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Suddenly blind dog

Discussion in 'Dog Chat' started by SilverSun, May 19, 2021.

  1. SilverSun

    SilverSun PetForums Newbie

    May 19, 2021
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    Hey everyone!
    Our mini bullterrier has a week ago suddenly got blind from a surgery. Before he could see very badly but enough. Now he is completely disoriented and scared. He bumps almost against everything and doesn't find the way from his sleeping area to his food place. We think that sometimes he doesn't even know in which room he is. He is already 13 years old but before he was a very happy, joyful dog, now he seems most of the time depressed. Mostly he just wants to sleep. Another problem is that he can't hear the best. I also want to mention that some little progress has been made. At first he wasn't able to go down our stairs at all, but now he can do it slowly step by step. Now we are wondering if he can get his life quality back by adapting. Does anyone have experience with a dog which got suddely blind, could they adapt and how long did they need approximately? We dont want our dog to suffer but we also don't want to give up to early.
    I would already like to thank everyone for their advice in advance:)
  2. Maurey

    Maurey Maine Coon Madness

    Nov 18, 2019
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    Have you consulted with the vet that did the op about this? They may be able to provide you with some insight —perhaps the blindness is indicative of something, or something could be done.
    Some dogs have success with halos, though it tends to be hit or miss, depending on the dog, their age, and the level of orientation they already have. The halo helps prevent a dog from bumping their head, and they have something extending from their body to help them figure out where walls and furniture are. For obvious reasons, keeping things in the same place as much as possible will be very helpful for him, as well.
    kimthecat likes this.
  3. kimthecat

    kimthecat PetForums VIP

    Aug 11, 2009
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  4. Gemmaa

    Gemmaa PetForums VIP

    Jul 19, 2009
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    My little lad has deteriorating sight, the first three weeks were the worst and he kept bumping into things, jumping over nothing and sometimes falling and scaring himself. He was trembling and absolutely terrified on walks, and we honestly thought he'd have to be put to sleep.

    I have herb markers in the garden for him. Mint and thyme outside the back door, lavender all down one side of the garden, a patch of sage, a pot of oregano, some little herbs growing through a path...my hope was that they'd give him little safe spaces to work out roughly where he was, based on the fragrance.

    I taught him 'step up' and 'step down' to get in and out of the house, and kept him on his harness for a while to help him avoid bumping into anything too often so that it didn't ruin his confidence.
    Walks were kept really short for a while, and I stuck to a little loop so that he didn't have to cross any roads as it was taking him ages to begin with, and it was a little bit dangerous. He sniffs everrrrrythiiiiiing now, but it does seem to help him get his bearings.

    I put him on a really stinky, strong smelling fish based food to help him find it easily. I also hide strong smelling treats in the garden for him, it does seem to help his confidence, and stops him getting withdrawn and sad.

    He has warnings on his lead, and a bandana, that he has a visual impairment, as someone did accidentally scare him at the start, and he can see white/light coloured dogs, which can cause some problems. So far people seem to be very respectful and there haven't been any incidents, as people give him his space.

    I know it can take some dogs a long time to adapt, but in general he has adapted fantastically well, and unless you know him well and can see the changes in him, most people would struggle to believe there's an issue.
    Someone did say how happy he seems the other day :)
    LinznMilly likes this.
  5. JoanneF

    JoanneF PetForums VIP

    Feb 1, 2016
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  6. Smalldogs

    Smalldogs PetForums Member

    Sep 11, 2012
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    A word of encouragement. Some years ago our elderly Barney went quite suddenly blind overnight. He had three days of confusion and worry, and we were thinking we might have to have him put down, but remarkably soon he adapted and for his last years was the happiest blind dog in the world. He would occasionally get stuck in furniture (he never got the idea of reversing), but would just bark for assistance and wait confidently for us to come and disentangle him. I do hope your dog manages to adapt like Barney. Best wishes.
  7. Rafa

    Rafa PetForums VIP

    Jun 18, 2012
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    How recent was his surgery?

    It is possible he has some inflammation from the op, which will improve.

    I had a dog go blind at 13, (she was diabetic), and she adjusted very well.

    I always kept furniture in the same place, never left any obstacles on the floor and stuck to the exact same walk with her every day.
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