blind dogRemi is our chocolate lab and our 1 year old daughter’s best friend. About two weeks ago we noticed that she was having trouble seeing where she was going. We really knew something was wrong when she quit playing fetch because she couldn’t find her tennis ball. We took her to the vet and he confirmed that she was almost completely blind. She wasn’t even 2 years old yet and in less than a week she became completely blind.

blind dogThis had been very difficult for our whole family as we watched our energetic, always happy Remi become a terrified, scared little pup. She now spends her time hiding in the corner of the bathroom and moves only when we physically lead or carry her outside so she can relieve herself. She has lost a noticeable bit of weight. Her backbone is now protruding when just a couple weeks ago she was a stocky, muscle bound lab. Our 2 1/2 year old golden retriever, Trigger, is also struggling with the “loss” of his play pal.

blind dogThe vet thought that it was a neurological issue where the optical nerves connect in the brain. I am seriously concerned that these symptoms will continue to progress and we will lose our sweet pup. Putting her down is not an option for us as she is a member of our family. She does not seem to be in pain but I also don’t think we would know if she was. She has a very high pain tolerance. In the past she has fractured her neck and the only way we found out was because we took her into the vet for a physical and ended up getting x-rays. This is why she can’t wear a neck collar and uses a harness.

blind dogWe are kind of at a loss of what to do to help Remi at this point. I can’t just watch her whither away in a corner so I try to include her. I’ll put her on the couch with us or try to take her outside. She seems unsteady and wobbly when she takes a few steps. There are stairs to go outside in our house but she won’t go down them on her own. I would appreciate and suggestions or words of encouragement from others who have gone through this experience. I am worried that she isn’t adjusting and is just giving up.

9 thoughts on “Remi

  1. love the comment, she is a member of the family,, we had similar problem turned out to be diabetic,, fingers crossed that things work out for you,,

  2. Take her to an eye specialist. She maybe in pain. Find out the source. If it’s her eyes and they are causing her pain there are steps that can be taken. My cocker 10 yrs old has been blind for a year. Once we solved the pain issue. She has adjusted. She bumps into walls and things but mostly goes slow. She is funny and independent and never misses a meal. Go to an eye specialist! I talk a lot to my Gabby she knows left or right etc. Good luck I know it breaks your heart. Hoping for the best. Dale

  3. Since your dog is young, have they totally Ruled out Glaucoma and or Lens Luxation ? Please find out. My retriever had both and it came on Quickly. She lost sight in one eye in October 2012, and had to have that eye removed. Then less than 3 months later the other eye. She was also going blind very fast. Ruining into things, etc. We finally figured out she was probably in pain also. They were red and swollen.. She was only 8 years old then.. But after surgery she has done Amazing ! She’s Happy, she can find her way around the house, and knows where her food and water are ! But most importantly she’s healthy and Happy now. Good luck ! And God Bless Remi !

    1. Hi there, I’m I. Yr situation, I have an 8 year old Jack Russell with lens luxation and has had one eye removed! Other eye is deteriorating and we’ve been told other eye must come out! I’m beside myself, absolutely heartbroken! I’m scared she won’t be ok? I’m not coping at all! I can’t have kids so this little dog is my world, I don’t want her to be scared wen she’s suddenly blind! I don’t know how to cope or what to do! I’m finding myself becoming very depressed because of my worry and sorrow for my little girl! I feel I’m in a nightmare x

  4. Hi –
    My dog went blind suddenly also but the doggy ophthalmologist I took her to could not figure out why (genetic is what he ultimately decided since her eyes (retina, corneas, all that) are perfectly healthy. We noticed it when she started getting clumsy and falling off the curb when we would take her and our other dog for a walk and within a month she couldn’t see at all. We got her a babble ball (it talks and it is a good toy for blind dogs because of the sound) and we were going to get her a halo but since she was already going blind for a long time prior we decided it would be more helpful to just not move any furniture or anything else in the house she already knew the location for. I strongly suggest getting one of the halos for Remi – the safety of not running face-first into everything should help her become less afraid of venturing out. When we walk I also use vocal cues for my dog MeeMee to let her know what to do – “up” and “down” for steps and curbs and I warn her with “pole!” for anything she could run into and she now can navigate our neighborhood with little issue. Also, we leave the TV on for her to be able to tell where she is in the house – from what the vet said and we have observed, she uses sounds and smells to navigate. If you have another dog you could see if it would help to try to walk them at the same time -when we walk now she refuses to go without the other dog (Sam the hound dog) because she listens to Sam for cues as to what to do, it’s actually very sweet to watch.
    Another thing our vet said was that it is harder for us that our dog went blind than it is for the dog – and that does seem to be true. MeeMee is 7 and she is perfectly healthy otherwise. I wish you and Remi the best of luck!

  5. My situation was a little different – my little Joey was born blind. He was a Pekingese (gone 4 years now). My suggestion is similar to Dee’s – start using cue words. Ours were “careful” and “wait”. Careful meant that if he kept going in the same direction, he was going to bump into something, so when we said careful, he would slow right down and sniff around. Wait meant to stop completely, he would just sit down, and we would help him up or down curbs or steps. Luckily we lived in a one level home, so no stairs. We also built a small ramp from the back door to the deck (1 step), and another from the deck to the grass in the back yard (another single step). It meant that he could navigate on his own with no help. They need to learn to trust you, that you’ll make sure they come to no harm. It’ll take time, but it’s worth it, but you know that. Good Luck <3

    1. Please refer to Dr. Alfred Pleschners website on both Facebook and his website on SARDS. He has been doing this for over 30 years. He My pug lost his vision suddenly and was diagnosed with SARDS. My vet agreed to work with Dr. Pleschner even though many vets will not. The opthomologist told me that he had SARDS and was permanently blind and he would adjust. Dr. Pleschner’s notes will tell you that is not true. SARDS is a result of an underlying disease. I am happy to report that after 3 months of treatment, my pug began to see again. He would no longer wear his goggles which he wore with no problem for months. Now, if he has anxiety or gets food allergy, he has a “bad day” in which he doesn’t see well. For the most part though, he is happy, gets around well and plays once again. He is almost 9 and even if you dog does not fit SARDS, you will find a ton of information on Dr. Pleschner’s website. He doesn’t practice in his office any more due to health reasons but he continues to monitor my pug’s bloodwork with my vet. He is wonderful and truly a Godsend for me. I hope you find some answers.

  6. My Chocolate Lab Oscar went blind at age 5yrs old, it seemed quite sudden but when we look back he started to bump into things at night first. He has a genetic condition called PRA and uses eye drops daily., We visit an eye specialist every 6 months to check the pressure in his eyes and all okay for the time being. It does take time for both you and the dog to come to terms with things. We also have a Golden Retriever who has just been wonderful with Oscar. Good luck, I hope it all works out.

  7. Unsteady and wobbly, sounds strange, afraid ( loss of balance) or hurts to go downstairs. Sounds like something else is going on especially with her history, loss of weight, and depression.

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