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 Post subject: Blindness
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2016 3:17 am 
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In August, 2015, our 6 year old cocker, Buddy, began acting lethargic and hanging back during walks. New vet (we weren't home) couldn't find anything wrong. But there was something definitely wrong. Once home, we saw our vet and she couldn't find the problem. She suggested a dog neurologist. Just prior to leaving for the visit, the doorbell rang and Buddy ran to the door. But Buddy ran into furniture before getting to the door! The neurologist referred us to a dog ophthalmologist. She did an ERG of Buddy's eyes on September 14, 2015. Buddy is blind. SARD is the diagnosis (Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration). The diagnosis is not breed specific, nor sex specific. But we have heard that it is common for cockers to go blind. We are so sad when we see Buddy bump into things. And it seems so sad that he will have to live all of his years in the dark. He just turned 7 on November 1, 2015. We have read a book about caring for blind dogs. We have Babble Balls that he loves to retrieve and throw. We have stuffed animals that sing and chatter when thrown, so he can retrieve them. We have dog visors to protect his eyes. We have Muffin's Halo. We have Doggles. (He likes the visor the best). We take him on walks on the local trail. If it isn't crowded, we let him off the leash, as he knows the parameters of the trail. Buddy's quality of life is so limited with his blindness. The other day a loose dog charged Buddy. He is so vulnerable without sight. He used to walk with his head held high - now he walks with his head down, awaiting the next blow as he walks into something. We have thought about putting Buddy down. Buddy was the best at catching balls, treats and even a peanut. He'd run and jump and play for hours. He is the best behaved and most loving dog. He is good with children, adults and other dogs. He still goes to his doggie daycare. We are curious about how others deal with blindness of a young dog.


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 Post subject: Re: Blindness
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2016 4:00 am 
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Location: Westchester, NY
I have adopted two blind dogs over the years; Miss Maxine, who was 12 and Jennie, who was 6. Both dogs maintained their active lives. (As a matter of fact Miss Maxine was famous on her for her column so please Ho read this link to see what an old, blind dog is capable of. http://www.zimfamilycockers.com/Forums/ ... f=7&t=2842)

Other than babble balls and such, it's a good idea to keep rooms scented differently. Try putting cinnamon scented poi pourri in the kitchen, lavender in the bedroom, etc. It helps the dog discern where he is. For the first little while each blind dog was in the house, we'd wear a bell so the dog could track where we were. Walking the dog on a retractable leash was also a benefit because they could feel a pressure from it as they walked to orient themselves to where they were. Obviously if you move around furniture they will need a time of adjustment.

A blind dog can be as much of a companion and loving pet as a seeing dog. We seem to be more bothered by it than they are once they get used to it. I can't imagine putting a dog down because they can't see.

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Teddy - 11/11/03
Annie - 2/13/05
Jennie - Gotcha 9/14/11
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Cori - My First - 1/2/91 - 12/15/03
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 Post subject: Re: Blindness
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2016 4:46 am 
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How do I put a picture of Buddy by my post?


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 Post subject: Re: Blindness
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:17 am 
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Hi,
I've seen plenty of blind dogs live very full and happy lives. It bothers us more than it bothers them. As long as he has you and his familiar smells around him, he will adjust. My neighbor has a blind cockapoo; he went blind at the age of TWO and is now 9 years old. He walks around like its nothing. I did not know he was blind until they told me.

Dogs adjust to disabilities far better than we do. As long as he has your love and care, he will be more than fine. They also sense our emotions well, so be just as happy and confident around him and he will feel the same.

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 Post subject: Re: Blindness
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2016 6:25 am 
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Here are instructions on how to post a picture. https://www.zimfamilycockers.com/Forums ... ?f=14&t=14

You might also do a search on this site for SARDS, as we had a former member who addressed that issue (she had a couple of dogs with it). **I found it for you: https://www.zimfamilycockers.com/Forums ... Snow+White) SARDS comes on fast and doesn't give the dog time to adjust for their lack of sight, as may be with a cataract. This makes them very confused and sometimes fearful. It sounds like you helped him through that, and I believe you can do it again. Also, blindness is Not a "cocker trait," and SARDS has nothing to do with breeding or anything you did.

The off leash incident with the other dog was unfortunate. It sounds like Buddy needs you to rebuild his confidence. I believe it can be done by keeping him and making him feel safe. He still has his hearing and understands far more than we think they do, so positive remarks and reinforcement are a must, along with lots of hugs.

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Halli Madison 8/17/93 - 2/11/2006
Missing my sweet girl with all my heart.


