Newly Blind Dog Advice

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.


Barked: Fri Apr 2, '10 6:41am PST 
We got the word that Mogwai is going blind. She doesn't have cataracts, she has weird crystals forming in her retina. There isn't anything they can do to fix it, in fact, they said they've never seen anything like it before. No idea how much longer she has. It is to be expected, because she's 13, and already deaf. She is having a lot of trouble seeing in the dark, and starting to have trouble in the light also.

I think it would be a lot easier if her total health was failing, but it isn't. She's super happy, rambunctious and energetic, and loves walking, and watching "doggie tv" out the window. Those are the two things that make her happiest, and she is about to lose it. Heartbreaking!

She walks anywhere between 1.5 and 4 miles a day, every day. She has no joint issues, and no other major health problems. For 13, she really is in great shape.

So, how will our walks be affected? Will she still be able to go for walks? Will she still want to go for walks? Will she get depressed?

Is there anything I can do to make it easier for her?

I know it will be difficult, because she's so active, but I really have no idea what we are in for. If you've had a dog go blind, please offer any advice you can! I just have no idea how we are going to function if she can't see, AND she's deaf.

Fritz, cats are- fun when they- run
Barked: Fri Apr 2, '10 11:31am PST 
My paretns had a very old dog that went blind and deaf. She did fine using her nose to find her way around.

You just need to not rearrange things in her environment once she is used to them. On walks you will have to watch out for and lead her around obsticles and be careful not to sneak up on her when she is sleeping (we used to walk hard around Jig so she would wake up/know someone was near, but otherwise she will be the same happy loving dog you have always know.
Chloe,- KPA-CTP

Clearance Puppy - The best of them- all.
Barked: Fri Apr 2, '10 11:44am PST 
Don't change ANYTHING in your house. She knows her way around. I had a dog that was blind and deaf. if you want their attention/they wll know where you are by vibrations.

Blindness in a dog isn't all that bad (mind you it's not something i would ever want but they can live very good lives still blind) they will get around by scent, and vibrations. also don't go rush into petting them - let them know you are there..

I hope the best for you mogwai.


Barked: Fri Apr 2, '10 12:20pm PST 
There's a blind pug in the rescue I just started working with. Also super active and likes to be by her foster mom. Foster mom has a little jingle bracelet she wears on her ankle or tied to her shoe so the dog always knows when she gets up to move around and can find her if she wants to. I'm sure it helps to eliminate some of the isolation a dog going blind must feel.
Kitsune- Trouble

Divide and- cuddle!!
Barked: Fri Apr 2, '10 12:30pm PST 
My parents dog was deaf for most of her life and then also blind for the last couple of years. It's something you have to learn to deal with, but Naomi was still a happy dog. She got around the house and yard so well that sometimes it was hard to believe she couldn't see. She did still enjoy her walks, although at a slightly slower pace than when she could see.

Good luck! Please try not to get discouraged. Animals often times do really well and can still live happy lives even with disabilities.
Daisy Mae

Barked: Sat Apr 3, '10 12:31pm PST 
My lab mix went blind overnight. One day he could see; the next nothing. Vet said it was a breed flaw called prolapsed retinas. Anyways, he adapted very well as long as things weren't moved around.
My dad's friend had a dog that was blind and deaf; he did very well with his nose. He was also very sensitive to vibrations. His owner would stomp his foot twice, either inside or outside, and the dog would start sniffing for him.
Sounds like your dog will be easing into blindness gradually, so she will probably adapt very well. Like the previous posters said, don't move furniture around, and give her time to know you're there before you touch her. She might slow down on walks, but as long as she's leashed, she'll probably still enjoy them.
Major- Payne(4/23/0- 3-3/6/2010)

Barked: Sat Apr 3, '10 1:01pm PST 
The other posters are right about not changing anything around the house. "Major" was diagnosed with "Discoid Lupus" when he was 9 mths old. I was told by my vets that it is rare to see it in such a young dog and a male at that. He was put on Predisone every day for the rest of his life. They said it would not be a good prognosis. He grew cateracts from yrs of steriods.
He still played with his toys, could find every one of them by name (I don't know how he did it). Could go out front to use the bathroom by himself & find his way back to the front door. He had "markers" he went by. A dead plant at the front corner of the yard, a little tree in the middle of the yard etc. He knew the lay of the land. I never seen a dog so alive and so happy every day of his life. He smiled all the time.
Unforunately last month we had a very hard decision for our family. His uncle, and sleeping partner "Blue Blazes" who was 13 1/2 yrs. was going downhill and we needed to let him go while he was still able to be mobile. We were afraid that "Major" being blind would try & look for him constantly. We decided to let "Blue Blazes" show him the way to the Rainbow bridge and let them be together as they had been in life.
I regret it now. I miss him dearly and feel that he eventually would have realized that "Blue" wasn't coming back. I have a little female (his neice) that loved him that I could have put with him to keep him company afterwards and wished that I had done it that way instead.
Just enjoy your dog for however long you have with them. If it's medically able in other ways, they can survive without seeing. I know this for a fact.
We wish you all the best and gives hugs from those of us that are still left.
Cheri & "what's left of the pits"little angel