Luka Update - Puppy Going Blind

Discussion in 'Off-Topic & Chit Chat' started by Pawtential Unleashed, Mar 15, 2012.

  1. Pawtential Unleashed Experienced Member


    Last Friday, we left at 5:30am to take Luka to the vet. (My vet is in another state 3.5 hours away) He has been having trouble his third eyelid on his right eye (the cherry eye affected one) has been pretty chronically inflamed irregardless of medication. We decided that it would be best to just have the third eyelid removed and give his eye a chance to be irritation free. Of course there is a chance that he could develop "dry eye" in that eye and need drops for the rest of his life but Dr McDaniels felt the chances were slim.

    He has also been having trouble with depth perception. If he goes to step down out of the van, he tries to feel his way with his foot first and then stumbles like he can't work out how far it is down. He also has had to look at things for a long time to work out how close they are and recognize even people he knows. All of this prompted the vet visit.

    After some testing and swab cultures, Dr McDaniels agrees that there is an issue for sure. He seems to think it is a form of Progressive Retinal Atrophy. His pupils do not react normally to light nor do they react the same as each other. His eye shine (the color behind the retina) is wide and blue and with that comes a higher chance for deafness or blindness. There is a very minor cloudiness to them already as well. He has had this same problem with one of his own dogs and said it was at the same stage of development in his dog at this same age. there is currently no cure.

    We decided not to do the surgery but to wait until he is a year (in about 4 months) and then reassess. While the cherry eye did not cause the other issues - leaving it will not affect the PRA and there is still a small chance it will heal on it's own.

    End result - Luka will most likely be blind by the time he is 2.

    That's okay - he will certainly be a good will ambassador for dogs with disabilities. His hearing is fine and his sense of smell is okay, and above all his sweet mellow personality remains the same.

    Training will continue as normal with the exception of dropping the hand signals in favor of a more verbal training even from now. I have worked with blind dogs before and since he will still have some measure of sight for a while yet - we have plenty of time to get him started and into that style of learning before he has too many issues.

  2. MissyBC Experienced Member

    I'm so sorry to hear that he's going blind. :cry: All the best with everything!
  3. sara Moderator

    I'd say welcome to the world of disabled dogs, but you've been there before, so welcome back? :)

    It's sad that he's going to lose his sight it's harder for them to adjust to being blind if they used to be able to see. But if you do things properly (which you obviously know how to do) he wont have a problem. I want to adopt a blind and deaf dog next, probably another Dachshund.

    I've done alot of reading up on blind dogs (dogs with disabilities are my passion) and talked to many people who have them on yahoo groups and other forums) so if you need any ideas, I'll try to help :)
  4. Dogster Honored Member

    I am really sorry to hear that Luka is going blind.:cry::cry: He is in the right hands, though.:) I hope the training goes well.:)
  5. Pawbla Experienced Member

    Sorry to hear that :(. I'm glad he's with you, though.
    Dogster likes this.
  6. Anneke Honored Member

    That's sad. But it sounds like he is good hands(y)
    But they do adjust. My 12 year old went blind within a year and I became his seeing-eye human;) Walking around(me) with a string of bells made it easy for him to locate me and even made it possible to have him off-leash in an area he knew well( in the park)
    He learned very quickly that me yelling STOP meant, there was something in his way:D
    Dogster and Pawbla like this.
  7. jackienmutts Honored Member

    Awww, I'm sorry for Luke and you, having to go thru this. Many years ago (long gone to The Bridge), I had a cockapoo with PRA, who eventually went blind. Dogs are such amazing creatures - my little one did great (better than we did - you know dogs, they accept everything with such dignity and grace and just adjust and move on). It sounds like you have such a handle on it, and are going to do great with his training.

    My little Pepper was such a ball-player, so we adjusted. I used to play with him in the house, in our hallway. I'd close the bedroom doors and toss the ball down the hall, he'd follow the sound of the bounce/roll down the hall and sniff it out, and bring it back. We'd play a good game every single night - it amazed me, and he had a blast. You'll find ways around things, adjust what you do, and he'll teach you things you won't believe. I also had two other dogs (another Germ Shep, and a cattledog/hound mix) and they took such good care of him. I'd let them all wander around in the yard in front of my house with me right there(cuz walks were kind of out of the question) - that was the closest he could do) and my other two used to herd him up from the sidewalk back to the front yard. They never let him get anywhere near the street, it always amazed me. Of course, I always was right there watching, but it just always made me feel so good to watch and know they were always walking with him, following him, and looking out for him - and they never did this in the backyard or house. I swear, they knew and took it upon themselves to watch over him.

    He'll probably adjust pretty well, as it won't happen overnight, he'll have time. Hang tough, I'm sure you'll get lots of good ideas and suggestions from people on the forum.
    Dogster likes this.
  8. charmedwolf Moderator

    Poor little Luka. I hope this won't effect him but he's in great hands I'm sure.
  9. Amateur Experienced Member

    What a beautiful dog !
    Its a good thing animals dont react as bad as we humans do to adversities in life.
    You will both do fine !
  10. tigerlily46514 Honored Member

    so so sorry to hear of your dog's problem, but it sounds like he is in the best of hands with you beside him.
    Dogster likes this.
  11. Pawtential Unleashed Experienced Member

    Thank you everyone for your support. It is sad that he will lose his sight so young but as many of you shared - the resilience of a disabled dog is nothing short of amazing. Our training will progress as normal and it will be my pleasure to be his seeing eye human. :love:
    SD&B, Dogster, Anneke and 1 other person like this.

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