The day will come when people like me will view the murder of
an animal the same way they view that of a man today.
Leonardo da Vinci


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 Post subject: Re: Blindness
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2016 1:59 pm 
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Here's how to add an avatar:

http://www.zimfamilycockers.com/Forums/ ... ?f=14&t=49

Buddy is adorable and I understand how frustrating and sad you must feel with his SARDS diagnosis, but he's a young dog and I wouldn't put him down. Have you heard of clicker training? Google it and see what you think. I agree with what Terry said - just reinforcing his confidence should help him to live a better life. If he had gone blind gradually, he'd have already figured things out by himself, but because it was so sudden you'll have to help him a little.

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Waylon (non-cocker, terrorist) 2/1/01 -

Shiloh - 4/5/95 - 5/23/11 RIP, sweet girl


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 Post subject: Re: Blindness
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2016 2:12 pm 
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My Saydee had Sards, too. She w as about 11 and lived a good life until this Christmas when she passed. It is harder for the owner than the dog. She did everything with me. Including Kayaking. They run into things and we would laugh. Just go with it. Saydee went deaf, too. That was so hard for me. Touch was the thing. Also with blindness touch a lot. They are happy. You are just thinking about it too hard. They only know something is different. I read the book on dog blindness. It is just all common sense. They do not think oh I can't see any more. They just know something is different.

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Baylee -My Sweet Kayaker -May 28,1999 - Jan 6, 2012
Also, My Sea Shanty May 25, '83-June 25, '99 and Morgan Sept. 4, '87 -Oct.11, 2000-- Saydee Feb.4, 2003-Dec.7 2015 Mayzee Oct.7,2015
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 Post subject: Re: Blindness
PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2016 5:03 pm 
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My older cocker, Emily, became blind as the result of glaucoma at the age of 12. Eventually the pressure couldn't be controlled with eye drops and she had to have the eye removed to reduce the pain. She did well after the surgery for another two years and then became quite sick and lethargic and despite much effort by a great vet, she passed over the rainbow bridge on August 17, 2015. My younger cocker (11 years old) and also a rescue, has developed glaucoma too and again the eye drops are not bringing the pressure down, so I will be taking her to a dog eye specialist shortly to evaluate whether she loses one eye or both at this time. She is most likely completely blind in the one eye and seeing only shadows (we think) in the other. She gets around fine and still seems happy and loveable. The only time she has an issue is when my two (out of five) kittens decide to race through the house chasing each other and jumping over her. They will sometimes startle her and she will retreat to the hallway to avoid their crazy activity until they settle down. Our pets seems to adjust and adapt to their changing situation much better than we do. I Know Buddy is quite a bit younger than my Heidi, but he will do fine as he travels his path in this world. I too was anxious for a while when my first dog was diagnosed and became completely blind, but again.......she got along fine - - better than I did for a while actually, and Buddy will do fine too. Interestingly, I notice that Buddy seems to be a black/white Parti as was my Emily and my Heidi. I wonder about a possible genetic component to these vision issues? :wv Sending well wishes to you from Michigan.


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 Post subject: Re: Blindness
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2016 6:47 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 7:33 pm
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Our Leo is blind due to Horner's syndrome, he went blind in just a few weeks! He is a happy playful little wiggle butt! We were told a couple years ago to put him down I thank God we chose not to! He is a huge part of our lives and gives us so much love, he is a marvellous little dog who amazes us every day!!! He loves his Babble Ball and plays with it constantly!

I

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LOVE A RESCUED COCKER!
Proud Parents of:
BUDDY [English Black & Tan]
LEO White Lighter [Parti-SABLE]


Cockers: At The Rainbow Bridge...
Ch. Prince Tom's Sugar Crisp (Crispy),
Ch. Luc-Kee Prince Bondee, Taffee & Baron
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 Post subject: Re: Blindness
PostPosted: Tue May 10, 2016 6:13 am 
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Very Sad


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 Post subject: Re: Blindness
PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2016 5:05 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2013 10:19 am
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Location: Washington State
We adopted our B/W parti-Cocker when he was four. He was an investigations-neglect case, down to a mere 14 pounds due to flea anemia. Oh yes, he was being fed a can of the cheapest wet food and a cup of milk daily. The previous owner had also neglected his glaucoma and both eyes were removed at the local shelter where we volunteered.

Bottom Line: Scooby is the perfect imperfect dog! It took seven months to get over the snapping, biting, and startling phases. Now, we can't imagine life without him. He's like a little bat when navigating our home and is equally adept at knowing right where he is on any of our favorite walking routes. He doesn't consider himself blind and, for the most part, we have to tell others that he is. Think of blindness as an inconvenience; please don't consider giving up on an animal because of it.


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