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Any experience w/dog blindness?

January 1st, 2004, 11:31 PM
my collie, Starbucks, has been bumping into things (our legs, stretched out when we are seated, or boxes we packed to ship at Christmas) and cannot see well at night. The vet said that the dog's reactions are inconsistent but that upon examination of the retina, it looks a little suspicious. I have been referred to a specialist about an hr away to see if this is collie eye anomaly.
I researched a bit online and it says there is no surgery to correct this.
In the meantime, does anyone here have a blind or partially blind dog? Do you use any special training methods?
Previously I had Borzoi and trained them w/hand signals. Obviously, this is not going to work w/my new collie!
He is only 1 yr old and we got him from the SPCA when he was 7 mo's. We were told that the family was military and was transferred to Germany. Now I'm wondering if they didn't give him up because they knew he had eye problems.
He's got an excellent temperament and we love him dearly:p
Thanks in advance!

Lucky Rescue
January 2nd, 2004, 12:01 AM
Dogs adjust amazingly well to blindness - unlike us, they don't mourn for anything they have lost, and just accept what IS.

We adopted out a husky who had both eyes removed. I saw him last week and you would never know he was blind.

Dogs' vision is not all that great anyway, and they rely much more heavily on scent and sound.

I think you'll be truly astonished at how well your dog will do, as long as you don't constantly rearrange the furniture!

January 2nd, 2004, 12:38 AM
I agree with LR

Just don't move around furniture in the house where the dog stays all the time and make sure to keep the floors picked up from things it could trip on / over!

My friends had a poodle that was blind for years

She made her way to the door, down the stairs and did her business in the yard and returned all by sense and scent!

The adjust much better then we do.


January 2nd, 2004, 02:40 AM
I know that if you do a search on line you can find out info. I stumbled across some a while ago, but not having a blind dog, I did not bookmark.

If you have a hard time finding it, let me know and I will look again. I am on my way to bed now, and too tired to look up my own name right now.

January 2nd, 2004, 08:06 AM
No direct experience, but I think the others are correct, dogs adjust well to blindness.
I did meet someone who had a little blind mutt, it was actually born that way. Since it didn't know anything else, it apparently did very well getting around; the other senses compensated. I'll bet your Collie will be fine, once she gets used to being sightless.

PS I love her name. :) My name is Carina and I am a Starbucksoholic.

January 2nd, 2004, 10:10 AM
Ok I don't have a blind dog but i do have a blind cat.
Some things i have learned.....put different rugs down for different things. Like a flat rug for eating place. A Berber at the door to go out. Also different scents for different rooms.
This has nothing to do with the dog but just a FYI....we had built a set of stairs she she can climb up different things. She uses them constantly.
I also have a deaf cat. Really no big deal there either other then not to startle the poor thing. We tap the floor with our feet to call her.
We were actually told we were cruel to keep them alive. Can you believe that? Sunny has been Blind since birth and Brandy same thing. They are normal in ever way and are a great addition to our family. Sunny is 8 yrs old and Brandy 7.

January 2nd, 2004, 12:40 PM
Thank you all, for the info and laughs. We have SO many toys on the floor that we humans have a hard time getting around! Good idea to put down rugs, etc., as we have mostly hardwood floors.

In regard to people who think you should put down blind or deaf animals, I think only some professional breeders do that when they first examine the litter, so they don't pass on any bad genetic traits. Anyone who has had an animal in the family and has adapted to a handicap is obviously not going to put the animal down solely because of that. Most people who say that have never had a pet! We had to put our 14-yr-old collie down this Sept. and deafness was only one of many, many ailments. It was SO hard, even knowing that she was miserable, I put it off for weeks.

Thanks again.
I love all these animal icons!

Lucky Rescue
January 2nd, 2004, 01:04 PM
Anyone who has had an animal in the family and has adapted to a handicap is obviously not going to put the animal down solely because of that.

I wish that were true! Sadly, many people are not like you.

Right now we have a gorgeous white deaf cat whose owners no longer wished to keep a defective animal.:(

We had a purebred Persian whose owners wanted to euthanize it because it was hopelessly matted!! We had to beg them to let us take it.

Another very cute ****z zhu was dumped when it needed surgery to amputate a leg. He got a great home!:D

A husky was abandoned on the street, blind, because of severe eye problems.

Many people do not wish to make the least concession, spend any money or do ANY work to save their own pets.:mad:

January 2nd, 2004, 01:20 PM
Aww Terry I'm sorry about your Collie. What a long life she had, though. It's hard to lose a dog, isn't it.

In August I had to put my ancient GSDx Phoebe to sleep; we couldn't manage her severe arthritis pain any more. She got very deaf in her last year, but adapted well. And for the first time in her life she didn't mind the vacuum cleaner! I started using some hand signals with her, and she quickly understood them.

I don't understand how people can abandon or want to euthanise an animal just because it has some "defect." Some breeders do cull some puppies with serious health defects - that's controversial but I can sort of understand.

Anyhow, it sounds like Starbucks is in good hands! Do you have any pictures of him?

February 5th, 2004, 08:09 AM
Lucky--OMG! I can't believe someone would get rid of a cat because it had mats! Excuse the expression, but big, hairy deal. Either shave the thing or take it to a groomer. :confused:

February 5th, 2004, 08:11 AM
Hi Carina,
I'm not sure what a GSDx is. The X must mean cross, and the G is golden? GoldenShepherDobe? Quit laughing!
Yes, I have pics of Starbucks on my hard drive but don't know how to get them onto this bb. Any suggestions?

February 5th, 2004, 08:15 AM
Hi Terry - GSDx = German Shepherd Dog + who knows what. :D

I have no clue about posting photos! I know if you put them on a site like webshots you can post the link here...other than that I'm pretty clueless too.