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Old 09-24-2010, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Full time in the RV
2,867 posts, read 6,402,413 times
Reputation: 2420

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My 7 year old diabetic dog has cataracts and is mostly blind.

We have an appointment with an opthalamogic vet next week but our main vet has little hope anything can be done primarily of the diabetes.

I need ideas, comments, tips, etc.
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Old 09-24-2010, 12:48 PM
 
3,593 posts, read 10,675,787 times
Reputation: 5207
Quote:
Originally Posted by RMD3819 View Post
My 7 year old diabetic dog has cataracts and is mostly blind.

We have an appointment with an opthalamogic vet next week but our main vet has little hope anything can be done primarily of the diabetes.

I need ideas, comments, tips, etc.
My old Chessie Maggie was a diabetic in her later years. At around 10 she also went blind. The best advise I can give you is to watch your dogs behaviour. Some dogs (like Maggie) acclimate to being blind very easily. SInce yours is so young (yes to me 7 is still young) there is a possibility that they can remove the cataracts. That will depend on how well the diabetes is controlled. Diabetics (human ones too) can have trouble healing if the blood sugar is out of control.

Hugz to you and let us know how you and your fur-kid are doing!
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Old 09-24-2010, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Utah
5,005 posts, read 14,466,295 times
Reputation: 4989
Here is a shortened list that I saved of the caring for a blind dog tips found here.

How to care for a blind dog

1) No matter how it seems or feels right now... your dog's blindness is much harder on you than it is for him/her! Eye sight ranks #3 in importance compared to smell and hearing to your dog.

2) Dogs pick up easily on our feelings. Even though you are feeling sad for your dog, try to talk to him often in a "cheery voice" as if nothing has changed... and try not to "baby" your baby!

3) Sew 1 or 2 "jingle bells" onto an elastic pony tail band (used for hair) to slip onto your own ankle, or attach bell to shoe laces, so your blind dog can hear where you are walking.

4) Hearing your voice is very soothing, so talk to you blind dog often. Let him know when you are walking out of a room etc. Even just some "silly chatter" is enjoyable to him.. and really is kind of fun!

5 Remember to speak to your dog when you are approaching to touch (especially while sleeping) to prevent startling him/her.

6) ) If you have a smaller dog, avoid picking him/her up to "help" them get to food or other areas. They need to learn on their own, and actually become very confused when picked up and set down.

7) Having a "home base" is helpful as they learn to "map" of the house and yard. Bed, crate, or food bowl makes a good "home base" and if he/she becomes confused can start out again at home base.

8) Plastic place mats placed under the food and water bowls will help your dog "feel" when they are right up close to the bowls.

9) Your dog will learn to "map" home and yard in his mind when ready, but you can also put dog on a short lead and encourage to walk around room to room, and around yard.. using treats if needed.

10) Sharp corners on coffee tables, furniture legs etc. can be padded with bubble wrap, fabric batting, or foam pipe insulation from the hardware store.

11) Keep furniture and things in the same location for your blind dog. Keep floors picked up!

12) Use both real and silk plants in the house and yard as “feelers” – the plants gently touch the dog before running into something hard. Use around porch posts, on cabinet corners, around trees, etc.

13) Get down on the floor and crawl around at the dog's eye level to find anything that might be dangerous. Do the same in your yard... look for low growing branches etc. that could poke the eyes & trim.

14) Use a baby gate or a decorative fireplace screen to block stairs until your dog has mastered them.

15) Scent important areas....doorway/doggie door to go outside (vanilla extract, citrus, pine or furniture polish) place "scent" down low on the door or molding for best "sniffing". Scent any "danger" areas.

16) Use "scents" to help sparingly.. remember.. your carpet, furniture etc. already "have" a scent to your dog (and probably a good thing we don't know about them!) don't change the already very familiar.

17) Scenting the top landing of stairs (telling the dog no more stairs up) and the bottom stair (no more stairs down) can be helpful, or place a carpet mat at both top and bottom of stairs.

18) If you have wooden stairs that can be slippery, purchase nonskid adhesive strips for the edges of each step to give your dog more confidence in using the stairs without fear of slipping.

19) If you use a ramp make sure it has "raised edges" to prevent your dog from slipping off the sides.

20) Carpet sample squares are "cheap" and while your dog is learning the layout of the house put carpet squares in the doorways going into each room to make it easier to find the door openings.

