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Dealing with a blind dog

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Katy, Sep 16, 2009.

  1. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    My daughter found out today that their dog is indeed going blind as she had thought and will very likely be completely blind in 6 months to a year. He has retinal atrophy which is inherited. They are probably going to be getting another dog to be his seeing-eye buddy dog. They lost his brother a couple of years ago when he chewed a hole in the kennel and was hit by a car and killed. They have talked about getting another dog since then, but just haven't. Do any of you have any tips or ideas for them to help him adjust? They are going to start working on verbal cues such as saying steps when they go up and down the stairs.

  2. Elite Silkies

    Elite Silkies Crowing

    Jun 17, 2009
    My Coop
    If you can get him a buddy and let him get used to him he might follow the other dog around. Put a bell on the new dogs collar so that the one going blind can always hear the bell when the new dog moves.

    Other than that, I am not too sure what to do.
  3. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    We have a 13 year old "One Eyed Blind Dog" - Cattle Dog. He has been blind for over 8 years.

    Having a kennel (indoor type) for the dog is great - gives them their own "safe" place. They know no one will step on them, their food is safe, along with their chewies.

    Some words that our dog knows: Step up, Step down, Fence, Stop, Left, Right, Congestion (used when there is too much stuff in the way and he needs to slow down and use caution), we replace heel with "stay close" and his very favorite - CAMPING. Snapping my fingers helps to draw his attention in noisy areas.

    He will still fetch a noise making ball. He LOVES to chase water coming out of the hose. He has other dogs, but none act as a seeing eye dog.

    MOST important - fenced yard with a fence the dog cannot get stuck in. We have 11 acres and he wanders all of it (all is fenced)
  4. slightlyscrambled

    slightlyscrambled Songster

    Mar 30, 2009
    We had a terrier mix that went blind in his old age, he did very well if we kept his normal path and yard clear of obstacles. He knew exactly where he was and as long as the kids didnt leave a bike or skateboard etc. in the middle of the yard he did very well. He seemed to smell his way around and kind of memorized the lay of the house. The only hard thing was company, he had a real hard time decifering where they were and would wander a bit until he "found" them and got his attention.
  5. Cara

    Cara Songster

    Aug 30, 2007
    They can put specific scents in particular areas, e.g. lavender oil on his bed, vanilla near his food bowls etc so that he can use his sense of smell to find his way around a little better.
  6. I love the scenting idea!

    Katy, my husband had a blind disabled husky puppy who passed away last year- anyway, we bought him this great book about blind dogs... Let me see if I can find the title and all that...

    Here it is:


    It's in mint condition and we don't need it anymore, what we read of it was wonderful, but she passed like days after we got it. It was highly recommended.

    If you want it PM me and we can work something out, just throw me something for shipping and a little extra and it's yours.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2009
  7. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Thanks for the ideas so far! He is a red heeler and an inside dog and is only outside when they are so that cuts down on some of the issues they might have if he was an outside dog.

    Horsefeathers...yours would have went blind at about the same age. Does he have the same condition? Just wondering since they're both cow dogs.

    I will be passing the ideas along to them.

  8. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Quote:Thanks so much for the offer! That was the book the vets at the vet school recommended to them. She was going to go online and order it, so let me check with her to see if she did already. She's at volleyball practice now... I'll call her later and get back to you.
  9. faykokoWV

    faykokoWV Mrs Fancy Plants

    Nov 4, 2008
    Cross Lanes, WV
    One of our dogs has gone mostly blind over the last year. We think he can see light/dark and some shapes. He is an outside dog, but in a fence area and we've had him there since the day he was born. He does very well. He doesn't go running through the yard like he used to, but he can find his doghouse, water food. He can tell if I have a treat to give him. He does walk closer to me that he used to when I'm out with him. i think he really craves the contact more. I do notice him listening for cues as to who is where and using his nose to find things. we've not really done anything special for him since he seems to be getting along fine.
  10. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    Quote:Yes, I believe it is the same condition - Coda's retinas detached and first we went thru surgery to replace them. Costly but mostly VERY painful for the dog and if I could go back in time I would never do it to him. He was four/five when he had the first surgery and had only partial eye sight after surgery. He lost all of his sight within a couple years. Then in 2006 one lens migrated and we had to have that eye removed.

    We were told his condition most likely was genetic but could also have been caused or aggravated by a head injury.

    Except keeping a closer eye on him if we go camping, we really do not treat him any differently -- he does everything he did sighted. He is an inside dog who is allowed out when he wants…….he also comes in when he wants. He is only slowing down now due to age – arthritis and starting to lose his hearing. If their dog is active, gets excited, runs into things – sounds like our cattle dog – this did not change for Coda when he lost his sight and probably will not for theirs.

    Here he is in his dirty glory

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