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Advice For Blind Greyhound Parents?

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Just in from the vet, my Bella has Progressive Retinal Atrophy, and vet says 80% chance she will be blind in a year. Does anyone have experience with PRA? Or advice for me? :cry1


Greyhound Collars on Etsy: Collar Town

 

Maggie (the human servant), with Miss Bella, racing name "A Star Blackieto"

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I know Jenn8's angel, Onyx had it. She can give you some advice if you pm her. I know that he adjusted much more easily than she did. :grouphug


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Michelle...forever missing her girls, Holly 5/22/99-9/13/10 and Bailey 8/1/93-7/11/05

Religion is the smile on a dog...Edie Brickell

Wag more, bark less :-)

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I don't have any personal experience, but can only imagine the shock when you hear that kind of diagnosis. :(:grouphug

Perhaps this thread can help?
http://forum.greytalk.com/index.php/topic/183925-pra-progressive-retinal-atrophy/?hl=%2Bprogressive+%2Bretinal+%2Batrophy

Bella has you on your side. She'll be fine 'n' happy. :heart

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Poodle has been almost totally blind for about 3 years due to old age and diabetes related cataracts. The vets think at best he can see light and shadows and I agree. He actually has done very well. We go for walks, he goes out to sunbathe in the yard etc. He does rely on Barkley at times but it has been much less of a problem than I imagined.


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A couple of tips, use different scents for each room. You can put them in the entrances to each room. I put bells on all my dogs. Andy had a bell that sounded different from the others so Emmy could find him. He became her seeing eye dog. She should adjust better losing her sight slowly. Don't move the furnature around and make sure all obstacles are removed. You may find it's harder on you than on her.


Judy, mom to Do Bee, Bandita, Angel and Gizmo

Forever in our hearts, DeeYoGee, Dani, Emmy, Andy, Heart, Saint, Valentino, Arrow, Gee, Bebe, Jilly Bean, Bullitt, Pistol, Junior, Sammie, Joey

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Dogs can adapt fairly easily to being without sight. We had a Great Dane have age-related blindness, and 99.999999% of the time, you would never have known it. She went up and down stairs, ran in the yard, played with toys - basically everything! Her littermate brother became her seeing eye dog, and they were inseparable the last few years of their lives.

 

I did make sure our yard was pretty obstacle free. And made sure there were no branches or other tripping hazards, such as after storms, and we were terrors about mole holes - no mole survived! We also never moved the furniture or her favorite bed or her water/food bowl ever, once she lost her sight completely.


Chris - Mom to: Lilly, Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

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Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom

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My sweet and wonderful Lynch had PRA when I adopted him at age 2. He was the only greyhound I've ever had who jumped a baby gate and he did it blind. Siilly boy.

PRA isn't all that to a dog. They are amazing at how they acclimate to being blind.

I treated him just like the other dogs.

IF I had to move furniture or something in the house, I made sure to show him what I had done. He pee'd and pooped in the same place every day. He ran in his yard and he trotted up and down the steps like a pro. In fact, I had more trouble with some of my sighted dogs and the steps than I did with Lynch.

He rarely stepped on another dog. The other dogs (I had 7 dogs) learned to give him a warning if he got too close.

Lynch also had a number of other eye issues through the years... He got pannus, and had glaucoma and cataracts. But in all he did very very well.

What you will notice is that their pupils dialate trying to let light in until they no longer ever get small again.

 

In the mornings when I would let all the dogs out, the sighted ones ran to do their business. Lynch would go to the middle of the yard and stick his long pointy nose into the air and turn a full circle, smelling and checking out what had happened in his kingdom over night while he was sleeping! It was so cute to watch, and he did it every single morning.

 

I was Lynch's seeing eye person. He counted on me to watch where he was walking and alert him to anything in the way or tell him step up or step down, or jump up (to get into the car) or jump down to get out of the car. He was very smart and learned quickly. He was a bit spooky before the blindness happened, and he was a lot more spooky afterwards. I didn't let anyone rush up to him and grab him or pet him without letting him know that it was coming.

 

This is him running in the snow back in Ohio... very blind!! :)

 

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This is what his eyes looked like years later.....

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Lynch rarely ran into another dog while they were up and moving around. He would get close to them if they were sleeping, but still rarely stepped on another dog.

I did keep the yard fairly empty of stuff. I chopped down a bush and took the center of it to about 5" underground because I was afraid he'd hurt his foot on the stump or he'd trip over it.

They know where they are going for the most part. We moved across the country and to a new house and within one day he knew his way around the house.

The ONLY time I can remember that he ran into something hard enough to hurt him was when he was still on the track and he didn't negotiate a turn and ran straight and into the rail.

I've had quite a few dogs with issues, and blindness is the least of the ones I've dealt with! Seriously, the dogs just don't miss their sight like you or I would. :)


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Thank you so much for the advice everyone! I know she'll be fine around the house, it's just outside of the house that I worry about, dog parks and such.