21) A wind chime near the backdoor (or doggie door) can be helpful to your dog in getting headed back to this door after going outside. Door mats at all outside door entrances are also very helpful.

22) Add 1 - 2 feet outward -- bark chips, mulch or landscape rocks around trees or other danger in the yard will let your dog feel a texture difference on the ground to warn that something is ahead.

23) For eye protection when outdoors, hiking etc. where there are low growing shrubs, twigs etc. Doggles can protect the eyes, or an Eye Shield. Start them wearing for short periods w/treats to get used to them.

24) If your dog bumps his nose/head often you might consider making your own " hoop harness"a "plastic tie collar" or you can order a custom hoop vest called the " Littlest Angel Vest "

25) Start teaching your dog new "help words" (your choice of words) like "Stop" - "Step up" - "Step down" - "Easy" - "Careful" - "Danger" - "Right" - "Left" etc.

26) Remember to carry shovels, rakes and other yard tools (as well as bags of groceries!) up high, as your blind dog may run up to "greet you" and can't see what you are carrying.

27) Some dogs do become "depressed" at first when they go blind (this is normal!) but you can help by trying to keep up their routine as normal as possible. If they love to go for walks... go for a walk etc.

28) If your dog wore a collar for walking before, now is a good time to try a harness. You will have more control if the dog balks, with less stress to the neck & eyes... important with glaucoma.

29) Use a short lead to avoid tripping over the leash. Not usually needed, but you can thread the dog's leash through a few feet of PVC pipe to make rigid leash for "directing" in a specific direction

30) Leave a TV or radio playing softly near the pet's bed (or wherever they spend the most time when you are gone) the sound is soothing, and may help prevent excess barking.

31) If your blind dog seems to bark much more than before, this is not unusual. This web site shares great info on types of barking ideas to stop excessive barking that should help.

32) Try to have something familiar to the dog -- toy, blanket, bed, etc. -- for comfort when going to a strange new place.

33) If your dog loved to play ball... try "scented" tennis balls, or scent your own tennis balls with vanilla, or even a bit of bacon grease or other food smell... yummy!

34) Latex toys also work great for fetch.. the squeaker is a plus for fun, but the latex toys have a unique sound when they hit the ground, and most bounce several times... giving dog extra time to find them.

35) There are many "treat balls" on the market that will allow your dog to roll the ball around to dispense treats, and even some that let you record your own voice to hear as they roll!

36) Just "talking balls" in general are big fun for a blind dog, like the Babble Balls® that come in either talk or make animal sounds when touched.

37) Socialization is so important.. especially for blind puppies.. but even adult dogs recently blind can also develop some fears. Visit pet stores... dog parks & other places where your dog can socialize!

38) When pup is out socializing, let people know that he is blind so they don't reach out to pet unexpectedly. Make a vest from a child's apron, or a bandana collar using puff paint, that stays "I'm Blind"... OR..

39) If you're not the "crafty" type, Thankful Paws offers "I'm blind" collar covers, vests, bandana etc. as well as "blind dog" apparel (hats, t-shirts, sweatshirts) for "humans" too!

40) Dogs with SARDS sometimes will reverse day/night, and in older dogs this may also be signs of senility. Look into OTC phosphatidylserine (PS) or Rx Anipryl.
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Old 09-24-2010, 02:11 PM
 
3,593 posts, read 10,675,787 times
Reputation: 5207
Quote:
Originally Posted by eggalegga View Post
Here is a shortened list that I saved of the caring for a blind dog tips found here.

How to care for a blind dog

1) No matter how it seems or feels right now... your dog's blindness is much harder on you than it is for him/her! Eye sight ranks #3 in importance compared to smell and hearing to your dog.

2) Dogs pick up easily on our feelings. Even though you are feeling sad for your dog, try to talk to him often in a "cheery voice" as if nothing has changed... and try not to "baby" your baby!

3) Sew 1 or 2 "jingle bells" onto an elastic pony tail band (used for hair) to slip onto your own ankle, or attach bell to shoe laces, so your blind dog can hear where you are walking.

4) Hearing your voice is very soothing, so talk to you blind dog often. Let him know when you are walking out of a room etc. Even just some "silly chatter" is enjoyable to him.. and really is kind of fun!

5 Remember to speak to your dog when you are approaching to touch (especially while sleeping) to prevent startling him/her.

6) ) If you have a smaller dog, avoid picking him/her up to "help" them get to food or other areas. They need to learn on their own, and actually become very confused when picked up and set down.

