Maltese with SARDS

BusterBuster is a 5 1/2 year old Maltese and was just diagnosed with SARDS on October 9, 2019. He began gaining weight about 3 months ago and stopped playing with toys and slowed down on our 3-4 miles jog twice a week. I didn’t think much about it at that time.

I really got concerned when he started bumping into things 2 weeks ago and didn’t want to go on our weekly run anymore. I took him to emergency vet where he failed an obstacle course. They referred us to an optimologist the next day. There he was diagnosed with SARDS. I am having him tested for cushings disease tomorrow just to rule that awful disease out.

Since I know he cannot see we are adjusting quite well. I have been taking him to the same park we used to run in and we get farther each time. He has started to perk up again wanting to play with his toys more and getting excited about things he used to get excited about. He is so resilient and I love him even more with each day that goes by.

I made an ankle bracelet with bells and our names on it so he will know where I am at all times. I took it hard at first but now we both are adjusting really well…better than I ever thought!!!

4 thoughts on “Maltese with SARDS

  1. My dog Dexter was diagnosed with SARDS also. He also had been gaining weight. My vet recommended he be seen by an eye doctor at the animal hospital. All tests were run and he was diagnosed with SARDS. He is completely blind in one eye and is starting to lose vision in the other eye. He seems to get around but has some trouble with steps. It’s a big adjustment for all of us. He has some accidents in the house but not sure if he is going through some depression or if it’s frustrating for him. Hoping things get better for him

  2. My 9 year old Bichon Frise, Loowee was diagnosed with SARDS five weeks ago and lost vision in both eyes. His vision went very suddenly, within days. A variety of tests indicate that he has no retina response to the brain at all in both eyes but some slight pupil reaction to light in the right eye, nothing in the left. His nose changed colour from black to grey at the same time which apparently might indicate an auto-immune response, one theory is that his body has ‘attacked’ the cones etc in his retina. Cushings Disease has also been mentioned so maybe this could be something to check on for your dog Dexter (increased appetite is an indicator as is thirst) and maybe if Dexter has Cushings then the medication might slow the vision loss. For Loowee there is no hope now. We are devastated.
    He is very depressed and cries a lot for attention, not for pain I don’t think. He is very bored as he was a very active and extremely happy little dog prior to this happening. I try to keep him entertained with many walks, which are a struggle as I have to constantly guide him and he has no freedom to run now. I also have a dog seat on my bike now which he likes but doesn’t give him enough exercise, he is putting on weight. Finding the hours in the day to keep him entertained and get my work done is proving very difficult and frustrating for me. He never played with toys so that avenue isn’t going to work for him but I’ll give it a try.
    He is particularly distressed as it it all happened a few days prior to our moving from our home in Darwin to a rental in Brisbane for work for 3 months. He has no concept of this house we are staying in. There are stairs which he can’t see (no stairs at home), we now have stair-gates and no garden here easily accessible to him whereas at home he could walk straight out into the garden (down 2 flights of stairs here). I carry him down for his ablutions. He is working out how to walk up them. However because he has no ‘concept’ in his mind of this new accommodation it is proving to be disastrous for him as he cannot find his way around and constantly bumps into walls or gets jammed somewhere.
    I decided therefore on the weekend to take him back to Darwin and leave my husband here for the rest of the work period however because of the sudden lock-down here in Brisbane I had to cancel the trip as Brisbane is now a hot spot and it would have meant going into Howard Springs in the NT for 2 weeks and they also don’t take dogs! So I cannot do anything about getting him back to his own environment yet.
    It is all very sad and very upsetting. I have read tips on how to help him which I am doing however unless things improve for him on our return home and he finds some happiness then we will have to have him euthanised. Hopefully his story will be like Buster’s and he eventually adapts and is happy.

  3. Hi all, my mini schnauzer survived pancreatitis and diabetes. Both which was brought on by Cushing Disease. He was doing so good then 3 days ago he went blind. I’m staying strong for him and my family but am broken. I could use guidance and support as my boy Ben was my very first puppy and honestly my hero.

    1. If you would like to chat with others about this Anthony, head over to our Facebook Group and join there. Here’s the link:

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