Greyhound Collars on Etsy: Collar Town

 

Maggie (the human servant), with Miss Bella, racing name "A Star Blackieto"

13380965654_dba9a12b29.jpg

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While we are fine on walks I'd be hesitant to take Poodle to the dog park. He could get plowed down without ever seeing it coming.


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No advice Maggie, just sorry to read of Bella's diagnosis.


Kyle with Stewie ('Super C Ledoux, Super C Sampson x Sing It Blondie) and forever missing my three angels, Jack ('Roy Jack', Greys Flambeau x Miss Cobblepot) and Charlie ('CTR Midas Touch', Leo's Midas x Hallo Argentina) and Shelby ('Shari's Hooty', Flying Viper x Shari Carusi) running free across the bridge.

Gus an coinnich sinn a'rithist my boys and little girl.

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Many hugs :bighug for both of you

 

 

As others have said, it'll be easier on her than on you, particularly with it being progressive rather than sudden. With walks you may need to keep her on a shorter leash and do more of her seeing for her as far as obstacles, and dog parks may not be an option any more if there are lots of other dogs around but you'll both adapt. Luckily it's not something that affects her general health and life span!


Gracie (AMF Saying Grace) - 10/21/12
Bella (KT Britta) - 4/29/05 to 2/13/20

 

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Guest MnMDogs

Just in from the vet, my Bella has Progressive Retinal Atrophy, and vet says 80% chance she will be blind in a year. Does anyone have experience with PRA? Or advice for me? :cry1

I was told that about Mork over 6 years ago. He still has some vision... very very little, but in bright light he can see.

 

When we were told about Mork, we were devastated, like you. But honestly, I don't think this has affected him very much at all. The vision loss is so slow that they have time to adjust and just learn to live with their limitations. We don't move furniture around, and if we do need to make any changes (for example, we re-sodded the yard last year, and fenced off some to keep them off certain parts), we do those things in the light of day when he can still see a bit.

 

When we were still walking him, we would (as suggested), keep him closer to us to avoid obstacles (or sticks in the eye), but we really made so few changes when we saw that he didn't need us to.

 

He is very cautious about going out back, gently nudging at the door with his head to make sure it's open. But he really knows the lay of the land, so to speak. As Pam said, I would probably avoid dog parks solely because there is a higher risk of her getting plowed into by a fast moving dog.

 

It's definitely upsetting to hear that your baby is going blind, but she will likely surprise you.

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Anne reminded me...start talking to her now as if she were already sightless. Every time she comes to a curb, say "step up", or jump in the car, say "jump up", etc...so that she knows what it means when she needs it.

 

And I agree with Pam, I would never take a sight impaired dog to a dog park.


gallery_2175_3047_5054.jpg

 

Michelle...forever missing her girls, Holly 5/22/99-9/13/10 and Bailey 8/1/93-7/11/05

Religion is the smile on a dog...Edie Brickell

Wag more, bark less :-)

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Guest IrskasMom

Maggie , what a shocker :grouphug :grouphug :grouphug sending lots of gentle Hugs to Bella :kiss2 :kiss2 :kiss2

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Wow :(

 

I am so sorry, I have no experience, so therefore no advice, :grouphug

 

But you have gotten some great tips here, and I know dogs don't think like we do and I bet Bella will still be happy and stylin' in her collars. And she does have Cleo to help her :beatheart


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Mom to Emmi (WM Lickety Split) & Asia (Devious Walker)
Waiting at the Bridge: Shadow, Willow, Tony, Nina, Reggie, Sunny, Webb, Rosie, Rowdy, Ivy, Smoke & Raina

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I'm so sorry you got this shocking news. You've gotten good advice from people who've been there. There's some other support online that might be helpful to you: http://blinddogs.net/ - seems to have lots of info and also has a forum. And there's a Yahoo group as well which will likely have lots of resources. http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/blinddogs/


Cynthia, & Cristiano, galgo
Always in my heart: Frostman
Newdawn Frost, Keno Jet Action & Chloe (NGA racing name unknown), Irys (galgo), Hannah (weim), Cruz (galgo), & Carly CW Your Charming

Princess http://www.greyhound-data.com/d?i=1018857

"It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life, gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are." -- Unknown

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Wow, what a shock! I'm so sorry.

 

There is a dog who lives around the corner from me who is completely blind. Her eyes were removed due to very painful pressure along the optic nerves. They were replaced with fake eyes. I knew her before the surgery and still see her often. She is fine and I would never know she was blind. She reacts just like any other dog when she sees me and approaches Iker the same ya she approached Phoenix prior to losing her sight.

 

There is a doggie ophthalmologist outside of London. Do you think it might be worth a second opinion?


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Xavi the galgo and Allen the cat. Missing Iker the galgo ?-Feb.9/19, Treasure (USS Treasure) April 12/01-May 6/13, Phoenix (Hallo Top Son) Dec.14/99-June 4/11 and Loca (Reko Swahili) Oct.9/95 - June 1/09.

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Sending cyberhugs to the beautemous Bella.


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Ellen, Milo, and Jeter

remembering Eve, Baz, Scout, Romie, and Nutmeg

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