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how do you help a dog with vision issues?

Discussion in 'Senior Sheltie Health' started by Calliesmom, May 27, 2021.

  1. Calliesmom

    Calliesmom Moderator

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    so I'm looking for information on if/how anyone has dealt with older dogs losing their vision and having issues getting around/knowing where they are.

    my brother's 13 yr old sheltie was just diagnosed with a hemorrhagic stroke so he's unsure on whether the symptons will resolve with time or if he needs to make a plan so she can get around by herself and wondered what other people might have done with similar issues.
    we were initially thinking it might be some type of dementia but she had this sudden onset of blindness/being lost....
    He got her in to see a vet ophthalmologist and they determined that her eyes were fine physically and that she could see some from the right eye. they also helped him get a referral to a neurology specialist and the mri showed the stroke.
    I've been going through some of the older threads looking for words of wisdom but thought it wouldn't hurt to post about her and ask specifically.
     
    Sandy in CT, Sharon7 and Piper's mom like this.
  2. Piper's mom

    Piper's mom Moderator

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    Not with a dog but my mom had a stroke maybe 10 years ago...she lost the peripheral vision in her right eye. It’s never come back.
    I’m so sorry to hear this about your brothers dog! That’s so sad!
     
    Sandy in CT, Sharon7 and Calliesmom like this.
  3. trini

    trini Premium Member

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    I am sorry your brother's little old Sheltie gal is dealing with this...but I currently have 2 who have either basically no vision left at all (Dante) or no vision in one eye and the other eye clouding up rapidly (Miley). Dante also has hearing loss so I use vibrations from stomping on the floor or ground in order to get his attention. Dogs adjust amazingly well to loss of sight or hearing. They substitute the use of their noses to let them know what is going on around them and through scent they can gauge distance from items and avoid bumping into anything. I have had little rescues who have been totally blind and totally deaf and they lived happy full lives. You could see their little noses twitch as they id'd things and would happily and safely follow me anywhere on the farm and do anything the sighed hearing doggie could do...people were really surprised when I would tell them they were blind and deaf. With sight loss being sudden and new to your brother's girl she may take a little time to readjust to using scent as her guide but she should do well and if her hearing is still good that is an added plus.
    Trini
     
  4. ghggp

    ghggp Moderator

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    Thank you for your continued wisdom and knowledge to help comfort and help guide us when we encounter and need help to understand. It makes so much sense knowing dogs utilize their sense of smell so much more than sight.
    I am so sorry that your brother’s Sheltie is having vision issues. Hopefully, with time, as Trini stated... things will get easier as adapting to using smell over sight grows. It really seems as if dogs adapt so much faster than us humans!
     
  5. Caro

    Caro Moderator

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    So Tully is mostly deaf and blind (esp at night). The opthamologist said it's just normal old age degeneration (plus she already had mild Collie Eye). I was told is most blind dogs can still see light, so to use light to guide her. Tully is such an independent little dog and hates me doing things for her but is happy to follow light.

    - LED torches everywhere, but esp at the doors, in the car and in my walking bag. It helps a lot to guide her walking with the focused light from a torch, esp from dusk onwards.
    - Outside lights. Tully likes to go to the far corner of the yard to toilet, so I had solar lights guide her back. And she also only gets to toilet in an enclosed area, so that she doesn't wander too far. Atm I stand outside and shine a light for her in the corner as all my solar lights have died and the patio light doesn't shine through the bushes (getting an electrician to install more outside lights).
    - Night lights in the rooms and hall. They are the LED ones that you plug in to the electric outlet - they turn themselves off in bright light. I do need to get a different one for the bedroom though as the LED light is too bright for me to sleep with. She can't find her way to the bedroom without these.
    - don't leave anything on the floor. Which is darn hard with Kismet; but also me because I'm dreadful at leaving my shoes on the floor near the door.
    - rugs on the floor (for Tully they are in the lounge and first part of the hall where it's hard to find a wall). I put some down for the puppy but realised Tully was using them to guide her walking, I guessed when the walls are too far away.
    - I changed her dog bed covers to very light colours so she can find them easier.
    - At dinner time I keep her in the kitchen so she doesn't get knocked over by the other two, but also so I know where she is. She wants to stick close but doesn't get out of the way quick enough. I need to find a better set up in the new place. In the old house she used to stay under the table, so I need to find somewhere else she can tuck herself away.
     
  6. ghggp

    ghggp Moderator

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    Wonderful guidance! I have to keep this thread for future reference as I never dealt with a seeing impaired dog. This thread shows what a wonderful resource Sheltie Nation is!
     
  7. Calliesmom

    Calliesmom Moderator

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    and that's why I posted- he thought someone would have good advice and everyone did- thanks all:yes:
     
  8. Cindy

    Cindy Premium Member

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    I have motion sensor lights all over my house for night. So all Gavin has to do is move and they light up.
    Some can be super sensitive, so finding the right place to have them is important
     
  9. Calliesmom

    Calliesmom Moderator

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    thanks- will pass that on.......
     
    Sharon7 likes this.
  10. Calliesmom

    Calliesmom Moderator

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    so I wanted to update y'all. my brother's sheltie is improving- she can see again, isn't getting stuck in corners anymore and is eating normally.
    she had a couple days with diarrhea and non-sheltie appetite but is past that now.
    thanks everyone for all your advice:yes:
     

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