|Blind Dog Tips
Here are Val's tips, Val wrote this to someone with a female dog and
I know she doesn't mind sharing. Please excuse the gender.
I'm adding a few of my own tips to the end:
There are a few things you can do to help her out with her adjustment
to her loss of sight.
1) Make sure
she does things on her own, don't do it for her. If need be, talk her thru
it then praise her when she accomplishes what she is trying to do. But
do not pick her up and take her where she needs to go.
2) Talk to her - a lot. I talk to Barney all the time. I let
him know when I'm leaving the room. (If I don't he will bark until I let
him know where I am.) I also use key words when I leave. If I'm going to
the store, I tell him I will be 'right' back; if I'm going to work, I tell
him I'm going to 'work'. With the emphasis on 'right' and 'work' he knows
how long I will be gone and seems to do well while I'm gone. If he is getting
ready to bump into something (this is less frequently than in the early
stages), I tell him 'watch' or 'careful'. With those words he knows to
3) I also placed runners in his 'trickier'
areas to navigate. I have one spot between my kitchen and dining/family
room that he would bump all the time. I put a runner there, so he now knows
when he is on that runner, he is in a 'safe zone'. It has been a hindrance
to me on occasions because he is so comfortable and feels so safe there,
he will lay on the runner. There have been a few times that he almost got
stepped on because that is the only path from the kitchen to the dining/family
room and rest of the house!
4) I have a runner on the back patio (the outdoor type) that
leads him to the area of the yard that doesn't have roses. He also has
discovered a place between 2 roses that is wide enough for him to get thru
and he has started going thru that way as well. Speaking of the roses,
I put the little wire fence by the roses so if he does get off track in
the yard, he will bump that and not a thorny bush. Much safer on the eye.
5) Put bells or extra tags on any other
animals in the house so she can hear where they are. Same for you and any
other members of your family. Wear flip flops or walk so she can hear you.
It helps them keep track of where people are.
6) Initially, I kept the TV on in the dining/family room to
help him with his bearings when I wasn't around to help him out. If you
have a radio or TV that you use all the time, keep that on and she will
know where the sound is coming from and know where she is in relation to
7) Do not move her food and water bowl.
If you see she is disoriented, go to her water dish and tap on it while
you call her name. This will help her figure out where she is. She may
have to go to her water bowl then start over, but that's ok. She will catch
8) Do not move the furniture in the house. The have the house
'mapped' out in their mind so if you move furniture, she will get confused
unless you take her in the room and 'show' her where everything is.
9) If you have a pool, make sure you have
a fence and keep the gate closed.
10) If you have a dishwasher, make sure you know where she is
at all times when the door is down. Especially if she is a relatively small
dog. My dishwasher door is right at eye level with Barney and he once ran
into it when he came in from outside. This was only a few days after he
had his right eye removed. I could tell by the way he acted that it hurt
like hell, so I now tell him 'door down' when I have it open and keep a
vigilant watch on where he is when it's open. I have a doggie door that
was installed before he lost his sight and he never skipped a beat going
thru it after he lost his vision. He even went thru it with his hoop within
10 seconds of having it on for the first time!
11) Some people say to mark places with
scents (like citrus, vanilla etc). I didn't use these. Everything has a
scent of its own and since his nose is more sensitive than mine, he can
smell the natural scents of things. When he is in the yard, he relies heavily
on his sense of smell to get around. I have noticed that he goes in the
same areas all the time and is smelling the entire time. Even when he comes
in, he is smelling his 'path' and comes right to the doggie door with no
troubles at all.
12) I also have a hoop from a man on the blind dog page, http://www.pepedog.com/
and when company comes over, I put that on him. It serves 2 purposes
1) he loses his bearings and has a tendency to bump into things when
he gets excited
2) it helps people to remember that he is blind. He gets around so
well, that people that aren't used to him forget that he is blind and he
gets stepped on because they are expecting him to move when he isn't aware
they are there.
But most of all, talk and praise. It will help her tremendously.
Hopefully, this will help, and if you need anything else, please don't
hesitate to email me privately. It will be ok, she will adjust and
you. Just take a deep breath and take it one day at a time.
