Kaci Lynn


KaciKaci Lynn is old Black Mouth Cur mix, who is a little less than 10 years old. Kaci Lynn was a rescue. A veterinarian, who was our neighbor, placed Kaci with us when Kaci was about 11 weeks old. She is a gift from God.

About 6 months ago, my husband and I started noticing Kaci stumble when she step off of a high curb and we thought it was her legs that were the issue. We noticed that Kaci was a little slower and we both thought she was aging quickly.

Over Thanksgivng we were out of town with our dogs and I realized her eyes were not right. When I handed her a treat, I realized that she was not sure where it was. She did not want to go up and down stairs. She stumbled slightly.

Kaci LynnWhen I got home I took her to her primary vet and he sent me to an Opthamolsogist. Yesterday, Kaci and I went to see Dr. Fife and we left knowing that Kaci has Sudden Aquired Retinal Degeration Syndrome. Kaci has some sight, but Dr. Fife thinks she will be completely blind within 3 weeks or so.

Kaci has been so active. She has her own social life of going to visit friends at their houses, going to dog parks, and going on long walks. Kaci has her own routine of fun and games and now, with less sight she is more cautious. I am sad for Kaci, but I know my family and friends will help Kaci adjust.

5 thoughts on “Kaci Lynn

  1. Kaci will absolutely adjust!
    My husband and I adopted a little poodle about a year and a half ago. She is blind and is about 8 years old. The shelter wasn’t sure since she was picked up as a stray. I can’t imagine how she survived. She was micro chipped but her owners never answered their calls. We named her Honey which turned out to be the perfect name for her. She is the sweetest little dog I ever had! We brought her home and she had a few bumps along the way but figured out the lay of the land in a matter of days. Never made a mess in the house so she must have been trained and loved. I wouldn’t part with her for anything in the world.
    I know it’s sad for you right know but Kaci will adjust before you do.
    Good luck!

    1. Patricia –
      Thank you so much for your encouragement! I have been out of town for a couple of days. My husband thinks Kaci is still seeing a little. I will keep you posted.
      I am so glad you and your husband were able to adopt your little poodle. What a gift you are to her.
      Please take care.
      Anne

      1. Hello Anne. Like your Kaci, I noticed things were not right with my 8 year-old dachshund in December. Her behavior was confusing, since she has a history of back problems which could have been the cause of her behavior changes. She could have also hurt her back because her vision suddenly went south. She was absolutely fine when she went to bed on December 21st, but a different dog woke up on the morning of December 22nd. She was treated for back pain, but appeared no better on high doses of pain meds and anti-inflammatories. I even took her to the neurologist at the vet teaching hospital at the veterinary school in town. All vets agreed she needed an MRI and probably, back surgery. I told everyone she was having trouble taking treats from me, was stumbling a little in ways not consistent with neurological impairment from a back injury, and that I would frequently find her facing into nowhere. I said I thought she had become blind, at the least in one eye. I was told she might be developing dementia. I argued this wasn’t at all likely, because that behavior started the same day she started walking slowly and guardedly, stopped wagging her tail and changed from an ebullient girl to a very sad little dog. She remained loving and reactive to people and dogs outside, but refused to take walks and even needed much coaxing to go out in the yard ( I was always at her side) to potty. She began looking for me if I were to leave the room. I could no longer recognize the cues she had always given me, for going out, wanting to play, anything.
        Two weeks ago, she fell down the basement stairs after I failed to realize she had followed me to the top of the stairs with my cat and another dog. I believe she was expecting me to give her a treat and got caught up in the mad dash of animals. It was horrific. I can’t even talk about it. When I took her to the vet to be checked out, I was most concerned she had possibly injured her back even more extensively. Fortunately, even though she was in pain from the fall, there was no terrible damage done otherwise. I asked the vet again about my feelings she was going blind. I was assured again her eyesight was fine.
        Within a week, Lady walked head-on into a planter outside and the garbage can in the kitchen. This was new. I was given an appointment quite far out into the future to see an opthalmologist at the vet school . I realized I had become as clingy with Lady as she was becoming with me. Poor girl got so anxious when I would leave the house, I started putting off going out unless my son would come home from college to sit with her while I quickly ran my errands.
        I decided to ask an animal behaviorist to come and meet Lady and me and to advise us on how to help reduce her separation anxiety ( and mine), and to advise me on ways to keep Lady safe, improve her navigating abilities, and in general, help her adjust to her new life ( me too!)
        Chelsea was wonderful. I realized after she left how depressed and overwhelmed I had been, dealing with Lady’s problems for the last couple of months. I felt positive about going forward for the first time. She also referred me to a veterinary opthalmologist in private practice. Lady has a consultation on Monday. I started to read up on the most probable cause if Lady’s rapid-onset blindness, SARDS. I am now a little less inclined to blame myself for all that has happened to my girl since December.
        That home visit was Tuesday. That evening, I believe Lady lost her remaining sight. She began walking headlong into pretty much everything. I began warning her when it looks like she is walking into something. That was two evenings ago. She already know, “Watch out!” It’s really quite amazing how well she’s doing, getting around in the house and the back yard today. She still doesn’t want to walk on leash(long walks used to be her most favorite thing, short of a treat). But last week, I bought her a doggie stroller and she seems to like it. I toss in her Kong and she lets me lift her in without a problem. Once she finishes with it, she’s interested in seeing all the smells. Chelsea suggested using words to cue Lady to where she is, so as we stroll along on her familiar a walks, I tell her, “school,” “Daisy’s house,”etc, and I let her know if people or dogs approach, or even if they’re across the street. We know many neighborhood dogs and their owners by name, so she can re-acquaint a herself with.Sheso suggested I return to obedience training Lady. I have spoiled Lady terribly lately, and since she is a very smart girl, she needs the stimulation. We’ve already gone back to practicing her old, familiar commands. I was also given ideas for games to play with Lady to improve her scent-guided navigation, since it is now partially replacing her sight.

  2. Oops, my comment got cut off and sent inadvertently, before I could proof it. My apologies. What I wanted to impress is how important it is to have support of others in your situation when your dog loses sight. I am going through the same stages of grief I would experience if say, my child were to become blind. Dealing with this, as well as all the changes in activities of daily living necessitated by having a blind member of the family, and even the support needed by the animal who experiences what must be confusion and fright that comes with suddenly losing her/his sight, can be incredibly overwhelming. I am extremely grateful for the existence of this support group, as well as for Chelsea’s help. It’s good to know others of you have “made it to the other side,” and that there are ways our dogs can live happy lives.

    1. MerleAnne –
      I cannot believe you went through poor diagnosises by the vets you saw before you were given a blind dog/SARDS diagnosis. Your poor Lady being put on pain meds for no reason… Oh well, water over the dam. Be encouraged. The Opthamologist told me Kaci would be blind within 3 weeks of her diagnosis and that was in November 2016. Kaci still has a little sight during the day or inside with the lights on. — This is a very difficult transition. Kaci walks into walls in the middle of the night if she is trying to get out of our bedroom. She waks into the wall in the morning when it is time to go outside. So after Kaci has been sleeping, she wakes up a little disoriented. — Now that you know Lady is blind, i think she will improve greatly. She will be able to trust you to guide her. – – Try to encourage Lady to walk. — Kaci always liked to walk and she still does, so we walk a lot. — I understand the sadness and depression. I was there. We are on the other side, but there are challenges. Hang in there. This is difficult. Your love will make the difference.

      Please take care.

      Anne

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