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Open Roads Forum  >  RV Pet Stop  >  Dogs

 > Jesse Pt 2-coping with the blindness

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Crowe

Merrimack, NH

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Posted: 10/26/20 07:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Jesse is finally starting to sleep better at night thankfully. Now we just have to figure out how do cope with him being almost completely blind. He isn't too bad when he isn't tired-first thing in the morning he greets me with a wagging tail and is able to find his way across the basement and out the door. He can go up the stairs without much issue as long as he goes slow, but down is a different story due to loss of function in his back legs and compromised depth perception. If he's not tired he can do OK, otherwise he has difficulty. He is now bumping into walls, furniture, etc. unless we are there to guide him. Sometimes he freezes where he is because he can't see where he is going and at other times he walks in a bit of a circle. He's eating fine, lets us know when he needs to go out, doesn't appear to be in any pain and is still a loving snuggle puppy. Any thoughts on helping him adjust? I know the time is coming when we'll have to make the decision no one wants to make but it isn't hear yet. It's very hard to watch so I'm looking for any ideas that may make things easier.


I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be Douglas Adams

RV-less for now but our spirits are still on the open road.

LadyRVer

Florida

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Posted: 10/26/20 08:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So sorry... I am on two Cocker Spaniel FB groups. Blindness is fairly common in Cockers. From what I read, the best thing is not to move furniture. They do adjust rather quickly and most have a good quality of life even if blind. Their nose becomes their eyes and the scent of things becomes very easy for them to navigate.

Good luck with your baby.

Deb and Ed M

SW MI & Space Coast, FL USA

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Posted: 10/27/20 07:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

As my late Aussie aged, I had to help him up and down the stairs. He would wait at the top (or bottom) for his "handle" - a padded band with a loop on the top that went around his chest. Sort of turned him into a suitcase. Because he knew I could catch him if he stumbled, he went more boldly. Fortunately, his eyesight was great right to the end of his life.

Jimmy was my blind dog - as his cataracts progressed, I knew he would need guidance, so I started teaching him different verbal commands like "step up/down", "go slow", and most importantly - "be careful!" which meant there was an object in his path. When he would get into the car, I would pat the floor so he could hear/know where to jump. But once they realize you are being their "eyes" - you have to do it! More than a few times I was distracted and Jimmy would crash into something while playing and I'd feel horrible....

My late Cattle Dog had developed cataracts, and I had noticed that the sun shining into his eyes made him completely blind. With Jimmy being part poodle, I left his "eyebrows" long so he had a built-in sunshade; and he learned to walk with his head down so he could see high-contrast things (and if he bumped into something, it was head-butted, not nosed-smacked)

Like your Jesse - he was one happy boy. He still insisted on playing fetch (a ball with a bell inside helps), he would run around and chase Ben; and he loved to snuggle. Sometimes he would sit and put his face very close to mine, as if he was saying "Can you do something about why I can't see?" in case I could fix it - that was heartbreaking :-( Also, it helps them follow you (or at least know where you are) if you wear noisy shoes or flipflops.

Best wishes!
Deb

Crowe

Merrimack, NH

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Posted: 10/27/20 08:18am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We've already started doing the new commands as much as possible-at times it works at times it doesn't. We are all learning. The hardest part is when he gets disoriented and goes in circles. He's becoming hard of hearing as well and that's not helping. It's a day at a time right now. On the upside he is sleeping better and that's helping everyone.

doxiemom11

Victoria TX

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Posted: 10/27/20 01:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You could maybe used a ramp instead of stairs for him, especially at night. Luckily our dog is a small dog so we can carry her up and down and just set her on the ground or floor. When outside we always have a leash on, she feels more secure as she knows she's "attached" to us and not alone.

Crowe

Merrimack, NH

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Posted: 10/27/20 02:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

doxiemom11 wrote:

You could maybe used a ramp instead of stairs for him, especially at night. Luckily our dog is a small dog so we can carry her up and down and just set her on the ground or floor. When outside we always have a leash on, she feels more secure as she knows she's "attached" to us and not alone.


Unfortunately the stairs are too long going into the basement and it's just not practical in the garage. He's about 40 lbs at this point so my husband can easily carry him if necessary. I can carry him but not on stairs due to bad knees. Jesse definitely is much more confident when he's on the leash outside-this afternoon's walk actually went better than the past few days. He seemed much more confident. We've seen that before but then it goes backwards for a while.

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