If you care for an elderly, injured or special needs pet, you've come to the right place!
Freckles was adopted with hearing loss at age 7. Early this year (she is now 11) she suddenly went blind. The eye specialist has no therapy or cure for her. She cannot map our house and wanders aimlessly throughout, bumping into things constantly, sometimes walking in circles, even though no furniture has been moved and we take care not to leave chairs misplaced. We have to take her outside to go to the bathroom on a leash as we have a pool. She goes to the bathroom on the floor even though we have just taken her outside. She seems to be living in a totally dark world, void of any hearing and it makes me so sad. I thought she would learn the house but has not. I do not know what to do for her. We have 2 larger dogs but they do not help her.
Is there any chance she's senile? Or has she always been not-so-bright? it seems to me that she should be mapping something by now, and the incontinence may figure in, too. You may want to see the expressing and poop on demand ideas down on the incontinence bb, for your own convenience.
You can get down on floor with her, she should stay right next to you, as you both map the LR first, or whatever her safe room is. She is confused and as critters says, senility may play a part in her ability to map Typically a deafblind pup can may 24/48 hours, according to the experts at AmazingAussies.
You can scent and texturize the floor and a great list o ftips was compiled by KarenG at www.blinddogs.net. Hang on, I'll find the tip sheet.
Baby gate all stairs and you have probably already read the stickies in this forum, the blinddogs sticky would be most helpful to you, as a deaf dog has no need to map. ALL blind dogs do.
You can get her an angel vest as a bumper, she is probably one of the few who would benefit. Most deafblinds I know travel too fast and map too quickly to need one.
One of my passions is Helen Keller. I HAD to know what a dark and silent world was like. IT IS MAGNIFICENT! They hear their own music and see their own rainbows. To paraphrase blinddogs, a deafblind dog sees with its heart. You would also benefit from the blinddogs yahoogroup. Your pup is having issues with being blind as opposed to deafness.
My deafblind is touch trained, he races up and down a stair case, is extremely social to everyone and every pup.
Thanks for the advice from you both. Freckles came to me as a rescue, apparently from a puppy mill and had been abused. She was happy to simply be in a loving home with a soft bed. She was not social, content to stay to herself. Her only apparent joy was to run outside with the larger dogs. When she went blind, she no longer twirled around eager to go out the door. She was hard of hearing when I adopted her and in the last few years, no longer hears at all. I cannot use any noise as a mechanism to teach her where she is. She also does not have a good sense of smell. I thought about 'scenting' the rooms but I don't believe it will help her as she can't smell food when I hold it inches from her nose. What do you do when there are no senses to rely upon? I will try the idea of putting the food and water bowls on a mat.
How is her appetite? I have a new old guy. He is in month 9 of self-imposed starvation. He came here in April minutes from the needle up in NJ. He wagged his tail and they pleaded for a family for him to die with. All he needed was end of life care. It's anyone's guess, but he came here with pprwork stating he is 14 y.o. neuro, paralyzed and hit by car left in a ditch to die. When he got here, I discoverd he is completely unsocialized, didn't want hugs or touches, stone deaf, almost blind from the hemorrhages in his eyeballs from being hit, I did indeed have to pick him up to put him in and out of the wescue wagon on his transport, but he now races, dances backward, flies around in anticipation of food he won't eat. Yesterday my sister from CT visited and he cold not get enough of her. He craves touch now. He is also in day three of not eating a single bit of anything. He may nibble this or that, not enough to keep a cat alive, but not only is dog food an unknown to him, he is now turning down people food. I will try milk and cereal this morning, as that has worked in the past. Potpies also worked in the past. ALL my dogs dance when mama nukes a pot pie to mix with kibble. Doc thought he would have adjusted to food by now. His innards are fine and he has no pain there despite the fact he screams. For no reason. That's the way he barks, I guess, but it drives the neighbors nuts and has me scared to death animal control will come knocking and take him and euth him. His testicle is embedded in his abdomen, but doc said the only issue there is it is a nice warm cancer friendly environment. We looked at each other, smiled and shook our heads. That bad boy is staying just where it is. The surgery would kill him and it would be major.
Give her some GREAT smelling food, like some chicken gravy on her kibble and place it down ten feet from her. Then both of you crawl toward that GREAT smell.
