Cataracts/ Blindness from Diabetes

Welcome To Blind Dog Support Forums General Discussion Cataracts/ Blindness from Diabetes

This topic contains 23 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  may 3 weeks, 3 days ago.

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  • #1082


    I am new here, just joined today. I am hoping to hear from other owners whose dogs may have lost their sight, like my 7 yesr old Bichon Ozzie did, to diabetic cataracts.
    Ozzie has only had diagnosed diabetes since Oct. 2012. But now believe it was developing a good 8 months before that. We have to give him insulin twice a day. He started to develop cataraats about 5 months ago and lost his vision about 10 days ago.

    • This topic was modified 6 years, 3 months ago by  Carol.
  • #1085

    Paula – ADMIN

    Welcome to the site Carol.

    You’re still in the early stages of this so hope we can help. Did you have any specific questions to ask?

    My dog Lucy lost here sight to glaucoma. She had the first eye removed and then six months later the second eye went. We had laser surgery for that eye but we left it a little late so she ended up totally blind.

    Unfortunately, she is no longer with us. She not only had the glaucoma but cancer as well and then pancreatitis from the medications. It was all too much in the end so we had to let her go.

    But on a happier note, while she was blind, she coped beautifully with it. I still remember taking her for walks and she would stride out in front of me having no idea where she was going. It just shows you how much different dogs are to people.

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 3 months ago by  Paula - ADMIN.
  • #1088


    Hi Paula. Again thank you for welcoming me to the site! I do have questions to ask, but hoping that I may get the answers by reading, and therefore not get someone to repeat themselves. haha
    I have concerns that Ozzie seems a bit depressed. He has always been a fairly placid dog – not really very energetic, a bit of a loner. Since we brought Chico home 2 years ago, it had brought Ozzie out a little bit, and he enjoyed some playtime with Chico, roughhousing, running around. Not a lot, but much more than when he was an “only dog”. Since losing his vision, he is very quiet and keeps to himself again. Is this simply his character/personality? I’m probably worrying needlessly. He is not in any pain, he just seems sad. When we take him out for his potty he has no hesitation. We have to go with a leash as we live in an garden apartment complex, and there is a “potty spot” area for doggies. He knows his way there and seems to trot along quite confidently, has even managed to navigate the two concrete steps that lead up to it. (Coming back down those stairs is a work in progress though.)
    Don’t know if this is something anyone else has experienced? I guess I’m simply looking for reassurance that he is as normal as he can be at this point.
    If anyone else’s dog is diabetic and blind, how are you getting along with it all? It is a big commitment and Ozzie is more than worth it.

  • #1089


    Oops! Also wondering if there is a point with cataracts that the eyes would have to be removed? He does not have glaucoma or SARDS, just cataracts. Does this happen over a period of time that something would happen to the eye to make it necessary to remove? Should I be looking for something?

  • #1093


    what a shame. The forum doesn’t seem to be as active as I had hoped. Not sure if no one can help or if the questions I asked yesterday are too vague. I will continue my search.

  • #1094


    Hi Carol! My name is Michelle. I am new to the site as well. My baby, Blackie, lost his sight 6 days ago due to SARDS. I’m sorry I can’t answer your questions, but I can offer my friendship and support.

  • #1095

    Paula – ADMIN

    The depression in your dog is normal. It has only been 10 days and he is still figuring things out. He will get through it.

    When my dog lost her sight she never really got back to playing with my other dog. Mind you, they never really played much together anyway. I tended to play with her a little more so that made up for it.

    When going down the stairs do you give a voice command? For my dog whenever we got to steps I would say ‘step up’ or ‘step down’ depending on the situation.

    As for the eye removal, I don’t know of any dog that has had their eyes removed due to cataracts. I have heard of some dogs that have cataracts and then develop glaucoma, which in turn leads to eye removal. However, when it comes to glaucoma there isn’t anything you can look for to try and prevent it from happening. The only thing is to feed a good diet to keep their health in the best state possible ie. no processed dog foods.