Val, Barney, Brie
I agree with all of Val's tips. They are very helpful.
Here are a few more of my tips from our experience with Max:
1) I've found that "safe spots", little
pillow beds in certain parts of the house help. Max has one in the
bedroom even though he sleeps on the bed at night. He has one in
the living room and one in the office. He's on his safe pilly at
my feet right now!
2) When he first went blind he was terrified of the single step
down into the family room. We have hardwood floors so I put 3M scratchy
tape down about 2 inches from the edge and he learned right away to feel
for it and knew it was time to jump. Unfortunately we had to move
and now we have 4 steps down into the family room. He goes up into
the kitchen, but he can't learn to go down so he stops at the tape and
I pick him up. There's not much choice here since he decided from
the scratchy tape that it was one step and kept diving down all four onto
his head. Talk about your stomach dropping out. Now he just stops
and waits to be picked up. He'll bark if I'm not quick enough.
3) Speaking of moving, sometimes we have
no choice. We set up the furniture as close as we could to the other
house. Mostly living room tables and couches because he jumps up
on the couches. We walk him on a leash outside now.
4) He has an Easy Rider harness for car rides that loops into
the safety belt. If one of us has to drive him someplace, we use this.
Otherwise I hold him so he can stick his head out of the window.
I have a video clip I took about 6 months after
Max went blind. Of him jumping straight up in the air while
Sal fixed his dinner. I've sent it to RB friends when they are facing
a newly blind dog. It is a bit dark, but it shows that there is so
much future happiness for blind dogs. When Max went blind overnight
exactly 2 months from being dx I cried for a week. I thought "he'll
never play again". There are some things he can't do now. Jump up
and down from the king sized bed, whip around the house super fast, etc.
But he's happy and he DOES play and eat and bark and love. His being
blind has made our bond even stronger.
If anyone wants to see this video, write to me privately at firstname.lastname@example.org
and I'll send it to you. There's also a blind dog site at www.blinddogs.com
that is incredible.
A good friend told me when Max first went blind,
"you can't see love, you can only feel it". It's the truth.
Max's Story - Click Here
These tips are great, here a couple of other things I did with Cookie
1. You can buy carpet stair treads
that have adhesive to attach to the stair. I had 13 stairs for her to navigate
and she used these carpet treads to know where to go, she never fell down
the stairs after I installed tham
2. I replaced here regular collar with a harness. This gave
me greater control if I needed it, especially if when we were crossing
streets or met other dogs along the walk, she could not deal with other
strange dogs once she went blind.
3. I was careful about having her on the
bed or sofa a lot, but if she wanted
Cookie's Story - Click Here
I had hoped you would share because I remember you had carpeted steps
Max now barks for up on the bed or down from the bed and for down the
He's very stubborn and he lets us know what he wants. But with
a bigger dog, it would be a problem. He knows his limitations and
lets us know too.
I think Martha's little Maltese Zeke was the same way.
I'm glad you wrote,
Annie & Max & Mitchell
Cataract Surgery Costs
What is Glaucoma?
|Can I ask you as a newcomer to all this (my Frankie was diagnosed
March 30, 2005)
what this kind of surgery costs? Like maybe a range?
Mary and Frankie
Maryland.. It was about $2,000 for the surgery plus check ups
End cost probably... $2500.00
Same cost in Seattle as Dawn's.
Jerrie and Jake
Mary, when I had my Katie's eyes done last year, here in Colorado itcost
$2400 with lens implants.
On Apr 22, 2005, at 1:21 PM, Lynnae Osmulski wrote:
I just found out my schnauzer has cataracts in both eyes, they would
like to do surgery right away. Do you recommend getting the lens?
Dr, Hamor recommends them. Margo
I had timmy done with no lens and he sees fine. Sheila Klein
When you are opting for cataract surgery the dog is usually already
blind or 99 percent blind and you are also giving him the opportunity that
he might be able to see again. Some dogs adjust well to blindness though
but others don't.
IMO you have to weigh the odds and do what is best for yourself.
Heck there can be complications with getting your wisdom teeth removed.
