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silky terrier losing her sight

June 14th, 2004, 09:05 PM
Just wondering if there are any silky terrier owners out there. I have a very lovable female silky who is losing her sight. I have never had a dog that has gone blind before and would like to talk to other pet owners who have experienced this situation. I'd like to know what I can do to make her life a little easier. I'm at the stage where I'm still in shock that her sight is going and I find it very upsetting but I'll learn to deal with it. I would just like to help her live a full and happy life. Any suggestions or advise would be appreciated.

Lucky Rescue
June 14th, 2004, 10:52 PM
What did the vet say is causing this?

Blind dogs adjust amazingly well. Unlike us, they don't mourn the loss and just accept what "Is".

Actually, sight is not nearly so important to dogs as their senses of smell and hearing. The fact that your dog is losing sight slowly will make it easier for her to adjust.

Once the dog has learned to navigate and where things are, you often can't tell they are blind at all. We had a husky in our rescue who had to have both eyes removed. He was adopted and is a very happy and well adjusted dog, and it's very difficult to tell he can't see!:)

June 15th, 2004, 07:52 AM
Thank you for your reply. The vet thinks the vision loss is due to aging. My silky terrier is going to be 10 in October. However he did think it would be a good idea to take her to a dog eye doctor just to be certain and that's what I've decided to do. She has an appointment for Friday. Thank you again for your reply. It helped me to feel a little better. I was relieved to hear that dogs can adapt to loss of sight. Now I just have to learn to accept it and not get so emotional.

Lucky Rescue
June 15th, 2004, 08:31 AM
My last dog lost most of his vision and hearing by the time he was 12 or 13. He seemed totally untroubled by that, and as long as you don't rearrange the furniture constantly, I'm sure your little dog won't be bothered by it either.

Let us know what the vet says!

June 15th, 2004, 12:36 PM
My previous dog (lived to 18) also lost his hearing and sight the last couple years. Actually, I think he could see shadows if an object was close. My cat seemed to know this. I saw her a couple times deliberately raise her paws up in front of him and he would recoil back. I avoided moving furniture around and he got along just fine. He even had no problem using the doggie door to go outside when he needed to. The cat is getting her comeupense (sp?) now. Our 6yo Den-Den delights in teasing her every now and then. I think you're right that dogs don't mourn for what they can't do. They make the best of what they've got. People can learn alot from them.

June 15th, 2004, 05:29 PM
Thank you for your words of encouragement. I hope my two silky terriers live long healthy lives. What kind of dog did you have that lived to be 18?
It's true that I seem to be having a more difficult time with the loss of her sight than my dog is, but like I said before in time I will adjust. I tend to get emotional where my dogs are concerned. It's wonderful to be able to communicate with other pet owners and share our thoughts. Thank you so much for helping ease my mind just a bit.

June 16th, 2004, 01:08 AM
He was a toy poodle and dearly loved. I know how you feel. You want to keep them safe and not let anything bad ever happen to them and you feel so helpless when you can't prevent them from aging. Think positive. Your dog can sense when you're upset and that will upset her more than the failing eyesight. When my dog lost his hearing, he learned to rely on hand signals . . . at 16! Old dogs can learn new things and adapt very well! :)

June 16th, 2004, 01:35 PM
A friend Husky lost his sight and adapted to everything including the stairs. It took him a while since he lost his sight very quickly but once he had adjusted you would never know watching him move around. My Mastiff is partially deaf from abuse and has adjusted really well. I think when they loose one sense their other senses become sharper.

June 16th, 2004, 08:24 PM
I've always heard that humans develop keener hearing, smell, etc. following blindness. Makes sense dogs would too. :)

June 16th, 2004, 10:05 PM
All animals have an amazing ability to adjust to what to us are disabilities.
I can understand how you feel,but she'll be fine,she has a great mommy who loves her :)

June 17th, 2004, 09:44 PM
I want everyone on this bulletin board to know what a kind and nice group of caring people you all are. Because of your replies I contacted a breeder of silky terriers and it turns out that in the last year or so a condition called PRA is showing up in this breed of dog. It's believed to be genetic. It's when the retina detaches from the optic nerve. No one knows what causes it and so far it can not be treated, but they would like me to let them know if my dog is diagnosed with it because they are trying to track it's occurence to find out which dogs have it and what sires were used so they can stop breeding with those particular dogs and eradicate the condition. We go to the eye specialist tomorrow. If this is PRA, it only causes blindness and a dog can still live a long and healthy life, but like I said, I won't know anything until tomorrow. Whatever it is please say a pray that my little one will be alright with or without her eyesight.

Lucky Rescue
June 17th, 2004, 11:37 PM
With such a caring owner, we KNOW your girl will be fine, with or without her sight! :)

June 17th, 2004, 11:50 PM
I heard of 2 goldens that lived in the same household. One became blind and the other actually acted as a guidedog for the blind one. Not trained to do that, the owners just became aware that she was assisting the other. Dogs are fantastic! Hope to see some pictures of your silkies and hear how your little one progresses. :)

June 18th, 2004, 01:15 PM
My little dog Savannah saw the eye specialist today. She is definitely losing her sight. The good news is that it is not caused by and kind of tumor or disease. The bad news it that it is probably genetic and there is nothing that can be done about it. Needless to say, it's been a very emotional day. The doctor did say that she would learn to adapt and that she does see some light in one eye. He doesn't know if that will become worse or not. Thank you all for your wonderful support. Maybe in a day or so when I'm not such a basket case I'll send along some pictures of her and her brother. They are both so adorable.

Lucky Rescue
June 18th, 2004, 02:14 PM
Trust me, this is much harder on you than it is on your dog! To us, blindness is a catastrophe, but dogs' vision isn't all that great anyway even at the best of times. We would love to see pics - Silkies are just adorable.

I hope whoever bred these dogs will stop.:(

June 19th, 2004, 08:51 AM
I am sorry to hear that Savannah is losing her sight but like all the others say she will get along just fine. I pet sit for a carin terrior that had her eyes removed and I am always amazed at how well she gets around. She even keeps her other 3 brothers & sisters in line. She is quite the s**t disturber and goes around getting herself into all kinds of trouble :D She is 10 yrs old and still going strong.

Savannah is very lucky to have an owner like you that cares so much

Good luck

June 19th, 2004, 01:43 PM
Thanks for all the nice stories of dogs who get along just fine without their sight. It's very encouraging to hear. I really do think that I'm having a harder time adjusting than she is, but it's just that I care so much. My biggest problem right now is how do I keep her from bumping into the wall when she gets excited? Most of the time she is cautious, but when someone rings the doorbell or knocks she gets as excited as a little kid and I'm afraid she'll hurt herself. Any suggestions, can't use perfume, allergic. :)