  • #1096


    Please accept my apologies. I am so anxious with Ozzie and what has been happening to him, I didn’t realize that this forum was so similar to Facebook and one has to add friends, unlike other forums where one just becomes part of the group. This is part of the reason why I couldn’t figure out why no one seemed to be responding. Haha
    So I am sorry if I came across as being impatient, this is all a bit new to me. Just give me a few days to catch up on your stories now that I’ve sent out a few friend requests!

  • #1114


    my bichon lavender started getting cataracts when she was 4 she is now 7 and her eye sight has gotten worse over the years, I am not sure but I think she is almost completely blind now but she seems to have adjusted very well. At first you could tell she was having some problems adjusting and when she was with my mom for awhile she was getting depressed but when I took her back and she had other doggie friends she is a completely different dog 🙂 she loves playing with her ball and going on walks. Our vet has never told us that she is in pain or will need to have her eyes removed. I know that I really didn’t answer any of ur questions but it does get easier for them it just takes time to adjust (us too lol) 🙂

  • #1401

    We too are new to the site. Our dog has went blind just 5 days ago. I cry a lot when I see how he is struggling. I just can’t believe my dog who is high energy is really depressed and just sleeps. What can we do to help him and ourselves. We are so lost!

    • #1415

      Paula – ADMIN

      I’m not sure exactly what is wrong with your dog but if he is depressed and sleeping, he could be in pain. If it’s not pain then the depression will be temporary. It is all new to him but he will get better with each day. Just try and stay upbeat with him and treat him like normal. He will get the hang of being blind and before you know it, you will wonder why you were so upset.

      Honestly, everyone who has a blind dog goes through this stage. It feels like the end of the world and there is a sense of not knowing how to make it all better, but honestly, it will get better for both you and your dog.

  • #1407


    Hello Carol,

    I am new to this site, but your story sounds like mine, my JRT was diagnosed with diabtes and then developed cataracts shortly there after. He is now blind, and it is heartbreaking to watch him try to adjust to this. I read and have tried scenting the doorways it seems to help, we are in a ranch style home so there aren’t many stairs. My newest challenge is trying to find something to occupy his play time. I wish you luck, the adjustment period as I understand it varies, but as long as my guy isn’t in any pain, I’m going to keep him.

    • #1416

      Paula – ADMIN

      Scenting the doorways didn’t work for my dog either. And you’re absolutely right, the adjustment period is different for each dog. My dog handled it all pretty well – she just got on with it. Some dogs will get depressed and that’s only natural but they do get through it a lot faster than us humans.

    • #1689


      I also have a diabetic jet. Scoot hasn’t lost his sight completely yet. Bright sunny days are the worst it seems. I have a million questions so I will keep reading for now and see what information I can get. Thanks to all who post every little thing is actually a big help. Bless us all!

  • #1461

    Mama D

    Hi Everyone,

    I am new to this site. Just signed up last night I am dealing with the same situation. I don’t think my Madame Madison is completely blind yet but, I know she is definitely not seeing as good as she once did. She tends to bump into to things more often now. We have been reading up on ways to start training her so we can be ready for the inevitable. We are having a big problem right now with her barking. She has never been a barker but, recently has begun barking/howling when we leave for work. Is this normal? I have a crazy neighbor who is constantly complaining about her. I have never believed in bark collars but, don’t know what else I can do to keep her from barking. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    • #1468

      Paula – ADMIN

      I answered you in another post but maybe try leaving the tv or radio on in the house. This assumes that your dogs are inside all day. You could also try some exercise before you head off for the morning. This may include a good run. This tires the dog out so they just feel like relaxing/sleeping for most of the day.

      Also when talking to your neighbour be honest with them. Let them know that you are as troubled as they are about the noise and are in the process of working something out.

