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Dog going blind


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VizslavsBird

I have a spainiel that is going blind.  Appears to be a genetic thing, Progressive Retinal Atrophy.  Any of you folks ever have a dog go blind at a young age?  What kind of adjustments in everyday life did you make to help them along?

 

This 5 year old has the sweetest personality and will be with me a long time.  Just need to do the best I can for him.  He has started bumping into things in the last couple of weeks, so what little sight he has is short term.

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Brad Eden

That’s tough. Most all my dogs developed cloudy eyes with age but never fully blind. I have no experience with this so hopefully some UJers will pop in with some experience and advice. Best of luck to you and the Springer.

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VizslavsBird

Thanks.

 

Lol, not a spaniels are Springers.  

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WPG Gizmo

Here is some info I found 

 

How to Help a Blind Dog Adapt

Here are six tips from experts on how to make a few changes to enhance your vision-challenged dog's life and help him lead a normal life:

Blind Dog-Proof Your House. ...

Don't Rearrange Your Furniture. ...

Change the Way You Communicate. ...

Tune In To Their Other Senses. ...

Re-Train Your Dog. ...

Play Games.

 

They also make a halo that the dog can wear kind of a vest with a wire rod attached that lets the dog know when it is close to something it can hit.

 

I have also heard of having another dog can help the blind one get around 

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My girl Maggie went blind from progressive retinal atrophy at 6 1/2. I’m sorry for you and your dog. Your dog losing the ability to hunt, in its prime , is brutal.

 

I hunted Maggie a couple of times after she went blind and it seemed fine at first . Then because she kept her eyes open and couldn’t avoid obstacles she scratched one of her eyes. She couldn't avoid trees, bushes or ravines.  Hunting was done. 
 

She would ride in the truck on all the hunts and was able to walk around before and after on a leash and got to carry any birds when I got back to the truck. Smelling and carrying the birds made her happy.

 

She enjoyed her walks on a leash and being loved up. She even enjoyed getting to ride to the hunts. She was with me for another 6-7 years till she passed. 
 

She still had a good life, just not as good as it could have been.

 

 

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shoot-straight

All the best to your pup. Good to see others like the above keep giving them the best life they can. Im sure you will to. 

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marysburg

Just as JackL said, the dog's life can still be good, but it will be different.  Our Brittany, Peachy, went blind at age 9 and it was impossible to let her run off leash after that.  If she got a whiff of something, she would just break out running as she had in the past, but of course it wasn't safe for her to do that.  She did fine in the house, and used her nose to find landmark furniture, scatter mats or doorways, and we kept things the same as they had been when she had sight.  Keeping unexpected things off the floor was something we had to learn to be diligent about: laundry baskets, groceries, briefcases and footwear were like land mines for Peachy.  Remember to play with your dog.  Use a leash and play hide and seek for toys, treats, or people in the house or yard.  Short retrieves on a longline.  Swimming with you (with some caveats).

Before she passed, Peachy's hearing faded and then things got tougher, but your boy has years ahead which will be great for you and the family.  Just love him up.

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VizslavsBird

Thanks for all the replies and I gladly welcome more.

 

We got the diagnosis in the summer and are trying to make as many transitions as possible quickly.  Hunting was never his passion so I don't think he has missed it.  He has sniffed the birds but doesn't show as much interest.   We did agility for fun and have limited it to tunnels, weaves and planks on the ground.  No more jumps, teeters, dog walks or A-frames, all of which he loved. 

 

Scent work will continue as it is his passion.  We will have to play at the introduction level as it is on leash and nothing more than boxes.

 

He is a Champion in the beauty ring.  Last night I pulled out his show lead and we played that game.  It's been 3 years but he stacked perfectly and gated around as if he was floating on air. I hated Confirmation, lil-Ray loves it.

 

My biggest concern is he loves being outdoors.  He is secure in the fenced 2 acre yard but lots of low branches have to be removed from wind break trees.  Rattle snakes will be out in a couple of months.  He is snake broke, but I still worry.

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