Dog newly blind due to infection. It cleared up, but still blind. How to adapt.

Some good advice here. I would just follow his lead as to what kinds of adaptations he needs. I think in these early days of learning to adapt the most critical thing is for you to not be fearful or over-babying because he will pick up on it and become insecure. If you act like it’s an ordinary day, an ordinary walkies etc, then he will also think of things that way. Protect him from actually injuring himself, but otherwise let him figure out how to get around on his own.

I’ve not had a blind pet, but my female greyhound just turned 14 and has been having increasing mobility problems. We’ve tried things like carrying her upstairs to bed at night, but she won’t have it. She’s an opinionated little lady, and very tenacious so we’ve learned to suck our hearts in when she wimpers at the base of the stairs as she makes three or four apparently-painful attempts before she finally clambers slowly up. I also tried to train her to use a pet ramp for the 4 steps to our front porch but she wouldn’t have any of that, either. (We met her in the middle by changing her walkies to going through the garage where it’s only two steps.)

JcWoman my newfie has been having the stair issue too. We had to do the towel sling under the hind end a few times, but we ended up shifting things so he could lean on the wall as he pushes up. He seems to favor this. He also gets a dog biscuit at the top, which he appreciates. :slight_smile: (He doesn’t need the dog biscuit - he is adamant that he is going upstairs - I think it helps keep his mind on a positive reward, rather than how hard the stairs are.)

If he truly doesn’t need the biscuit, maybe break it in half/quarters/whatever works? My three dogs are ok weight wise, but I break up treats so that I can treat more often. You may already do this, but maybe someone will benefit.

Truth be told, he’s underweight, but you’re right, many dogs don’t need big rewards, a little reward will do it. I meant to say that I don’t need to lure him upstairs because he really wants to get there. :smack:

We got news today that he has Blasto. I’m pretty certain that he won’t get his vision back but we still have hope the drugs will solve the infection. He’s learning his new commands and we’ve been walking slowly around the block. Still doesn’t have a lot of energy, but I can see improvement.

Our previous dog went blind from glaucoma. To begin with, he would bump into things sometimes, but learned quickly that he shouldn’t run in the house, and especially the yard, like he used to. He would occasionally get frustrated when he lost his bearings, such as waking up after a nap, but all in all we were amazed at how quickly he adapted. Voice instruction-on-the-go helped with him too, and he quickly understood that STOP meant that stopping right away was in his best interest. More nuanced guide words worked too - if he was being called in from the yard and was a little off trajectory-wise, I would say “easy Max” and he learned to simply slow down so that he would brush by an object rather than bump into it.

As others have said, take it slow and your dog can adapt. Just don’t re-arrange the furniture too often :slight_smile:

I’m glad you were able to figure out what it was. On reading, it looks like it can be tricky to diagnose. It sounds like you’re on the right track. If his energy is improving and he’s eating, he’s doing well. It sounds like you shouldn’t push too fast on the exercise to make sure the lung function is healthy. The main thing appears to be sticking with the medication for enough time to ensure that you’ve killed all the spores. Any idea where he picked it up?

Looks like quite a character in that photo! late to the thread but glad to learn he is adapting. I was going to suggest the halo-type bumper but I see it’s already been linked.

Our Luna is deaf (probably from birth). In order of most-to-least important, her five senses are collision, touch, sight, hunger, and smell. (She’s very physical.)

It’s been our observation that Luna relies on touch to offset some of the effects of being deaf. She prefers to be touching a human most of the time, but when sleeping she really wants to have part of her on top of part of you – presumably so that you cannot slip away without waking her. When she gets anxious because of a situation in which she doesn’t know what’s expected of her, she defaults to trying to maximize body contact with her people.

So I would suggest being open to the idea that your boy may want more physical contact than he used to.

I get on the floor with him often, but it still seems like he doesn’t want to play. He has a couple puzzle toys that he uses but it doesn’t seem like he’s enjoying himself. He’s walking well outside, not quite a straight line but pretty good. Inside he’s still learning to navigate but doing ok. I can’t imagine literally being in the dark for ten hrs while we are at work. Gotta be a miserable life, no wonder he seems depressed. But I shouldn’t be putting human type emotions on a dog.

My friend’s dog has gone completely blind. Despite two kids in her household constantly moving things around, the dog gets around fine indoors. My neighbor also had a dog that was going both deaf and blind as he aged but he could still find his way around his unfenced yard with his sense of smell and residual vision right up until he died. Both dogs lived seemingly happy lives during their blindness. They don’t read or watch TV, so I suspect that dogs lose less when they lose their vision than people do. Good luck.

Why not? If we didn’t have evidence of dog emotions, we shouldn’t assume either that dog’s emotions are alike or different than ours. Instead we have pretty good evidence of dog emotions, including brain scans and behavior, that seem to indicate their emotions are similar to ours.

Dogs’ brains respond similarly to human brains in response to emotional stimulus:

Dogs recognize both dogs’ and humans’ emotions:

Rundown of dog emotion studies:

We don’t always interpret dogs’ emotions correctly though. When we yell at dogs because they did something bad, they “act” guilty (that is, they appear to be acting guilty to us), but they will do so even when they aren’t guilty. Some interpret this as dogs having no guilt or shame, but I think that’s overinterpreting the data. All we know is that dogs will act guilty if we treat them like they are guilty.

Our oldest dog sometimes seems depressed by his physical limitations. I give him a couple Trazadones (prescribed by our vet) and the blues fade away.

Just wanted to stop in and let you know that we lost him this evening. Fever came back, eyes went very bloodshot, heart murmur, aching body. He just couldn’t do it anymore. We are obviously saddened but it was for the best. Thank you all for your support and suggestions.

I am so sorry, diggerwam. I saw his picture just this evening and what a cutie. At least he’s beyond suffering, now. I need a Kleenex.

Oh, wow - so sorry to hear this.

I’m so sorry.


Oh no! I was just reading the thread and was going to chime in with something encouraging. :frowning:

Damn, I’m so sorry. They leave such a hole behind when they go …

I am so sorry to hear this. I’ve been wondering how he was. Condolences to you and tenacious j

Ah, dogs. :frowning:

So sorry.

Dogs do read human emotions. I get to hear this question most often that do dogs understand the language and emotions? of course yes. At least for your dog, the atmosphere and surroundings should be kept cheerful and happy because our dog never understands why you are angry or in tears. The key to a healthy life is to stay happy and cheerful; if not for you, for your dog. Watch a video at

Our dog went blind. It wasn’t a major hindrance (indeed, we didn’t realize it until we took her to the vet). Dogs depend strongly on their sense of smell, so they can usually make their way around that way.

You may have to restrict them, though. They could get in trouble running outdoors without a leash. Our dog died because she fell into the creek behind our house and drowned. :frowning: