My Fur-Son Shian Can Hear Smell & Feel Now

blind dogI have 7 year old lab mix who just went totally sightless this month – it was probably 3 years ago I first realized he had some night sight issues – and about 18 months ago I realized he was loosing peripheral vision (also up & down) and was progressively in tunnel-vision – it was about 10 months ago when I saw animal eye specialist and he was diagnosed with ‘severe PRA’

blind dogI was crushed – like brick fell on my stomach – for the next 6 months his sight slipped but he was still able to roam in forest, retrieve in ocean, climb mountains – in last 2 months – his rate of sight loss increased dramatically – I was in denial – and then his sight crashed – and on December 3, 2016 – he woke up to a world of darkness – he was suddenly without sight.

blind dogI will not tell you that this is easy – we are 2 weeks into it – but the GOOD NEWS is that – Shian is a level 10 fetch addict – he is the ultimate retriever – and we are playing fetch everyday now AFTER he went blind – we have had to adjust the game a bit – using the sound of bouncing ball and play in open space (no dreaded trees to run into!) – but he almost always gets it first using sound and then smell to grab the ball – and loves it – he embraces the challenge – but at the end of it – our lives have changed – just going up/down stairs is having to be relearned – but the love never changes – as they say – love is blind.

blind doglShian has always been my hero – even more so now as he teaches staying in the solution – it is my grief – not his – we will get through this together

11 thoughts on “My Fur-Son Shian Can Hear Smell & Feel Now

  1. Chris

    I just discovered that my dog (my best friend) apparently went blind without me even noticing that he was having problems. When he stopped fetching his orange ball and showed preference to his purple ball, I thought nothing of it. When he stopped fetching the ball when thrown and only fetched if the ball was kicked, I thought nothing of it. When he stopped catching popcorn in the air and would pick it up after falling to the floor, I thought nothing of it. He started stumbling over objects this past Sunday. By Monday morning, he could not see to go down the steps. I took him to the Vet that day and he was found to be completely blind in his right eye and near blind in the left eye was referred to an Ophthalmologist for a Wednesday appointment. By Wednesday my handsome healthy Rottweiler couldn’t see anything. The Ophthalmologist determined that his left eye still had some viable retina and prescribed antibiotics and prednisone. She thinks he has a virus of some sort. I’ll know more when I take him back in 10 days. This morning, he seems to have some sight back in his left eye. I think he has extreme tunnel vision in the one eye. I hope it continues to improve. I will be happy with any vision that can be restored. I wish I would have known what signs to look for in eye health for dogs. I would give anything if I could look into his eyes again and know that he could see me too.

    1. Rita Hersey

      Don’t be hard on yourself…as who would expect such a thing was going on just because of such obscure changes. Even if you did know what was going on you’d feel terrible because he is your beloved pooch! I’ll be hoping to hear good news for the eye! Keep us updated. My little dog, Junebug who is 8 lbs., 4.5 years old, had both eyes removed in July /16. I was a mess. Every day though she shows us her growing trust and lack of fear to go forth in the outside world. We’re even going weekly to the blind school and visiting with the students there. She is such a good girl…we are trying to make something good of our loss and it feels right. Stay strong and you know, dogs are amazingly resilient.

  2. Sophie

    For my Year 12 Research Project my topic is – How can physical and sensory devices best be used to keep a blind dog safe from harm? I am doing this topic because my dog, Charlie, has gone blind because of PRA. It would be really great if you could support my through my research project by following Charlie’s Facebook Page @iseecharlie. One of my focuses towards my research project is first-hand experiences for owners of blind dogs. It would be great if you could show your support!
    Sophie 🙂

  3. Tricia

    I am devastated . Yesterday went the specialist to see if we could get surgery on my 7 year old Schnauzer . Was told he is totally blind and needs both eyes removed. Just diagnosed with diabetes in January . All moving so fast and feel sick at thought of having his eyes removed. I love his brown eyes and feel so lost and upset.

    1. Chayton

      i understand – i miss my dogs chestnut eyes – but since he lost sight – our love has expanded in so many areas – closer than ever – don’t treat him like a patient – treat him like a hero!

  4. Nick

    I’ve just come away from the vet with my pooch Bazil having had his second enucleation due to primary glaucoma. He was diagnosed with his first eye 9 months ago and had his first enucleation shortly after. I was determined to do all I could for him to keep the sight in his remaining eye, he had a multitude of eye drops to manage his eye pressure and took him to an opthalmic specialist to have a shunt inserted into his eye to try and keep his sight. Approximately 2 months after the shunt was in situ, the eye pressure was spiking and the eye that I loved to see began to deteriorate. I couldn’t put my boy through endless operations, it was as everybody says the hardest thing ever to decide but I took him to the vet – his pressure was 55. The vet told me to take him home and bring him in for surgery later that day, but as the day went on his eye looked less bulging and he was able to open it a bit but with limited vision. Do we still enucleate or not was the dilemma and only I could make the decision. I went ahead and he is totally blind now and I’m so upset, but I’m trying not to let Bazil see.

    The words of encouragement on this site has given me renewed hope as I love my soul mate and want him to have a good life as he is only 4.

  5. Chayton

    Shian update – Blindsight is a sonar product that gives dogs some of their freedom back – trying it out on Shian in a couple of days – since he is a service dog – the inventor donated it for free – miracles happen!

    1. Denise Devey

      I am considering the blindsight for my little Maltese dog. I couldn’t find in reviews, so I would love to hear your experience with the device. Did it work for your Shian? Did it take him long to figure it out. How fast do the batteries run out? would you recommend it. It is very expensive, but if it gives my little Teddy freedom and relieves the anxiety, I would get it.

      1. Chayton

        The Blindsight device – it really promised a miracle – but truth is that Shian did a great deal of adjusting and our home is mountain cabin – not too many obstacles and open fields – the device made me feel better – it did seem to keep him from moving into big logs on the trail – but haven’t used it for months – he has learned to navigate our cabin like a pro – plays fetch every day at long distance using sound and smell – even let’s me take him into the stream – he has changed a great deal – and our relationship has deepened in the last 10 months of his long night – he adores hugging and sleeping together even more than in past – as that is one activity that has not changed – his fur-sister is very protective of him – and as a lab – he accepts reality like a champion – most days I am so proud of him and myself too for the adjustment – I rarely go out and never leave him alone – he doesn’t like festivals or pubs anymore – likes to be around me constantly – and sleeps alot more since he cannot do things by himself – he still is gorgeous and young looking – but somedays I do shed a silent tear for his loss of sight – but he remains my hero – and my teacher – and my fur-love – and in the dark at night in ‘our’ bed – the hugging and love remains unchanged – if not even more precious. But the thing he needs most – that I have learned – is to give him residential, situational and emotional stability – his blindness has changed me as much as him – and my appreciation for the gift of vision has expanded in dramatic fashion – but as a friend says of Shian – ‘he sees using his heart’ – and that is the truth.

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