7) Having a "home base" is helpful as they learn to "map" of the house and yard. Bed, crate, or food bowl makes a good "home base" and if he/she becomes confused can start out again at home base.

8) Plastic place mats placed under the food and water bowls will help your dog "feel" when they are right up close to the bowls.

9) Your dog will learn to "map" home and yard in his mind when ready, but you can also put dog on a short lead and encourage to walk around room to room, and around yard.. using treats if needed.

10) Sharp corners on coffee tables, furniture legs etc. can be padded with bubble wrap, fabric batting, or foam pipe insulation from the hardware store.

11) Keep furniture and things in the same location for your blind dog. Keep floors picked up!

12) Use both real and silk plants in the house and yard as “feelers” – the plants gently touch the dog before running into something hard. Use around porch posts, on cabinet corners, around trees, etc.

13) Get down on the floor and crawl around at the dog's eye level to find anything that might be dangerous. Do the same in your yard... look for low growing branches etc. that could poke the eyes & trim.

14) Use a baby gate or a decorative fireplace screen to block stairs until your dog has mastered them.

15) Scent important areas....doorway/doggie door to go outside (vanilla extract, citrus, pine or furniture polish) place "scent" down low on the door or molding for best "sniffing". Scent any "danger" areas.

16) Use "scents" to help sparingly.. remember.. your carpet, furniture etc. already "have" a scent to your dog (and probably a good thing we don't know about them!) don't change the already very familiar.

17) Scenting the top landing of stairs (telling the dog no more stairs up) and the bottom stair (no more stairs down) can be helpful, or place a carpet mat at both top and bottom of stairs.

18) If you have wooden stairs that can be slippery, purchase nonskid adhesive strips for the edges of each step to give your dog more confidence in using the stairs without fear of slipping.

19) If you use a ramp make sure it has "raised edges" to prevent your dog from slipping off the sides.

20) Carpet sample squares are "cheap" and while your dog is learning the layout of the house put carpet squares in the doorways going into each room to make it easier to find the door openings.

21) A wind chime near the backdoor (or doggie door) can be helpful to your dog in getting headed back to this door after going outside. Door mats at all outside door entrances are also very helpful.

22) Add 1 - 2 feet outward -- bark chips, mulch or landscape rocks around trees or other danger in the yard will let your dog feel a texture difference on the ground to warn that something is ahead.

23) For eye protection when outdoors, hiking etc. where there are low growing shrubs, twigs etc. Doggles can protect the eyes, or an Eye Shield. Start them wearing for short periods w/treats to get used to them.

24) If your dog bumps his nose/head often you might consider making your own " hoop harness"a "plastic tie collar" or you can order a custom hoop vest called the " Littlest Angel Vest "

25) Start teaching your dog new "help words" (your choice of words) like "Stop" - "Step up" - "Step down" - "Easy" - "Careful" - "Danger" - "Right" - "Left" etc.

26) Remember to carry shovels, rakes and other yard tools (as well as bags of groceries!) up high, as your blind dog may run up to "greet you" and can't see what you are carrying.

27) Some dogs do become "depressed" at first when they go blind (this is normal!) but you can help by trying to keep up their routine as normal as possible. If they love to go for walks... go for a walk etc.

28) If your dog wore a collar for walking before, now is a good time to try a harness. You will have more control if the dog balks, with less stress to the neck & eyes... important with glaucoma.

29) Use a short lead to avoid tripping over the leash. Not usually needed, but you can thread the dog's leash through a few feet of PVC pipe to make rigid leash for "directing" in a specific direction

30) Leave a TV or radio playing softly near the pet's bed (or wherever they spend the most time when you are gone) the sound is soothing, and may help prevent excess barking.

31) If your blind dog seems to bark much more than before, this is not unusual. This web site shares great info on types of barking ideas to stop excessive barking that should help.

32) Try to have something familiar to the dog -- toy, blanket, bed, etc. -- for comfort when going to a strange new place.

33) If your dog loved to play ball... try "scented" tennis balls, or scent your own tennis balls with vanilla, or even a bit of bacon grease or other food smell... yummy!

34) Latex toys also work great for fetch.. the squeaker is a plus for fun, but the latex toys have a unique sound when they hit the ground, and most bounce several times... giving dog extra time to find them.

35) There are many "treat balls" on the market that will allow your dog to roll the ball around to dispense treats, and even some that let you record your own voice to hear as they roll!

