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Caring for a blind dog - advice please!

Fiona Clements-RussellFiona Clements-Russell Dumfries & Galloway area, S W Posts: 2Member
My dearly loved precious Lhasa Apso, Katie, is in the advanced stage of Pigmentary Keratitis - a build up of pigment in the eyes, which has caused her to go blind. We have tried a treatment with drops (Maxitrol) to retard the progress, but the time has come when the condition is so far advanced that we now believe she has lost virtually all of her sight. So far, she has adapted amazingly well. We have been making sure she gets as much help as she needs, for example we have made sure she has 'her' pathways to negotiate the home safely, she knows where everything is and she knows we won't move anything around. She shares her home with our younger (sighted) little friend, Poppy who is a Lhasa/Shih Tzu cross, who has been a wonderful help - she even guides Katie when they go up to the garden. Katie seems to be a little more 'lost' though, these past couple of days. She seems to veer off track, is sitting barking for no reason we can eliminate and we would value all advice:-) Thanks xXx

Best Answers

  • Carlyn JeffersonCarlyn Jefferson Posts: 254Member
    Accepted Answer
    Aww what a little trooper she is and what amazing owners you are for trying to help out as much as possible! I've honestly never owned a blind dog, so I'm not really sure of extra tips to make her life a little extra comfy/normal. If I were you, I'd keep doing research and keep up the good work! I know if I were a first time blind-dog owner, then I'd definitely want to ask other owners of vision impaired pooches. Maybe doing a search on here for blind dogs ( ) and sending out some messages to ask for their advice, tips, tricks, pointers, etc. Again, it's so amazing to see you're not giving up on your little sweetie! It's also great she has another dog to help her get around, even when you can't monitor her 24/7. Best wishes!
  • Cindi LeonardCindi Leonard Plantation, Fla.Posts: 1,670Member
    Accepted Answer
    I had a blind cat who trained herself to go on doggie pads, and yours can too due to the puppy attractant inside. As you can guess, a common sense approach is not to move ANYTHING. each time I moved even one water bottle, Pookie would walk into it. In addition to her eyes it sounds like she is deteriorating all-around from old age (it happens to all of us). Bring your dog in for a senior exam to make sure everything else is okay, like thyroid and kidney function. There is probably more than just loss of her sight going on, because dogs adapt remarkably well to the loss of a sense. The vet can help with this, which will result in adding comfort to your dog's final years on the planet. ^_^ Leaving a scent trail with treats like Natural Choice fruit crunchies is a great idea also, because smell and hearing make up for lost vision.
  • Maria ElenaMaria Elena Posts: 202Member
    Accepted Answer
    blindness can occur at any stage in a dog’s life. It may even be the result of a condition such as diabetes or sometimes even an accident. Dogs commonly have poor eyesight to begin with, and rely primarily on sound and smell. This can make it very difficult to diagnose when a dog is only mildly blind. As dogs lose their sight, memorization becomes one of their biggest navigation tools. Moving to new locations or even rearranging furniture can affect your dog’s ability to get around the house. If your dog is freshly adjusting to blindness, avoid any radical changes in scenery or new locations. When losing their sight, dogs may be intimidated very easily. Be aware to avoid “sneaking” up on them or creating any movements that might surprise them. They’re going to rely on scent and sound to find you, so make your presence audible for their comfort (they’ll smell you on their own).
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