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Losing Vision

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Losing Vision

Post  Dayna on 11/1/2011, 2:58 pm

We've done everything we could from surgery to daily drops but it seems like genetics are fighting us when it comes to Annabelle's vision. She is slowly losing some of her vision and although heartbreaking, out of my two she will be the one least affected by it. So what I would like to know is what do you do differently for pugs with vision issues? How well do they get around on their own? Can they navigate stairs? Any advise?


Last edited by Dayna on 11/1/2011, 4:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Dayna
 
 

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Re: Losing Vision

Post  Pugsaunt on 11/1/2011, 4:41 pm

Penny's vision is not what it used to be (damn PK and cataracts) - more peripheral vision than central vision these days. She gets around fine, though, as long as the furniture isn't moved. She knows to navigate carefully around the dining room table (chairs being pulled out) and will bump into a person who is right in front of her. Peg's Tyler had very little vision in his last couple of years from cataracts - he did very well, too as long as nothing got moved on him.
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Re: Losing Vision

Post  TNPUGMOMOF3 on 11/1/2011, 4:57 pm

Gus is my only blind pug experience and he was totally blind when we got him from the shelter. His damage is so extensive that he's been blind a LONG time. He barrels through life with no problems or fear. Think bull in a china shop. I think it's because he's been this way for so long. I think it's harder for pugs who suddenly loose their vision as opposed to those who lose it gradually. They adjust as they lose vision. Is see where people say their blind pugs are tentative and careful when they walk or are in new areas....not Gus! He is at least 12 or 13 and acts like he can see just fine and slams into things with out any hesitation. People cringe at our house when they are first around him, but he wants nothing to do with being carried or cottled. Oh no, he wants down and wants to do it himself! Now if we are at a strange place I am much more careful of him and I see a little more hesitation, but not much and not for long. He can do a step up or down if he knows it's there, but that is about it. We have an upstairs but our living area is mostly on one level, so it's never a problem. If we got upstairs, we just secure a gate at the top so he won't fall down. He has more trouble with tile and hardwood floors due to his age and arthritis issues.
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Re: Losing Vision

Post  northernwitch on 11/1/2011, 5:15 pm

I teach all my blind dogs the word "Careful" and along with that teach them to slow down or stop when they hear that word. And I'm betting that Annabelle won't have such a tough time. She's in a home she knows well and isn't having to cope with a new place. She should be able to do stairs. You just have to watch her to make sure that she doesn't miss a step and step into thin air--most learn not to and it's more of an issue in a home that's new.

Check out blinddogs.com, blinddog.info and blinddogs.net. All very useful sites. There is also a terrific book called Living with Blind Dogs (also has some great information on deaf dogs). It's written by Caroline Levin. Can't recommend it highly enough.

And go back and watch ANY of the videos of my Hazel. Yes, she's been blind a long time, and yes, she is fearless to the point of giving me heart palpitations, but most dogs really do adjust incredibly well. It's the owners who have trouble. For us, sight loss is huge. For the dogs, not so much.
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Re: Losing Vision

Post  Aussie Witch on 11/1/2011, 11:24 pm

No advice, but lots of good thoughts!
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Re: Losing Vision

Post  Dayna on 11/2/2011, 1:30 pm

Thank you ladies for the confidence boost I needed while I start this new journey. I'm sure this will be much more traumatic and difficult for Jace and I than Annabelle but we will deal and I'm thankful that its a slow vision loss.
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Re: Losing Vision

Post  Imon on 11/5/2011, 11:06 am

I had a Kerry Blue Terrier who lost her vision over the course of a year due to PK (this was over 25 years ago, and there wasn't much that could be done at the time). She was about 5 years old at the time of the vision loss.

We lived in NYC at the time, in an apartment house, so stairs weren't much of an issue, but curbs were. As she was losing her vision, I said "step up" or "step down" every single time she went up or down a curb or step.

We moved to a house in NJ when she was about 7, and the house had a lot of steps/staircases. I used the "step up/step down" to walk her up and down the stairs on a leash and kept her close to me for the first few weeks in the new house. She quickly learned to go up and down the stairs and seemed to also learn how many steps were in each area. We walked her through the house on her leash for the first week, and then talked her through it. She learned the layout very well. She usually would stay where we were, but if we moved from one room to another, she'd be right with us. If she was sleeping, I'd wake her and tell her when we moved. Her hearing was fine, so startling her wasn't an issue.

What amazed me was how well she adapted. She would follow the sun through the house, and always knew where the sunny window was, to sleep in the warm patch. She could get up and down on sofas, chairs and beds by herself until she got too old to want to jump (she lived to be almost 14 years old).

She could find anything good to eat on the floor! I think that's why she loved our kids so much. When our first child was an infant, the blind dog insisted on sleeping under the baby's crib and would stand and the door of her room and bark at anyone coming into the nursery until she knew who it was and that it was ok.

I think I've written here how she kept me from walking on an icy patch on our driveway one winter night - I didn't see it in the dark and shadow, but she knew it was there and pulled back from it.

Good luck!

PS: sorry, I had to run some errands before I was finished here. Anyway, the main thing I'd suggest is that you accustom your dog to verbal cues to warn her of any changes in the environment: up, down, slow(or watch out) come to mind. If you change the layout of the house after the dog is blind, walk her through the new layout. If new furniture comes in, let her get used to the smell and placement of it. Don't put things down in the middle of a hallway or walkway she normally uses (or she'll crash right into them). If you get used to talking out loud or humming as you go about your routine, she'll have a way of locating you. They do adapt very well. People who didn't know Teddie was blind had no idea when they saw her in her normal environment. Outside, it was obvious, with my saying "step up" or "careful" as we walked around the neighborhood.
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Imon
 
 

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Re: Losing Vision

Post  pugmom on 11/8/2011, 10:10 pm

My pug, Ty has vewry limited vision (light & dark) plus he is completely deaf. He came to me that way as a foster pug. He was "tenative" the first few days in our house but since then is just fine. He used to do one or two steps but now he does not. However, I think that has more to do with his arthritis than his vision.

Now if a pug (or any dog) lost their sense of smell they would be totally lost and very, very confused. My Ty smells his way around all over outside. I swear he can "smell" where I am when I am 25 feet from him as he will come right towards me!



I am sure Annabelle will be just fine.
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Re: Losing Vision

Post  Milosmom on 11/9/2011, 1:01 am

You've gotton some great advice so I can't offer anything else.

My only live with experience has been Mickey and he spent the first few days clunking into all kinds of things until he got his bearings and learned where stuff was. He isn't as blind as we thought at first but he does still have some trouble. I learned the hard way when I moved the lounge chair to clean behind it and he ran into it :(.

I got the double whammy with him in that he was our first official "foster" and couldn't hear worth a flip either but improved a bit with the antibiotic rounds for HW pretreatment. I think he had some very serious infection that had gone untreated. He still can't hear exceptionally well but I started teaching him certain {louder and in a different tone of voice} words, "careful" "up" "down" & "STOP" + a couple of hand signals for basic things just because I figure he might need it later. Won't help if he loses all of either sense but still. He caught on pretty quick and is doing well with it.

It bothered me allot at first because I'd never dealt with those types of issues but now we've came along ways and I'm better educated for it and feel stronger about being able to handle issues better if fosters come with them.
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Re: Losing Vision

Post  Dayna on 11/9/2011, 12:31 pm

I think I'm going to start working on her commands so she knows stop and careful. Shes a bull in a china shop under normal circumstances so I'm sure she will continue that way even if she loses her vision.
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Re: Losing Vision

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