2½ years after being diagnosed with Glaucoma my basset hound has finally lost the sight in his remaining eye :(


BrodyOur beautiful Basset Hound, Brody, who will celebrate his 12th birthday on 10th March was first diagnosed with glaucoma in August 2012.

Unfortunately the vet confirmed at the time, as is the case with most glaucoma cases, that his right eye was already blind by the time any symptoms were noticeable. Brody adapted very quickly, but in October 2012 he had to have the eye removed due to it swelling and causing lots of discomfort for him.

2014-11-10-BrodyIt was awful to watch him recovering from the operation, but my lovely boy was very brave and got back to ‘normal’ relatively quickly. He was doing really well, and we had no real problems with his remaining eye until the end of May 2014. His vision went off and we took him straight to the Opthamologist. His eye was becoming more unstable but with treatment (ranging from latanaprost, maxitrol, azopt, amlodipine and atropine we were able to keep the pressure at a good level (usually 8 – 15) for 8 months.

BrodyFor the last 3 weeks Brody has woken up blind approx. 50% of the time, but after an hour or so, his drops took effect and his sight came back. Our Opthamologist – lovely man – advised that we were out of options at this point, and once the drops stop being effective there wasn’t anything further we could try (surgery had been ruled out in 2012 due to his age).

Unfortunately, Brody woke up yesterday – blind again – only this time his sight did not return. It has still not returned more than 36 hours later, and we are expecting our Opthamologist to confirm our worst fear – that the lens has finally detached and Brody has gone completely blind.

2014-04-09-Brody-1As anyone who has gone, or is going through this, will know, we are devastated for our lovely boy. He is quite nervous at the moment, and is constantly looking for physical contact. We are scared as to how he will cope, as I have read that older dogs can sometimes struggle to adjust as well as younger dogs.

However, even in the last 24 hours he seems to have improved with manoeuvring around the living room – this gives us hope.

After reading this sight, it has given us even more hope that Brody can adjust and go back to being the happy dog he has always been.

If anyone can give any tips or suggestions when it comes to ‘playing’ I would be very grateful to hear them. He isn’t up to it yet, but I’m hoping as time goes on, he will wish to do it again, as this makes him happy.

11 thoughts on “2½ years after being diagnosed with Glaucoma my basset hound has finally lost the sight in his remaining eye :(

  1. First, I’m so sorry this has happened to Brody. I went through pretty much the same thing with my Cocker Spaniel, first one eye, then extending the life of the remaining eye with three different medications, but after two years, the second eye had to come out, too, just this past July. Mine was what I call a “tennis ball whore,” but although she still wants to chase the ball, she finds locating the tennis balls too frustrating. i had one old squeaky soft rubber ball left from a prior dog, and it still squeaks when it’s bounced down the hall, or rolls down the stairs, so she loves that now. I have tried to find more of them, but they apparently aren’t sold any more. There are squeaky balls around, of course, but not all of them squeak as they bounce, but you could try to find something like that which Brody would like. I also tried getting cat toys because some of them make chirping noises as you roll them, or have bells inside. My dog wouldn’t give them the time of day because they are hard-shell plastic, but Brody might. Did he like soft toys before or tug-ropes? If so, he’ll probably still go for them when he feels better. Did he like to “chase” you or your kids? If so, he’ll probably still enjoy that as long as you give him continual verbal clues as to where you are and play this in a large open area where he won’t be knocking into things. If you Google “blind dog toys,” you’ll find a bunch of things that might make Brody happy. My little princess turned her nose up at them, but perhaps you’re lucky enough not to have a prima donna! There’s even a site that is focused on blind dog toys: http://www.blinddogtoys.com/shop/toys-for-blind-dogs/

    Hope some of that helps when your boy feels better.

