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Advanced Cataracts In A Greyhound


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My 11 and a half year old greyhound has advanced cataracts and is nearly completely blind. Has anyone else managed a blind greyhound? My big worry is her going up and down the stairs when I am not home, since the stairwell is very dark and she can't hardly see the steps. I know the easy solution is not to let her on the stairs, but I have other dogs and I don't want to limit their free roam of the house. I also do not want to contain my greyhound to one room, I know she would be miserable. I do not want her to take a tumble down the stairs and injure herself, or worse. Suggestions?

 

Also, she needs a dental done. My vet is greyhound savvy and I trust him, but the last time she had a dental done she could see. I am worried it's going to be a very scarey experience for her going under the anethesia and coming out of it when she is practically blind. The vet says she has to have the dental done, so is there anything I can do for her to help calm her should she freak out?

 

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Can't help re the dental. The stairs, I would just limit them all. Shouldn't be a huge issue for them. Make sure the gate is high enough and very sturdy so nobody is tempted to go over or thru it.

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Can't help re the dental. The stairs, I would just limit them all. Shouldn't be a huge issue for them. Make sure the gate is high enough and very sturdy so nobody is tempted to go over or thru it.

 

I agree with Batmom. Actually I am so safety-anal I would put a gate at the bottom and another at the top. That way no one would have to remember to carry the gate up or down.

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Guest fountainpengwen

The book "Living With Blind Dogs," by Caroline Levin comes highly recommended by the ophthalmologists I've worked with. The good news (or better news?) is that at least cataracts gradually take away sight as opposed to some diseases that cause them to go suddenly blind. She's probably been adjusting gradually as her cataracts have progressed, so it will be easier for you to train her as a blind dog. Anyway, the book probably explains things better than I, so here's a link. :lol

 

Give her a hug for me. :grouphug

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Has she seen an opthalmologist? If it is genuinely cataracts, then you might consider having them removed - they usually do one eye at a time, and do need to check that her retina is still in working order before they'll agree, but it can be very worthwhile, especially in a sighthound. It is expensive though - a friend of mine had her Norfolk Terrier's eye done, and it cost her around £2000 all told, including follow up treatment and checkups.

 

If it's not an option, dogs usually manage remarkably well without sight, if you take a few simple precautions. The book which has been recommended is a good place to start, but I have heard that one good trick if she's ever in a new place (or things change in your own home) is to spray the obstacle/hazard with some kind of perfume, like lavendar, and show her where it is. In future, until she learns to remember where it is, the smell will remind her.

 

 

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Thank you all for your input and especially about the book, I will look into that. I really do not want to block off the stairs, I live in a ranch house and the stairs go from the main floor down to the finished basement. The basement is a "safe haven" when thunderstorms roll in, there are no windows and being below ground blocks out the scarey sound of the thunderbooms. Plus, all their toys are down there and the air conditioning (or heater in the winter) really cranks up down there and they like that. On the main floor they have the comfort of my bedroom and the other rooms in the house. If I have to start using a gate on the stairs, that would put an end to going downstairs for all my dogs and I don't want to have to do that. I want them to continue to have free roam of the house. I just am not sure. What if I hire an electrician to run lighting down the stairwell? I know she can't "see" but the brightness should help, no?

 

My vet has assured me she will be able to manage with her other senses, particularly smell and sound. If she does wander far in the yard (especially at night) she sometimes is not sure about getting back to the gate so I clap my hands and she follows the sound. I last moved furniture around when she had vision, so I won't be changing it around again since she knows what is where by memory. It has been a gradual thing that now has reached the point where total blindness is the next stage. I won't put her through the surgery, the vet does not recommend it since he feels she can get along just fine without her sight.

 

Thanks again

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