Trying to come to terms with my beautiful dog going blind

We adopted Daisy 3 yrs ago. We suspect she had been kept as a breeding dog definitely not a pet. She was dirty, lot of medical issues. umbilical hernia,tumours etc., She suffers from full blown separation anxiety to the point of panic attacks when we leave. We have followed all the programs for that but cannot control it. She is our beautiful girl we love her to bits but it is hard as we have to do everything separately. She goes to “doggy daycare on times” when we have to go somewhere together. Now on top of all her problems we have just found out she has PRA Progressive Retina Atrophy – she has lost approx 50-60% of her vision in both eyes.

She had such beautiful eyes as all cockers do – so full of expression. We have been told she will go blind completely within the year. She has advanced cataracts and possibly glaucoma in in the future. So we do not know what the future holds for her or us. We are at the moment trying to take each day, moment at a time. With us inside the house she is happy and content and relaxed but outside she is a bundle of nerves, afraid of everything. She did not need this.

7 thoughts on “Trying to come to terms with my beautiful dog going blind

  1. Michele

    Hello. Our eye vet recommended this site and this is my first time here. Our almost 12 year old ShihTzu, Truman, went completely blind about one week ago. In hindsight, it may have been coming for awhile, but we thought some of the changes we noticed with him over the past couple of months were just due to getting older. We took him to our regular vet who said he had luxated lenses and severe cataracts. The eye specialist said it’s PRA. He is sleepy and a little disoriented—much better in the house than outside. Prior to the blindness, He and I walked morning and evening but he is just not at all happy outside. We are following his lead and hoping he will adjust to a point where we can at least take a short stroll.

    We are just trying to keep our routine as consistent as possible. Fortunately, Mr. Truman is motivated by food—and can hear a piece of cheese hit the kitchen floor from 3 rooms away:). We bought some Actvity boards on Amazon (the ones you can put food and treats in), we have gone back to rewarding him for following simple commands to keep his confidence up, I Strung some bells in on a string and wear it around my neck so he knows I am nearby. He also has a Kong I put a little peanut butter in and a ball I fill with smelly treats he has to work to get out. These are very early days for us as I hear it can take 3 to 6 months for many dogs to adapt to their new world.

    Sounds like your girls vision is going gradually which may help her adjust maybe a little easier? Plus she is young. The good news is PRA is not painful.

    Take Care and Good Luck.

  2. Enid and Derek

    Thank You so much for your advice. I found it so hard Daisy being only 8 yrs and to realize that she will spend the next 6-8yrs blind. We find her vision is going fast – she jumps up on to the sofa and lands fight on top of our cat Emma. Good job Emma adores her. When we enter the room you can see her trying to place us. On our
    garden she is fine and am hoping I will be able to walk her outside in time. Although walking the trails will be too much for her I think – all these smells she cannot place. I am making the walls, edges of sofas etc., with
    essential oils to help guide her. I have replaced all her toys with ones that make a noise. For me I realize I have to take one day at a time and not to anticipate what will happen. After all we just do not know how she will adjust or us. She also has a kong which she loves. We realize that doggy daycare may soon not be an option.
    That will be difficult for us as it is the only chance we get to leave the house together. She cannot be alone for more than 10 mins. Our Vet has suggested we try CBD oil to help with her panic. If only we could help them adapt to their “new” world to make things easier for them. I am so sorry to hear of your problem too.I am afraid I think I am running out of space here – maybe there is a limit you can post. Take Care of your guy and hope that things progress ok for you. I think all of us animals and humans need a little time to take this all in. I wish you the best.

  3. Sybella Montgomery

    I think it’s important to remember that dogs don’t take being blind as negatively as a human would, and that even though they’re going blind they aren’t necessarily sad or depressed about it. It’s easy to project how you would feel onto your dog and feel really down about it, but they’re more than likely perfectly happy just being alive with and with their owner who loves them.

    1. Dutchsdad

      Hi, you and I are apparently in the same boat. My girl was misdiagnosed by everyone, includding myself, and treated for a general infection. When I realized she was falling apart instead of improving we all thought it was due an emergency spay. She was in the table and fully explored before the blood panel came back with diabetes. The really messed up part is I figured out she couldnt see on the way to the vet. She had vision sunday night, gone the next morning. Shes a trooper(a little too stoic for her own good actually, I had no indication till the weight loss began) and is actually doing better finding her own way at things. I just let her have her way and keep at least an ear on, if not eurs. Im trying to observe her methods and introduce myself into them as required. She never did like the dog whistle and if I lose her in the dark I just let it rip and she immediately sounds off telling me to shut up, shes coming. Still got heart, bless her…

    2. Janet

      I have a diabetic dog that has cataracts due to diabetes and is very visually impaired and possibly on the way to blindness. At this time the opthamologist says she sees out of one eye like through wax paper. I understand your grief and fear. This is what I have done, I wear bells on a chain around my neck, and bells on my flip flops, not both at the same time. I have put bells on the other animals also, 2 dogs and a cat. I pat the funiture and I clap my hands. She gets around in the house fine, but does run into the cat, he is hugh but also white, which she doesn’t see. According to the Dr. dogs see colors of blue and yellow, my sofa is covered in blue denim slipcovers. I talk to her constantly. I have also put nightlights in all the plugs around the house, that automatically come on when it gets dark there is one by the dog door, and the patio has solar lights around it. This seems to help. she goes out and walks the same trail in the back yard and seems happy and fine. I take her doubled leased with another dog for walks hoping he will eventually be her guide, if restoration of her sight is not feasible. sometimes she goes into the utility room by herself, and I wonder if she is feeling vunable, but I call her out and get her involved and give her a treat. I test blood glucose at home am and pm, and do curves to keep a tab on her sugar levels, and I adjust her food or insulin to keep her under 200. sometimes she runs over, and you never know why. My Vet is great about helping me work with her. You will be ok, and so will your baby. I try never to be sad around her and when she runs into something, I just talk to her and sooth her. Her confidence is everything for her adjustment. It makes me want to cry sometimes, but it isn’t the way she feels, she is happy and adjusting. Hang in there it will all be ok. Good luck you can do it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *