What to do

Shelby is an 11 year old otherwise perfectly healthy Boston-Frenchie mix with glaucoma. She lost vision in her R eye in July and the vet recommended it be removed and then despite the 4x a day drops lost vision in the other eye and that was also removed last month. The vets seemed to think she’d be fine and her other senses would take over but she just seems terrified all the time. I’m not sure how great her hearing was even before she lost her vision.

We use a harness and a clicker and try to be consistent and not move any furniture or any of her things. She walks in tight little circles all day long panting and seems distressed. She regularly walks into walls and doors. At night she pants for a long time and we pet her and she maintains body contact but she is up at 3am every day. She doesn’t seem to be sleeping during the day either like she used to.

We put her harness on her and take her to the same spot to do her business 6-8x a day but she rarely goes and then have accidents in the house which makes her more distressed because she knows she is not supposed to. I’m getting a thunder shirt today, but we are at a loss. We don’t want to put her down but at times it seems the only humane thing to do. It’s been about 6 weeks since she went totally blind, is there any hope for this getting better. Thank you.

5 thoughts on “What to do

  1. This almost sounds like SARDs. Sudden blindness, panting and anxiety are symptoms. Other symptoms include increased appetite, thirst and weight gain. Has your vet mentioned this at all?

  2. So sorry about that. My 13 year old Shih-Tzu loss her vision overnight(about 4 weeks ago). We took her to the Vet when we noticed she was bumping into walls, panting and some anxiety in the middle of the night. She had some accidents in the house(she’s never done it before). We were told that she has Cataracts in both eyes and the left eye has high pressure. She went home with eyedrops. We didn’t see improvement. Took her back again to the Vet and they performed a Tonometry test to measure the pressure in the eye. Turns out, she had a Glaucoma and is fully blind in the R eye. We were referred to an Ophthalmologist. We took her in last week, the Ophthalmologist ran a few exams and explained meticulously her condition. The pressure in the eye gives severe headaches and the dog becomes uncomfortable and in many cases develop a little bit of anxiety. There are quiet a few eyedrops that can make the dog feel comfortable but will not cure/take the blindness away. Still medicine does not treat Glaucoma efficiently. Therefore, we looked at the option of Enucleation to cut the pain and discomfort from the root. We were told by 3 different Veterinarians that it’s the best option and my pup will get back to normal after 2-3 weeks post-operation. At first, we couldn’t grasp the idea of taking an organ away from our baby; however, if the organ does not longer work and is causing damage and discomfort in her livelihood then it needs to go. We made research and consulted with people that opted for eye removal in their pets and they said is the best thing we can do. We’re currently training our blind baby to gain her confidence back and so far, she’s doing great. We’re amazed how fast she has adjusted to her new condition. She’s also partially deaf so she sniffs everything. It takes a whole lot of patience and some extra TLC.
    Our hope is for your dog to get healthy again. Sending our very best to all.

  3. Hi, Gailan,
    There is hope so give her some time.
    Our 10 YO Shitzu mix rescue dog became suddenly blind with glaucoma, lost one eye and the other eye is now also blind from glaucoma. This all started in February and he has a been totally blind since June. He is otherwise healthy so we opted for the recommended treatment, surgery, drops, intraocular injection, etc. So far the injection has kept the pressure down in his remaining eye; if it doesn’t, enucleation is the next step. He has a rather “laid back” personality so hasn’t seemed stressed by his lack of vision and rarely cries for help – only when he can’t get out of a corner, etc. He has come a long way but I have read it may take up to a year for dogs to fully adjust and I am beginning to believe that to be true. I also read it will take only 6 weeks, and from personal experience, tend to doubt that. He will never be back to his old self, I realize. He is sleeping a lot and very soundly (adjusting to being blind is exhausting), we keep him on his usual schedule of daily walks, etc., he is eating well and we get an occasional tail wag which is encouraging and heart warming. I do miss my “seeing” pup but he is comfortable and still part of our family.
    I know you are questioning yourself – I do every day, “Are we doing the right thing?” but when seeing him enjoy himself – like a car ride – the answer is ‘yes, we are doing the right thing.” Don’t get me wrong, it has been a very heart breaking, stressful life change – probably harder on us than him – but hang in there – things will smooth out for you both.
    You can get a “snuffle” mat for dogs online – it’s meant to keep some dogs from wolfing down their food but makes a great diversion for blind dogs and stimulates their natural instincts. Our pup loves it and I think it is a good investment. He has no interest in his other toys at present. I leave the mat out on the carpet in the same place every day, put some treats and a chew in it and he is learning to look for it. Sometimes it excites him, sometimes not!
    Good luck to you all. Tough times.

  4. My little Frenchie had both eyes removed. First the right than just a few weeks later the left. The right socket is indented and hollow. The Left eye is bulging and feels like the eye ball is still in the socket. Certainly they would have removed the eye and not just stitched it closed? Does anyone see an apparent difference in the eyes after surgery. She just had her stitches removed this week and had banged into a few things even with the Muffin’s Halo and the cone. I hate to make her sleep in these but as mentioned above wakes up at 3:00 a.m. everyday. Did anyone notice slight blood discharge, bulging and will the swelling go down? Any experience you can share? I’ll give it few days and then call the vet if no improvement. Thank you!

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