  2. Im so sorry to hear about your dog! Our cockapoo, Lennox had his right eye removed two days before Christma 2014. He currently does not have glaucoma in his remaining eye, but we know the odds are against him. We were/are devastated by all of this. While he was in surgery I bought a book called “living with blind dogs” by Caroline d. Levin. I haven’t read too much yet because I start crying after a few pages. There is a whole chapter about how to play with your dog once they are blind. I read online about a ball that makes animal sounds when it moves. We bought it and our dog was terrified of it. I have never seen him that scared! Our dog loves tennis balls, we found some that have bells in them. Have yet to use them since we currently have three foot snow drifts in our yard.

  3. Hi Diana and Erika,

    Thank you so much for replying to my post. It really does make me feel better to see there are many owners in the same position. Also, thanks for the tip regarding the book – I have seen it recommended a couple of times now and will buy it.

    After writing my post, we had a long discussion with Brody’s Opthamologist due to his eye becoming very swollen and sore again over the weekend. We decided that it wasn’t good for Brody to keep trying to get his medication ‘right’ every time his eye flared up again, which was becoming a regular occurrence. He was becoming very distressed at the every increasing visits to the vets, and the total discomfort of his inflamed and swollen eye. We made the very sad decision to have his other eye removed, and he had the operation two days ago.

    It went well, but I must say he is quite unhappy at the moment. We are giving him lots and lots of cuddles, as is the norm in our house 🙂 I have read lots and lots of articles about how dogs usually adapt very well, and I am very positive that Brody will be one of those dogs. However, I was just wondering if anyone could give me a timeline of how long it took for their dog to adapt once they went permanently blind i.e. when did they stop whimpering (this is only occasionally, but I thought it might stop after the first day), how long did it take for them to get used to the house layout (I have seen improvements with Brody already, but he still walks in zig zags sometimes). Any advice would be much appreciated 🙂

  4. Hi, I am so sorry that you and Brody are going through this difficult time. Sadly we have recently had to have our lovely elderly Vizsla’s remaining eye removed, so I really do understand what you are going through. Our boy, Bailey, is now coping very well with being blind, but it has taken several weeks to help him adjust. Brody is clearly a very loved doggie, so with your love and guidance, he will be doing brilliantly in no time. I give Bailey lots of time to work out where he is in the house or garden, and reassure him with voice and touch all the time. He is never left to bump into anything, I’m so scared he will lose his new found confidence if that happens! But we have gradually become more relaxed about letting him find his way around the house, and use (very cheap) foam camping mats to pad any hard objects to protect him from hurting himself if he does misjudge where to walk. So far, as soon as his nose touches the foam, he has paused, had a little moment of thought, then works out which way to move, so its really helped him. Our house does look quite funny with blue foam mats around the furniture! But we hope it won’t be much longer that we need them, Bailey is doing so well at getting around safely now. I’ve put his full update on the main page under Paula’s story about her little Lucy, it’s currently the very last post, so you have to scroll to the very bottom of that page (however I’m useless with technology so there may be an easier way!). I hope reading Baileys story will help reassure you that your gorgeous Brody will soon be playing happily again. Emily x

    1. Hi Trudy,

      Thank you for sharing Squirt’s story. It makes me feel very happy when I read all of these positive stories. It is amazing how they adapt – even after a week Brody is doing really well. He can manage the stairs very well, with a chaperone! He is still getting his bearings with the perimeter of the house, but has picked up the basics such as ‘base camp’ i.e. his bed, and his food bowl etc. What I will say is that since Brody has had his second eye removed I know he is so much more comfortable – even without his sight – as the constant pain has now gone, and that can only be a good thing for our lovely dogs  Brody perked up a couple of days after the surgery (on 11th Feb 2015) and is wagging his tail every day now  I’m sure Squirt ‘s recovery will be just as speedy x

  5. I’m sorry to hear about the blindness. Squirt, my 11.5 yo Bichon was diagnosed with glaucoma 6 years ago. He lost sight in his right eye immediately, and had the genesis shot, and all was well. We medicated his left eye for 4.5 years, and he’s been totally blind for 1.5 years. After total blindness It took him about 3 months to be himself again. He was depressed (and me) but we never missed a walk. I never treated him like he could not see, and he does everything again today (except go down a flight of stairs). February 16, 2015 he’s scheduled to have his left eye removed. The glaucoma causes him pain, along with a detached lens, calcium build-up and cataract. I’m so nervous about our first few hours/days after the surgery, but I know he’ll keep him calm (which calms me), and we’ll walk on.

