidence in her? How do I make her feel at home again and get to know her favorite places again? I want to keep her safe and help her know that she wont get hurt. If anyone has ANY suggestions, I would appreciate it. I dont want her to be scared, I want her to be the happy confident puppy that she has always been. I know that there will be a period of adjustment for her but I want to do my best on helping her gain that confidence again. Please advise! Thank you so much.

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 Post subject: Re: Blindness in dogs
PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 1:03 pm 
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I know a family who adopted a blind cocker. They put a different scent on each of their six back steps, so the dog could learn and would know where she is. It only took her a day to be running up and down confidently!

Is her hearing still good? (can you see her ears moving up and down?) Be sure you are talking to her, as dogs rely a lot on their hearing.

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 Post subject: Re: Blindness in dogs
PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 1:13 pm 
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She is blind due to the glaucoma, but have her blind eyes been removed yet? I am wondering, because the glauc is VERY painful, and if her eyeballs are still in her head, a lot of what you are describing could be attributed to the pain. Once they are removed, your happy gal should re-emerge!

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 Post subject: Re: Blindness in dogs
PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 1:51 pm 
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yes, both eyes are intact. Vet wants to try to see if this eye can be saved or not with the meds that she has given. If there is no improvement with her sight with in the next week or 2 then we are going to discuss removal of the eyes. Her hearing is ok. I think she is going to have to listen more than being her hard headed self from here on out. She keeps looking around when I talk to her though as it seems it does echo in this house. I have been taking her around on a leash when we are moving around the house all the while talking to her but she is moving very slow. Being very patient and letting her go at her pace, just trying to make sure she doesnt hit walls or other objects. I feel so helpless right now. She is picking 1 spot and not moving too much from it even when I encourage her to come and sit by me. I have tried to bring her up on the couch to stretch out on my lap, but you can tell she is definantly not comfortable with the hieghts right now. Once I get her a little more comfortable with in the house, we will work on couches and chairs that she loves. Bed will be the last thing that she learns again even if the stairs are there.

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 Post subject: Re: Blindness in dogs
PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 2:06 pm 
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Okay - when I took in Maxine I contatced a friend of mine at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary to find out how they work with blind dogs. She gave me several ideas:

1. Wear a couple of those big jingle bells. As you walk around the pup can "follow" your sound. If several people are in the house give them different size bells and let her sniff your hand so she can associate the person with the sound. (You won't have to do this for too long.)

2. Get a different room scenter for each room.

3. Put her on her leash and walk her around the house a room at a time. Do the same with the yard.

4. Do not move stuff around to make it "easier". If her toys were always in a basket next to the front door bring her there to get her toys. She'll remember the route.

I also agree that if she is in pain she's still having that affect her behavior as well. Love her and cuddle her. And if Maxine is any indication, she'll be getting into everything soon. :sml

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 Post subject: Re: Blindness in dogs
PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 2:09 pm 
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Trust me - I have fostered many a blind Cocker and owned one incredible boy who taught me a lot thru his blindness ... what you are seeing is the pain of the glaucoma. Knowing what I know now, I would not hesitate one bit to take out (enunculate) the blind eye orbs. I hate myself for how long Baxter had to wait for me to raise the money to replace his eyes (he had silicone fake eye implants), now that I know how incredibly painful it was for him during that time!

You baby's personality and SMILE will come back and blossom once the pain is gone.

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:Parti Indie Kodak's Canyonview Little Miss Independant, CGC, ThD (in training)
:Parti Bennett Kodak's Canyonview The Best Is Yet To Come, CGC, ThD (in training)


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 Post subject: Re: Blindness in dogs
PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 2:21 pm 
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My Bailey went blind too, and she seemed to learn in about a couple of weeks to rely on her other senses. We always thought she couldn't hear well, so when she lost her sight we were nervous, but when she went blind we noticed how good her hearing really was. Putting different scents in each room is great advice also, and so is not changing around your house (however tempting it might be! watching your dog continuously bump into things is no fun).

Good luck!

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 Post subject: Re: Blindness in dogs
PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 4:07 pm 
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Peggy,

My Molly's eye pressure got too high but we didn't have to remove her eye. Her ophthalmologist has been doing an injection into the eye so that it stays there but they just lose their sight. Molly's eye has turned that bluish color so you can tell she's blind but she got to keep her eye.

Lee Ann,

I believe her doctor said that they sometimes get depressed for a few weeks but then shake it off and resume their life.

Our first cocker went blind and you would never have know at home. She went up and down the stairs and we just made sure not to move things around a lot.

I hope your baby is back to her normal self real soon.


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 Post subject: Re: Blindness in dogs
PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 5:31 pm 
Peggy has a good point about the pain. It could be making quite a difference.