      • This reply was modified 5 years, 8 months ago by  Paula - ADMIN.
  • #1642

    Boca Bosco

    My Dad has a middle aged Rat Terrier that went blind from diabetes a few months ago.
    She was the alpha-bully of the bunch and now she just eats and sleeps.
    We are trying scented, noisy and other toys but she just won’t engage.
    She was a dogs dog….always hung out with other dogs and ignored humans most of the time.
    Now it’s sort of opposite, she’s leery of the dogs but now likes to be stroked if only for a minute or two before laying back down.
    Her older “Sister”/Best Friend was put down just a few weeks after she went blind so part of her depression is probably wondering where she is.
    Dads condo has a simple floor plan and nothing gets moved so I assumed she would adapt in time, but now a few months later, she doesn’t seem to catch on, constantly bumping into things and taking wrong turns and ending up in a dead end hallway.
    She walks very slow and cautiously and when she bumps something she backs away and redirects in any other direction.
    The only non static moving thing she encounters is my Dads wheelchair, it’s the only metallic thing she bumps and reacts differently than other furniture items because she knows the wheelchair moves and can be anywhere….so the chair scares her which, in turn, makes her more distant from my Dad.
    She was a typical Rat Terrier bursting with energy and within just a few months has become a shell of her former self.
    It’s very sad a pitiful for Dad (90yo) to see his girl decline so quickly. He spends much of the day trying to stroke her and talks to her in sad comforting tones which I’m sure she picks up on his depression. I told him to try and talk to her in a more upbeat happier voice, but he is beside himself in worry and is a bad actor. So they each feed on the others sorrow.
    I’ve tried to play with her and “wrestle” with her a bit as I used to in past years but she just wants to lay back down.
    I would be grateful for any ideas or suggestions.

    • #2836

      Boca Bosco

      I wanted to give an update on my Dad’s dog two years later.
      There was no adjustment period for her, the layout of the house remains the same yet she could never learn to navigate it.
      She continues to this day to constantly bump into everything.
      She has spent the last two years simply eating and sleeping with zero sign of enthusiasm for anything.
      She has regular visits to the Vet who has assured us she is physiologically sound except for sight and is simply depressed.
      I just want to bring some facts to this board that not every blind dog can adopt back to a normal life and adjust to being blind…..most do succeed but there are some dogs that simply cannot handle the situation.
      It’s been a long hard struggle, especially for my Father and I’m sorry to say that Molly will be put down this Monday with the recommendation from the Vet.

    • #3088


      My heart goes out to both you and your dad. I am sorry Molly never adjusted to being blind. Thank you for your honesty.

  • #1690


    Recently, my dog went blind from diabetes. It came on very quickly. I have looked for a device to help he navigate, but found none. I am designing a collar for her that would give a beep if she is approaching a wall on either side or straight on. Does anyone have any comments on how effective this would be?

  • #1700


    Yes, I saw this mechanical halo device. I don’t like that it may get snagged on something or that it is less natural for the dog. I am hoping a sonic collar will be a simpler and more natural. Maybe my dog will become more active if she feels safe that she can anticipate an obstacle. Any other thoughts?

    • #4905


      Hey john, or anyone else who would want a product like this. Blindsight is probably what your looking for, its a sonar collar that plays a high frequency only the dogs can hear, the sound reflects off of different objects and tells the dog where the object is!

  • #1715


    My 10 yr old Schnauzer was recently diagnosed w/diabetes & started to lose his eyesight. Two days ago it appears that his site is completely gone. He seems to be in good spirits & have been researching on ways to help him. My question is we live in a split level home so he has about 10 stairs to climb up & down. One side is carpeted but we also have an exit from our deck which is wooden steps. Does anyone have any experience on how to get them to comfortable. He did climb them yesterday all by himself so I think it may just come with time but I find myself packing him down the stairs so he can go to the bathroom & from some posts I should not be enabling him so much. Any help is appreciated. Thanks.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 3 months ago by  NZ.

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