3 year old dog with retinal deterioration

BaileyI have a 3 year old yellow lab named Bailey and a 3 year old chocolate lab named Shelby. The yellow lab is going blind slowly. I started to notice she was running into things, she was very careful to go down stairs, and getting out of vehicles. She was having trouble finding toys that were right there on the ground.

She also got to the point where she could not see at night. She would run into everything and was afraid to move when the lights went out. This was progressively getting worse so i took her to a specialist where they diagnosed her with retinal deterioration and said that nothing could be done about it.

Bailey and ShelbyI took her to the specialist in April. The specialist told me to start training my other dog to kind of act as a seeing eye dog for Bailey. Shelby is doing a great job by going in doorways and up stairs before Bailey. It’s almost like she knows that Bailey is going blind.

Bailey is to the point now where she is completely blind in the dark, she is starting to chew on stuff exessively while I am gone (shoes, socks, pillows, etc) she is running into things and getting worse at finding the toys. She does not go up and down stairs in the house anymore. There are a couple of stairs outside she uses but is very careful with those.

BaileyShe still knows how to jump in the pool and run and play. : ) She trys so hard which I love her ambition. It’s like she refuses to let that discourage her.

Anyways I am now trying to make this adjustment as easy on her as possible but I have no idea what I am doing. Any advice or similar stories are much appreciated. I was devestated when I found out she was going blind but there is no way I am putting her down. I am determined to make sure she has the best life she can. I have made it so the house it not cluttered and theres open spaces so that she can get around easier. Nothing sharp that she can run into. I try and keep everything picked up.

bailey-5Three months ago we moved into a new house so I’m trying to get her adjusted before she completely loses her sight. This is Baileys journey. : ) I would love to talk to people who are having similar issues and best ways to train them. Or anyone that would have any advice. : ) Thanks for listening!

5 thoughts on “3 year old dog with retinal deterioration

  1. consider getting bailey a Muffin’s Halo for Blind Dogs, like what I wear. muffinshalo.com

    like the white cane for blind humans, this helps doggies navigate the world with confidence and without running into things, losing confidence, getting hurt, being so afraid, and we maintain a high degree of independence. there even is a recent video of a completely blind dog going up stairs on the Muffin’s Halo Facebook page. in combination with humans helping us with “step up,” “step off,” “stop,” “go left,” “go right,” etc. when going for a walk, this is a marvelous tool.

    1. Lisa, my 6 yrs old black lab just just diagnosed this week with PRA. We noticed his night blindness 1 1/2 years ago. I would love to talk with you as well.! I am still in shock! He is not totally blind yet. The vet said about 2/3 of his retinas are atrophied. But I can still throw him a ball and 6 out if 10 times he can catch it. I was wondering if there was ANYTHING I can give him that can prolong his inevitable total blindness.

  2. Your dogs look just like mine. We have a choc and a yellow. Our yellow has just lost her sight totally. I bought a clicker ( pet smart $1.99 ) and I use it for walking on a lead and going upstairs/down and walking outside and stepping up / down to curbs. I click and give a command…step. It is amazing how quickly she has picked up on it. Good luck.

  3. thanks for your story…our dog could be Baileys twin, at four Chiqui is now blind for same reason…all is doable but grooming at the groomer a couple times a year and taking her for monthly nail grinding is going to be a problem…any suggestions? Thanks for your reply in advance….

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