When our Moonie went blind and it was a sudden blindness and she sees nothing, no shadows, no light, nothing,just like a dog with no eyes, it was a long sad adjustment period. We seriously considered putting her down during that time because of how she was acting. It took a good 5-6 months for her to come out of the funk. Now she's as normal as normal can be. The only thing we did for her was put guides on the deck stairs as she took a couple of headers at first. She is amazing to watch now though.


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 Post subject: Re: Blindness in dogs
PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 3:17 am 
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Well good news and much hope. My best friend came over last night to see how Fuzz was doing. I think that was all it really took to get her up and moving around again. Like I said people come to see Fuzz and not me. Carmen went and sat right next to her & started to pet her without saying a word. Fuzz got up, fumbled around a bit but found her nitch next to Carmen, back end wiggling whole time. :joy (she doesnt have much of a tail so the whole back end moves!) Then she was up and about slowly walking around. Still bumping into a few things but was okay with it. She even decided to crash out on her pillow while we were on the floor with her. She found her way into the bedroom this morning which is the furtherest she has checked out in the house which is also another good sign. I think the trauma of her being away the 1st night was just too much for her. We have not been apart since her hip surgery when she was only 4 mo's old. (and here I thought Haylie was the velcro dog) I was very happy with the results from last night and continuing this morning. I know she is still tired but I dont think she is as depressed, disoriented and such as I thought. I know that she will be fine. We go back in on Monday to check the pressure in her right eye and see how that is doing, then next Saut. follow up with my regular vet so we can discuss the options and or get to Doggie Opthomoligist. I am very happy to see this in her so much more like her old self and she seems to be gaining some confidence. Thank you for all the advise and will continue to let you all know the progress. I may continue to ask questions so have patience with me!

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 Post subject: Re: Blindness in dogs
PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 6:15 am 
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Hi Lee
I'm Dawn and our precious boy Tucker lost his sight overnight. One morning he woke up and walked into the wall. At first I thought he was still sleepy but then I noticed his eye's were fully dilated and had gone to a blueish color. I took him directly to the vets and after checking the pressures in both eye's and doing the menus test to see if he could see he was declared totally blind. I took him back home not knowing what to expect. Were we being selfish by not putting him down because of course dog's need their sight to live a happy life...or so I thought.
After finding this site and seeing what others had to say about a blind dog, I became sure that we (husband and myself) could figure out ways to make Tuckers vision loss easier on him and us to live with.
What we did was pretty simply really. When walking Tucker he would be on a leash and told to step up or step down when we would come to stairs. He would bump into them at first but once he heard the words Step UP or Down he figured out what to do. It only took a couple day's of telling him to be careful when he was walking into something that he learned that CAREFUL ment to go slowly because something was in his path. He learned to walk down the side's of walls to find his way around the house and I still have the marks on my walls about a foot off the floor where he would lean up against and slide down the walls to guide himself.
Don't move furniture around to make it easier on them. It only confuses them when something is not where it should be or where they remembered it to be.

If your baby would go up onto your bed to sleep then put a step at the end of the bed and show where it is and how to use it. But do not let her up on the bed when your not there to guide her back to the end where she can get back off. Tucker use to sleep at my feet or up against my legs at night. When he went blind we purchased a chest for the end of the bed and I showed him how to get up onto it and once there it was an easy for him to find his place next to me. I would only allow him into the bedroom while we were there in fear he would get onto the bed and fall off. It was amazing when he showed us he wasn't foolish by lowering himself onto his chest with front legs under him and he would sniff until he found the edge of the bed. He would keep himself low and move around the bed until he found where the chest was at the end of the bed. Once he found it he would take one of his front feet and would move it forward as if like us he was trying to feel where it was. Once he could feel it with one foot he would take the other and move it onto it and then would stand up and get onto the chest and then onto the floor he would go.
We always take our furkids camping and traveling with us so we were concerned about how Tucker would do in the fifthwheel trailer and getting in and out of the truck. We purchased a telescoping ramp that has 6 inch sides on it and taught him to walk on it first in the flat position then slowing put it on an incline. Tucker figured out if he used it to get into the fifthwheel he could actually run up and down it without falling off of it simply by following the sides. It was funny to see him walk onto the top of it where it was leaning on the door of the fifthwheel and then start to walk down, then after 2 steps and his body was fully on the ramp, he would sit down and slide the rest of the way on his bottom, to the bottom of the ramp.
We also purchased a harness for Tucker so he would feel more secure when taking him for walks. At first he was slow and afraid that he would get hurt on his walks but quickly realized that as long as he was with me and he knew I would not let him walk off the road or into something he loved his walks even in new and strange places.

