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Thread: Does anyone have a blind pet (dog)?

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    Default Does anyone have a blind pet (dog)?

    My sister's dog Maggie very suddenly went 100% blind over the weekend. We saw them at the beginning of the month, and we know Maggie was able to see then. So it's very sudden, and my sister and her family are having to make some major adjustments. She said the hardest thing has been seeing how sad and scared Maggie seems to be. I just wondering if anyone had gone through something similar with a pet and how they were able to make the adjustment go as smoothly as possible. Maggie's only 7 year old and in otherwise fantastic health. They just have no idea what happened to their beautiful girl.

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    omg how sad..have you gone to the vet?
    a good vet makes all the difference in the world..

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    Elite Member LynnieD's Avatar
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    Oh how sad!! Poor thing!!

    My brother had a deaf Dalmation. He was actually able to teach her sign language and she lived a very long, happy life.


    Hope it works out.....

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    wow lynnie, she learned to communicate? that's awesome..i guess the logical fear with a deaf dog is that they'll run into the street and be hit by a vehicle as they can't hear it driving up... *awful*

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    Quote Originally Posted by xoxo View Post
    omg how sad..have you gone to the vet?
    a good vet makes all the difference in the world..
    Yes, my sister took her to the vet. That's how they found out Maggie was blind. I guess she suddenly started walking into doorframes and clothes baskets. They weren't sure if she had a stroke or what, and the vet did some tests and found the blindness. Maggie's supposed to see a dog opthamologist soon to see if they can find a reason for such an acute onset. My sister's just beside herself about this, wondering if there was anything she could have done to prevent it. It changes everything because they're not sure if Maggie can ever be boarded again, their plans to have another baby in the near future, even bringing Maggie to my house when she visits from out-of-state will be different. My pugs love racing around and playing with Maggie, and now that's dangerous because maggie could crash into a wall or get hurt without seeing where she's going.

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    shucks that's tough..let us know what happens..maybe you can try posting on a pet board w/ your concerns? they may have people posting there who have experience w/this...

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    KD
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    I have a nearly 16 yo poodle that is now blind, deaf and incontinent. He wears a diaper in the house. His time, unfortunately, is coming soon.

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    Elite Member moomies's Avatar
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    I have no experience or expertise in this but if it was something so sudden and acute, maybe there is a chance that it is psychological and is temporary? Or it could be genetics or something cuz I'd assume that if it was an eye disease, the dog would have developed it over time.

    I really don't have any experience with this so my suggestions might be all sorts of wrong but I'd try and do things with smell and sound to help the dog navigate thru the house...e.g. hang little bells on door knobs so she'd recognize where an entry/exit is, associate some kinda smell with a place that's not safe for her to wander into etc

    If you think it's crazy, you ain't seen a thing. Just wait until we're goin down in flames.

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    Elite Member louiswinthorpe111's Avatar
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    When I was growing up, one of our dogs went blind towards the end of her life. She got along pretty well. She would stumble occassionally, but I think like people, they learn where they are by feel. Three steps from the bath to the kitchen, one step right, two steps to food bowl, etc... I remember once when she was outside at night and I was trying to pull into the driveway, she could hear the car and just stood in the driveway barking at my car. I got out and tried to move her and she tried to bite me. My mom had to come out and carry her into the house.

    It's sad, but she'll find a way to live with it.

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    Elite Member louiswinthorpe111's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moomies View Post
    I have no experience or expertise in this but if it was something so sudden and acute, maybe there is a chance that it is psychological and is temporary? Or it could be genetics or something cuz I'd assume that if it was an eye disease, the dog would have developed it over time.

    I really don't have any experience with this so my suggestions might be all sorts of wrong but I'd try and do things with smell and sound to help the dog navigate thru the house...e.g. hang little bells on door knobs so she'd recognize where an entry/exit is, associate some kinda smell with a place that's not safe for her to wander into etc
    They also feel with their feet. Chances are, she already knows if she's on tile, she's in the kitchen, carpet is the living room, etc... And they have acute smell, so she'll probably know where she is from smells in different rooms.

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    A friend of mine has a dog that recently went blind, and while the first few weeks were tough, the dog has adjusted rather well to not being able to see. The only time she really has trouble is if things are suddenly moved or anything like that. But he acts almost exactly like he did when he could see...still begs for food, still jumps on the couch to snuggle, will still come when you call him...

    As long as the dog is basically healthy (excluding the blindness part) it will eventually adjust and get by. My only advice would be to keep things in the home in a "regular" spot so she will learn where things are and learn to avoid them.
    Dramatically overdramatic

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    I'm sorry this happened, but she will be fine, really. Dogs are very adaptive due to the strength of their other senses. Look how well they adjust to losing a leg!!

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    Aww, Iím so sorry to hear this. I did watch a TV show with some pet psychiatrist guy. He said that if other dogs come to visit they should attach a bell to the visiting dogís collar. This way the blind dog will follow the other dog around and they can still play. When going for a walk the owner should wear a bell so that the dog knows where you are at all times.

    He also mentioned marking scents around the house (such as lemon flavoring). Put a drop of it on items he should avoid or be cautions around such as the top of a staircase or the legs of a coffee table etc.

    Once the dog becomes familiar with what the bells and scents mean he wonít be so frightened.
    Scariest Halloween mask ever > > >

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    Wow...you guys have good advice. I've heard the same things about the texture of the flooring and the bells and all the smells. As well not making any major moves with furniture. I read an article several years ago in a dog magazine (Dog Fancy maybe) that said if you move with a blind pet, walk the dog around your new house on the leash at their normal pace. Let them take in the smell and the location of the rooms and furniture. It takes about two weeks and their back to their old selves. I remember the author saying people didn't even realize her dog was blind because it would go get a ball from it's toy basket and bring it to the guest to play fetch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KD View Post
    I have a nearly 16 yo poodle that is now blind, deaf and incontinent. He wears a diaper in the house. His time, unfortunately, is coming soon.

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