36) Just "talking balls" in general are big fun for a blind dog, like the Babble Balls® that come in either talk or make animal sounds when touched.

37) Socialization is so important.. especially for blind puppies.. but even adult dogs recently blind can also develop some fears. Visit pet stores... dog parks & other places where your dog can socialize!

38) When pup is out socializing, let people know that he is blind so they don't reach out to pet unexpectedly. Make a vest from a child's apron, or a bandana collar using puff paint, that stays "I'm Blind"... OR..

39) If you're not the "crafty" type, Thankful Paws offers "I'm blind" collar covers, vests, bandana etc. as well as "blind dog" apparel (hats, t-shirts, sweatshirts) for "humans" too!

40) Dogs with SARDS sometimes will reverse day/night, and in older dogs this may also be signs of senility. Look into OTC phosphatidylserine (PS) or Rx Anipryl.
What an excellent list. Thank you for posting this!
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Old 09-24-2010, 02:30 PM
 
Location: On this planet most of the time
8,039 posts, read 3,963,664 times
Reputation: 4851
I agree excellant list. I can't add anymore to this other than dogs are amazing at coping with blindness. I also have a blind dog don't be surprised if you see the pup run into walls and don't panic it's ok as long as there is nothing sharp or harmful in the way it won't hurt the pup a bit. My little guy runs into stuff all the time at first I nearly drove myself crazy trying to prevent this constantly was behind him trying to steer him in the right direction. After a while I just relaxed and let him find his way safely. Remember the dog still has the most important sense his sense of smell and that guides him in his daily journey. Just relax with him and keep things as normal as possible he is still the same fella blind as he was when he could see. Also remember we have lots of great people here to bounce questions off and give some great advice. Above all give him loads of love which I am sure you already do.
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Old 09-24-2010, 05:03 PM
 
Location: Marion, IN
8,191 posts, read 28,102,251 times
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My best friend is going through this with one of her dogs. She took the dog to Purdue's small animal clinic and this dog is a candidate for a surgical procedure that will stop the vision loss from getting worse. First they have to get her sugar under control. Nothing has worked for her yet, not dietary changes or meds. There is one more med they are hoping to try, but it is only available in limited supply and her vet has to plead the dog's case to see if they can get it.

Is there a college near you with a teaching hospital? Often you get the most up to date care and a reduced cost.

The hard thing for my friend and her dog is that they live on an 85 acre farm. She has 4 other dogs. All of the dogs are used to having free roam of the property and it is hard for this dog to stay in the house or with her all day.
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Old 09-26-2010, 05:47 PM
 
Location: County Mayo Descendant
2,725 posts, read 5,108,843 times
Reputation: 1202
My pet is diabetic, blind, I am sending you a link.
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Old 09-27-2010, 09:11 AM
 
Location: Full time in the RV
2,867 posts, read 6,402,413 times
Reputation: 2420
Thanks for all the helpful information.

The appointment with the opthamologist is this afternoon.
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Old 09-27-2010, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Plattsburgh NY
1,791 posts, read 1,563,095 times
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We also have a diabetic dog, 'Lady', that will be five on Jan. 9th. She was diagnosed at six months old. She is almost completely blind and still loves retrieving her stick from the lake. We have taught her 'left', 'right', 'straight ahead', 'right there', etc. Everyone that sees her in action is amazed that she knows these directions to find her stick. Such very proud parents we are.

Hope everything with the ophthalmologist appointment goes well. Interested in knowing what they tell you about what can be done. Not that we can afford something as intensive as this, but it's still nice to have some 'horses mouth' info.
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Old 09-27-2010, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Utah
5,005 posts, read 14,466,295 times
Reputation: 4989
My blind, 10 year-old dog, Honey, has been to the ophthalmologist twice and has another appointment in the spring. She has degenerative eye disease so there isn't anything I can do for her to help her vision, but I can manage her discomfort from the cataracts that have developed. She has uveitis, an inflamation caused by cataracts that can be treated with prescription eye drops. Her eyes aren't as red as they used to be now that she's receiving the drops.

It's hard to see her run into things. I use the word "careful" to caution her and perhaps slow her down. She is so full of life and energetic. I don't think she knows she needs to be more careful.

Her dog instincts kick in and she ready to run around outside and bark right along with the neighbor dogs. She doesn't care to be cautious when approaching the deck stairs, the wooden fence or other obstacles. She just wants to be a dog!
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