It take's patients and time but once the dogs know they are safe and where things are they do fine. Tucker's sense of hearing increased and so did his sense of smell. I swear if I was in the kitchen and he was sleeping in the livingroom he would wake up as soon as I walked near the fridge and would come out to check out what I might be getting to eat or drink.
I sure do miss my big boy and still cry when I think about him. I still cant bring myself to clean all the walls in the house where he would rub up against and would leave a mark. I'm not ready to totally let go of him but I do know he's with us and not in pain or blind and is a happy baby once again waiting for us at the bridge.

I think that is why I'm so in love with miss Maxine because she is such a special and loving dog, much like Tucker was. If you think something might work then by all mean's try it and see if it does. What worked for Tucker might not work for your pup but then again it might work. Its a lot of trial and error and making sure the dog feels secure in the new world around them and that nothing is going to happen to them.

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Sadie 10-12-2003 rescued 01-10-04
Mason- Black 02-07-2009 rescued 06-25-2009
Jessie - Black Sable 07-03-2009 rescued 01-20-2010
TUCKER Black Cocker 10-15-99 to 01-06-2010 We Miss you big boy.


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 Post subject: Re: Blindness in dogs
PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:29 am 
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In May Gabby came to live with Sailor and I as a foster. She had surgery to remove her eye due to glaucoma. She has a cataract in her left eye that requires daily meds. When her eye was removed, she became a different little girl. Within a few hours of being with Sailor and I, she had mapped out the entire house. I put the bell on her! Her ear canals were hardening due to past infections and she couldn't hear well. Thanks to my Dr. Dave, she can now hear and has learned to bark (oh joy.... :lol2 ). Yesterday she went off of the patio by herself and unleashed...a huge step!

You will be amazed at how well your baby will adjust and how much you will learn. They really do see with their hearts.

It is my understanding that eye pressure can increase very quick and it's very painful. You have gotten some great advice here. Keep us posted.

Thanks to Vickie, I could help Gabby.

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 Post subject: Re: Blindness in dogs
PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 12:41 pm 
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I just found this site that might have some good suggestions in addition to the ones posted.
http://www.blinddogs.net/blind_dog_tips.html

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 Post subject: Re: Blindness in dogs
PostPosted: Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:37 pm 
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Terry T GREAT site you posted above. I went into it and checked it out and found that the things we did with Tucker are on that list as well as things others have done with their dogs to help them.
THANKS for posting and I can hope it will help others who are going through this with their pups.

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Sadie 10-12-2003 rescued 01-10-04
Mason- Black 02-07-2009 rescued 06-25-2009
Jessie - Black Sable 07-03-2009 rescued 01-20-2010
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 Post subject: Re: Blindness in dogs
PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:52 am 
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That is a great website! Thanks so much Terry. :th-up

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 Post subject: Re: Blindness in dogs
PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 3:25 pm 
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Terry, thank you so much for the website. All of this has been great help. The only thing we have left is getting her fear of getting up on furnature with me and of course the bed. ( I have stairs that come all the way up to the top of the bed so no issues there, she has used them for over 4 years now) she just has to get more comfortable with the hieghts. I brought her up on the bed with me last night and she layed for a little bit but then got ancy so had to put her down on the floor. She is not really hanging out on her favorite pillow either which is a huge mystery to me. I keep taking her over to it but she wants nothing to do with it right now. I am hoping that changes with time. I want her to be comfortable. Haylie the little one, has not become the leader or "helper" as of yet, she just doesnt understand that I am trying to help Fuzz find something not give Fuzz something that she might miss out on. I am continuing to work with her and I think we have found the path to the water bowl and the path to go outside. I took her back to vet yesterday to have the pressure checked again, and it has gone up instead of down even with the meds and the eye has the cloudy bluish tint to it, so I know there is no saving the eye. Keep Fuzz in your prayers for me the next week while we get used to this adjustment and Sauterday we go to my regular vet for discussing how we are going to handle this. I will give Fuzzy all the love and attention she deserves, she is a card and such a love, I miss her waking me up in the morning. She has been getting kissies and hugs and belly rubs. Thank you to all of you giving the advise, I knew this was the place to come!

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 Post subject: Re: Blindness in dogs
PostPosted: Tue Sep 14, 2010 3:33 pm 
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Lee Ann, it make not make this any easier but I can tell you that Gabby sailed right through the surgery. She had her eye removed, her dental work done and was spayed in the same day. I brought her home that night. The next morning she came bouncing out of her crate like nothing happened.

I have steps to my bed as well. Because Gabby never lived her when she had her sight, she knew nothing about them. A month ago she followed Sailor right up on the bed. I never leave her alone but she knows exactly where the edge is and she knows where the steps are to get down. It's amazing to watch her! I do crate her at night for her own protection. I work during the day so I gate her in the bathroom where there is plenty of room but she's safe. I do believe it's much harder on us.

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