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Old 11-10-2012, 10:44 PM
 
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My 13 year old akita has had diabetes for 3 years. She has been on insulin and done ok but she lost her sight in one eye and now it appears she is almost totally blind. Its hard to tell because she seems to know her way around our house and yard and even goes for a short walk every day. I love the animal of course and am afraid that she is suffering in a world without sight . One day I think its best to have her put down and the next day I figure she is comfortable and feels our love but unlike humans I am afraid she is suffering and I just dont know what to do. I appreciate any advice that you fellow dog lovers may have. thanks
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:50 PM
 
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If she seems to know her way around and still goes for daily walks, she sounds pretty darn good considering everything. Remember that dog's sense of smell is phenomenal so I doubt she's suffering her loss of sight as much as you or I would. It was most likely a gradual loss so therefore not as shocking.

For me, I know when it's time when they stop eating and just don't seem to be "there" anymore. Each time, I just knew it was time by seeing the look on their faces.
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:56 PM
ZSP
 
Location: El Paso TX
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I don't have personal experience with having a blind dog but have friends who do...and I belong to a breed specific dog forum....with many, many blind dogs there.

We tend to humanize our pets and assume they feel as we think we would feel under the same circumstances...and in your own words, you say she seems comfortable in the house and going for walks. She can have a wonderful life without her sight. She still has her hearing and ability to smell.

When I met my friends English Cocker, she brought him to my house and immediately, he started mapping out my house and yard. Within minutes, he was comfortable and walked up to the feeder and had a snack. LOL From all I've read, the key is to NOT rearrange the furniture...it's imperative to keep things the same for her. You can even teach her to step up and down off curbs and steps...with simple commands like "up" and "down...or add "step up" and "step down." If I hadn't seen it for myself, I wouldn't have known how easily a dog could adjust, still be happy and a part of the family.

Her life isn't over yet.
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Old 11-10-2012, 11:34 PM
 
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Thank you for the kind words of encouragement..It sorta funny that our cats seem to know she is blind because they walk close to her....Animals are amazing
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Old 11-11-2012, 12:22 AM
 
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I've had a couple of dogs who went blind, and have 2 more going blind right now. They were/are ALL fine... your dog is, too. As ZSP stated, the dogs map out the house and yard so they have no problems getting around. Their lives go on without skipping a beat.

One of the dogs I have now is learning "UP" and "step" to navigate stairs and curbs. I use the "step" command (signal?) for going down, as "down" is used for laying down. My house is very sparsely furnished (no living room tables at all), so it's easy for her to move around. She can find my bedroom, her crate, water/food bowls and doggie door. Once she's outside, she finds the little corner in the patio where she likes to sleep, and has no trouble finding her way back in. And she's the one that's 100% housebroken. She turns her nose up at the puppy pads!

Just remember not to rearrange your furniture!

Your dog is fine...it's US that get traumatized at their blindness.
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Old 11-11-2012, 02:47 AM
 
Location: The Great State of Arkansas
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Crestliner, I have a blind Rottie who is 7 years old. He had congenital glaucoma as a pup and had to have his eyes removed when he was about a year old. That's different, I know, than progressive blindness, but your dog is much like our Holt....he saw shapes, then light and dark, then nothing. Does he bump into things occasionally? Oh, of course - his radar gets wonky and he misjudges, but he just backs up and starts over. He plays with the other dogs, sniffs around, digs, tosses something like a Jolly ball with a bell inside. We have 3/4 acre under privacy fence and he knows it better than I do. If I rearrange furniture it takes a few days for him to reset his internal compass, but he learns. The only problem we had was when we switched bedrooms - he's just a creature of habit and didn't want to leave his den :-)

He's an amazing dog. It really can be inspiring if you consider that they just adjust. Whatever life throws at dogs, they adjust for the most part. Your dog is in the process of making that transition, but she's not depressed or sad or bemoaning her terrible fate - she's just making do with what she has and enjoying the moment. As we all should, you know?

She's in her home - she knows her way around - she can still enjoy the breeze and the sunshine and her cat friends, a good meal, a warm touch. That's all any of us really want. She may bump her nose a few times but she will be fine.

I agree with Steelstress - my two favorite commands are "step" and "wall". Holt will very tentatively feel out a step. With "wall", he just stops and waits on me to help him navigate, like at the vet's office.

Your girl will transition nicely and you will learn so much from watching her navigate her world. It really is awesome to watch how they just accept, adjust, and move on with their lives. Oh, if we could all do the same!
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Old 11-11-2012, 03:12 AM
 
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Im so sorry your Dog is having problems buddy and i hope things get better!!


Peace and love to you
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Old 11-11-2012, 05:22 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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When I had to have 17 year old Paul the Bichon PTS, his impaired vision was the least of my concerns. It was his arthritis and inability to follow me around, his crying at the bottom on the stairs when I had to go upstairs or down without him, his messing in the house and how embarrassed he was and his general attitude of "I'm tired and hurting Mom. Please help me".
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Old 11-11-2012, 05:37 AM
 
Location: Florida
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I just put my 18 year old Shih Tzu to sleep, he was blind & deaf, had been for st least 3 years. Until his hind quarters went out he did just fine, navigated the house like a pro. I must say, being deaf was a bigger issue for him and me both.

My vet said that he still saw shadows, could be, he gravitated to the lighted areas of the house.

Keep all the furniture where it is, she will find her way.
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:27 AM
 
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I agree with all of the above postings. I had a dog that went blind and the transition was fairly easy for her. We realized that her sight must have been gradually worsening but she adjusted so well we did not realize how bad it did get. She also lost her hearing which limited how we communicated with her. She was able to feel vibrations so we often knocked on the floor to get her to come and of course touching her to direct her when needed. The timing was unfortunate because we were not in our new apartment very long when this happened and we had moved out of the country. I stocked up on car fresheners from the exchange and posted a different fragrance at the door of each room and she quickly learned to stop, take a sniff and immediately know what room she was in. She went on to live another 5 happy years!
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