    Keep a routine for your newly blind dog. Keep toys in the normal place, and one day he will surprise you and just walk over and pick one up and ask you to play.

    1. Hi Trudy,

      Thank you for sharing Squirt’s story. It makes me feel very happy when I read all of these positive stories. It is amazing how they adapt – even after a week Brody is doing really well. He can manage the stairs very well, with a chaperone! He is still getting his bearings with the perimeter of the house, but has picked up the basics such as ‘base camp’ i.e. his bed, and his food bowl etc. What I will say is that since Brody has had his second eye removed I know he is so much more comfortable – even without his sight – as the constant pain has now gone, and that can only be a good thing for our lovely dogs  Brody perked up a couple of days after the surgery (on 11th Feb 2015) and is wagging his tail every day now  I’m sure Squirt ‘s recovery will be just as speedy x

  6. Hi Emily, thank you so much for your post, and the details about Bailey. I will give the mats a try as Brody is bumping into things here and there. We do have the sharp / severe edges covered i.e. sides of doors etc, but he can still bump into a wall here and there and I think the extra padding will be better until he fully adjusts. Like you say, it’s not forever – not that it would make a difference to us even if it was! 🙂 I can’t find your post I’m afraid, I must be even more useless with technology! I would have liked to have a read it – perhaps you can send a link? No worries, if you’re not sure how to do it. I just wanted to say thanks again for your post. It makes us feels much better to hear such positive stories from people in the same position. I’m sending lots of love and positivity to you and Bailey 🙂 xx

  7. Aah thank you so much, I’m really pleased it was helpful 🙂 .
    I’ve just been trying to work out the best way for you to find Baileys story and update. I hope this makes sense… If you go onto ‘Forums’ then ‘General discussion’, on page 3, if you scroll down to ‘New post, What to expect when your dog has eye removal surgery’ (first posted by Paula 2 yrs 5 months ago) under Paula’s information about her lovely Lucy, there are 379 replies. Baileys story leading up to his operation was posted on Nov 27th 2014, and his update after the surgery was Feb 6th (I think it must be the 377th reply!!). But if you still can’t find it I will ask my more computer literate friends if they know how I can send you a link! 🙂

  8. Hi Emily, I have just read both of your posts with tears in my eyes. What fabulous doggy parents you are to your lovely boy. He was extremely lucky to have found you 🙂 It sounds like he had a terrible time of it after the surgery and I’m so pleased to hear that he is over the worst of it, and is much happier now. You know you’ve done the right thing for them when their tails start to wag again. I took your advice about the camping mats, and my newly decorated home (we moved there in June last year) is now covered in bright blue mats! I couldn’t be happier though, knowing Brody will be safer 🙂 xx

  9. It’s really wonderful to read that Brody is doing brilliantly :-). It sounds like he is already bouncing back from his operation and coping well. I hope you find the foam mats as useful as we have, they have certainly been a best buy for us, and as you rightly say, they do brighten up the home!!!
    We were so touched to read your response to Baileys story and his update, thank you so very much. He is such a special boy to us, the years we have shared with him have gone by fast, and sometimes I wish time could stand still for a bit so he doesn’t age any more. He still has the most gorgeous, happy, cheeky personality, but his little old legs are getting quite weak now. At least he has no more terrible eye pain though, so with lots of love and tasty treats and all his home comforts, life is still good :-)!
    We hope Brody will soon be running safely around your house with his toys again 🙂 (and that it won’t be too long until the blue mats can be removed from your walls and furniture!!) Please give him a big hug from Bailey and me xx

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