Vision Problems

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Cindy
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Vision Problems

Post by Cindy »

I think I've mentioned that Kayla's developed, what we've been told, are normal aging vision problems - cataracts and nuclear sclerosis - neither of which my vet seemed to be too concerned about. She has no problems around the house or at the dog park. Today John had her down the road on the neighbors property and Kayla had crossed over the creek so was a little far away. Since she's also deaf, we obviously can't call her to get her attention. John said she started to panic, running back and forth looking for him and then took off up the mountainside. Fortunately she turned around and he finally got her attention by screaming and frantically waving his arms. He said she looked so relieved, ran in his direction, launching herself into the creek from about 5 feet high. This is the same area where she sometimes bumps into wire cattle fencing like she doesn't see it at all. When I mentioned this to the vet he said that in shade or dim light she would have more trouble as well as seeing thinner items like the fence. It's just kind of weird that she seems to do so well in some places but not in others and it doesn't have anything to do with how familiar she is with the area. Other than keeping her on a leash (which she hates) I'm not sure what else to do. She's due to see the vet next month and this will obviously be on the top of my list of questions. We're just worried .... :cry:
Kayla RIP 10/2/15, Pippa, and Layla
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StFrost
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Re: Vision Problems

Post by StFrost »

Nothing productive to add except our 16 year old exhibits the same problems. Lately she had taken to running laps in the backyard rather than jump up on the deck because she is afraid she will miss it. I have to go out an coax in her in, by frantically waving arms and body movements to get her to follow me. During the day, her eyesight seems ok, but at night, not so much.

Her depth perception is gone too. Finally though, after weeks of it, she is acceptable of being lifted into the car and onto the bed. It is so much better than the stress she was going through when faced with both obstacles--panting, pulling away, cowering.

I would say persistence and sticking with what your dog knows will help.

good luck and God bless.

Barb Wright
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Re: Vision Problems

Post by Barb Wright »

Cassie had these same issues in the last two years of her life. Her eyesight finally got bad enough that she actually got so that she did not want to go very far from the house, even on familiar trails she was less than confident and wanted to turn back before we had gone very far. I never let her off leash from then on except in our backyard which she seemed to be able to navigate okay. I know she really didn't have much vision because when the neighbor dog would come to the fence Cassie could smell her but never really looked at her. In the house she did pretty well, only occasionally bumping into something. She had the spacing figured out about jumping up and down from the bed and how far it was to the bedroom door.

In regards the deafness, she could still hear a loud sharp noise like thumping a table top, or clapping hands loudly, at least most of the time.

With Kayla getting panicky like you described you might really need to think about keeping her at least on a long line. Also find out in what range level she can hear, if any, and try to find a device that would make that noise for you. I know some deaf dogs can still hear silent whistles, so maybe something like that. Just guessing here.....

This I do know, it's hard, really hard, when they start into this decline :cry: All you can do is try to figure out just how much facility they have left and work around it.
RIP Sweet Cassie 4/98 - 3/13

Cindy
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Re: Vision Problems

Post by Cindy »

We believe her hearing is pretty well shot unless she is VERY close and we're pretty loud. Stamping on the floor and pounding tabletops does nothing for her. The vision thing seems to come and go. For quite a while now she's been reluctant to jump on the bed (she uses a footstool now) and in the car. At first we thought it was arthritis but not so if she can pogo straight up in the air 3-4' off the ground. Sometimes she seems to see normally, like tonight when I threw her Frisbee (kind of a translucent color) and she totally tracked it and picked it up off the ground. She didn't seem to have any trouble finding the peanuts I shared with her either! :roll: On the walk we take down the road, probably 80% of the time she goes the right way and under the gate but the other 20% she doesn't see the fence and tries to walk through that. And the gate is right next to the fence so exactly why she doesn't see that we can't figure out. She certainly sees the neighbor's dog when he comes to the sliding glass door and she's 20 feet away. It's just kind of hard to figure it all out. We'll pull out the various whistles we have to see if any of those work for her and maybe time for the long lead line we used in training Pippa and Layla. Geez I so wish we'd been able to train her to that electronic collar before she went deaf because she'd definitely be able to feel the vibration. Lesson learned for us - all dogs from this point on will know about the e-collar! At least she still knows the boundaries of the invisible fencing and never wanders over them unless she's with us.
Kayla RIP 10/2/15, Pippa, and Layla
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adele
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Re: Vision Problems

Post by adele »

If you have a vibrating collar, is it too late to train her to "sit" when she feels the vibration? So when she was a bit far from you or scared.. you could effectively tell her to "sit" and then you could go and help her... just a thought, maybe it wouldn't work
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mkilcz
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Re: Vision Problems

Post by mkilcz »

Reading this thread with great interest... Rocket is almost 13 and has similar issues with his sight and hearing. Like Kayla, some things are inconsistent, but its still heartbreaking when he doesn't respond to things the way I'm expecting... Like opening the deck slider and not having him race for it like a demon because he doesn't want to miss a chance to go outside, or finding him sound asleep on my daughter's bed when I get home from work. As for being out in the field with him, we've had a few times when he's been disoriented about my location, but the area where we go is fairly well contained, so no big problems yet. I do always try to wear clothes that contrast with the environment, and he always wears a bell when off leash (which helps me a lot... At least I can usually keep tabs on his approximate whereabouts, so at least one of us knows where the other one is.)
With the vision problems, I was wondering if dogs can develop "floaters" like people do. Maybe a floater is temporarily obstructing her vision...?
Anyway, sorry I can only offer sympathy, and no real answers or solutions.
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Marge

Cindy
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Re: Vision Problems

Post by Cindy »

If you have a vibrating collar, is it too late to train her to "sit" when she feels the vibration? So when she was a bit far from you or scared.. you could effectively tell her to "sit" and then you could go and help her... just a thought, maybe it wouldn't work
We tried to train her and she was the reason we bought the collar to begin with. But either she just didn't "get it" or, because she couldn't hear well enough, never seemed to make the association to come to us. It's hard to know - maybe she just didn't want to learn!! :roll:
Like the idea of putting a bell on her collar so we know where she is, even if she doesn't know where she is!!
Kayla RIP 10/2/15, Pippa, and Layla
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