Every time you put a pill in your mouth there are warnings. AND the
worse thing is if you tell me I could get purple polka dots then I likely
You can read about most of these pets on the stories page. Those that
are blind and those that have had surgery
Here are some that have had cataract surgery on the list
A few that pop in mind
to read Alex's Story
to read Louie's Story
Cataract Surgery Story
Espressie just had his done a month ago...
Cheyenne has had cataract surgery on one eye with lens implant, successful.
A shot in the other eye for glaucoma.
Christy & Cheyenne
Dahlia had cataract surgery in both eyes with lens. Very successful.
Some long ago members
on the Website
And there are lots that have not had surgery and their pets have adjusted
A few that pop in my mind
Thanks for remembering Max as one of the successful non-surgery candidates.
We would have done it, but he had PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy) so
he was going blind slowly over a year or two before the cataracts made
it happen overnight 2 months after he was dx with diabetes.
If I hit the Mega Millions Jackpot (about 200 Million tonight), I will
devote my time and all that money to blind dogs. They have so much
love to give. I've visited the blind dogs website and there are adoptions
there. Some dogs (like people) are born blind. Unlike humans, sight
is not a primary sense for dogs. They adjust so quickly. They
can live such full lives. Under the right conditions they can run
and play and love so strongly that you'd never even realize they are blind.
They are amazing.
Max was much less upset about losing his sight than I was about it.
It's been almost 3 years. We still have the most lovable dog on the
planet. We wouldn't trade him for anything.
What I advise to anyone with a diabetic dog is a checkup with a real
eye vet, even before anything happens ~ regular vets don't know much about
eyes. Hopefully there won't be problems, but they can hit hard and fast.
If at all possible, it's the best thing you can do. Even if you have
already decided not to have the cataract removal, it's still important
to your dogs overall health.
Annie & Max (dd, dx 6/18/02, blind 8/18/02) & Mitchell (ndd)
I just want to add that before I had the eye surgery on my dog she
was blind for about 1 year. As long as I did not move any furniture
around in my house she did not even appear to be blind. She would
still go up and down the stairs to the bedroom and out off the deck.
The vet told me knowing she was going blind she prepared. But, as
soon as I forgot something out of place a chair or anything it broke my
heart to see her walk right into it. So be prepared not to rearrange
your house or bring her to a new environment.
Marsha's Cody did not do well from cataract surgery
This letter is from Marsha and has been edited which I do not usually
Some paragraphs not pertaining to blindness in dogs was deleted
along with a paragraph that made it sound like salve was put in his eyes
and was not.
As for the cataract surgery...again, my experience. Cody was fine then
one day one eye went then a week later the next. My vet at the time was
telling me he was regulated, but he was not. I would like to say this about
cataract surgery, if I may. It goes for people. A dear friend is an ophthalmologist
MD. People and parents of non human children, in most cases, go into cataract
surgery thinking it is a breeze. You hear stories about how people post
cataract surgery are doing great. I just read a study and 30%+ have
problems of all types. It is not like going in just for a manicure.
Vets, at least in my experience, give you one risk or two.
There are many complications that can and do occur:permanent redness
of the eyes (I mean Cody's eyes look as if they are on fire at times -
his is not continuous; dry eye, clumped asteroids ( floaters that clump
together) and cause vision loss (no cure except draining the vitreous fluid,
but that damages the retina); protein fibers (we had those, they can be
dissolved over time), debris on lenses, detached retinas, permanent blurry
vision (the vet guesses on the lens strength...no science here)...just
a few "minor"
ones that impair or cause vision loss. Now Cody is almost blind. The
clumped asteroids and the debris are doing it. I have to get laser to help
My eye vet did not prepare me for all the potential risks. I did research
and when I brought it up, he waved his had and said, yes , it could happen,
You are wise to do research, but do not let your vet lead you to believe
cataract surgery is a breeze. It is serious and the post cataract complications
in people and dogs can be permanent and cause blindness. Glaucoma is another
potential complication post cataract surgery...
Marsha, Cody (dd), and Kitties 3
What are Cataracts?
Explanation of Cataracts