Touch is the biggest thing in the deafblind world. Helen Keller said herself, the most important thing in the world to her were her HANDS, her Annie Sullivan. My cousin Christy is Hands here at crittersville.
Tickles on Gabriel's head mean it is PLAY time. Scritches on the butt send him into puppy heaven. He was born deafblind, so he thinks everyone is.
Agreed that it'd probably be a good idea in this case.
Cat food (canned) can also be a good taste-tempter for the pupper set; Tuna Select is particularly vile--stinky and irresistible to any critter within a radius of miles!
I read the articles and really having a hard time with this. Kendall went blind in his one eye from glaucoma a few years ago and we were told that eventually he may lose vision in his other eye. It happened yesterday and it is coupled that his hearing is also gone. He is a house dog and is continually walking and I am hoping he'll map as others have noted. He will be 13 in September and really a loving member of the family. If anyone has any adivce on helping Kendall I would appreciate it. One of the postings said it's harder on us than them and I truly belive it as I have really been emotional since this happened.
Any guidance on working with Kendall would be greatly appreciated.
I entered the 'blind only' world in 2003, and what struck me was the despair of the humans. I had a little terribly confident blind pup, (all pups are born deaf and blind) who strutted through life with a toy in her mouth and BONK she would hit the furniture, the wall, the door, she shookit off and kept on strutting.
I entered the deafblind world the following summer and I will be forever dazzled by our pups' ability to get on with the business of life. Toys? Smellies. Tickles on the side of the head. My deafblind can count to three before he chases the ball that has been tapped on his nose THREE times, not two, not four. Three. You can start teaching Kendall touch training now, and it will not only keep you both occupied, you will be so thoroughly entranced, I promise. Put in a sit, same as any other sit command, except it's a touch on the nose. Down is a pat on the chest (for Gabriel) or the front leg (for Allicks) Stand on hind feet is a touch on the top of the head. Start this now so you will be two steps ahead of the game. Read the stickies int he blind forum (blindness is much more an issue than deafness, imho) and get down on all four paws with Kendall as you map the house together. FENCED yards only, or on a very reliable harness (always harness with glaucoma on walkies to prevent any pressure from the neck up) I HIGHLY recommend the Gentle Leader CHEST (NOT HEAD) harness. gives him a comfort level and keeps him close to you. Start working on stairs now. All my deafblinds (and blind onlies) have sailed up and down the stairs, but I always rec. babygating until you are certain, again in the stickies.
YOU are upbeat, confident, everything is alright. Watch his walking. He isn't circling tghter and tighter, is he? That's called spinnng and it was the end for one of my deafblnds (not because she was deafblnd, but because she had CCD to a point where there was no bringing her back.
I'd be happy to help or share in any way. Deafblinds are my life, my love & my passion.
Hi, my heart goes out to you. My cocker has been getting deafer and deafer now at 10 he has lost the sight in his second eye because of glaucoma - he's not coping and neither am I. My vet put my dog on Clonicalm and he is much more relaxed. today he walked across a room with his tail wagging instead of tucked under. The circling sounds like dementia but in your dog's case it is probably extreme anxiety. You know how you can't think straight stressed. Why not try the Clonicalm. it is an anti- depressant anti anxiety drug. Maybe when less anxious your dog may start thinking more clearlly again.
I've just gone back and read these posts again. First I have discovered the sense of smell is very very good but NOT like sight or hearing. It is diffuse. Ank knows if I have entered or left a room. With food - he just knows it is somewhere near. Put the bowl touching the dogs foot and he will find it straight away. Mapping and toiletting - Get down on the ground with them and crawl touching. Walk so close your leg touches the side of the dog. When uncertain they will freeze. Don't force movement but stand in front and the dog will eventually move toward you. For many dogs being blind and worse blind deaf is terrifying. Lots of touch- toileting crawl out with the dog and pee on the grass with him. Get a pet door or lift his paw to tap on a door. Use the same touch signals over and over. Our guy is getting better every day. My other blind dogs was confident and reckless. All are different. The most exciting thing is my dog has started signalling me. He taps the door to have it opened. The fridge for his dinner. 2 taps on the pantry door mean a snack and he taps the bed when he wants to be lifted up. Walk is the most fun he has all day. Down the middle of the road is quite fast because no exciting smells, and he is confident of no obstacles. The footpath is painfully slow as every scent is minutely investigated. I alternate. I am extra careful walking him so that he knows when we come to kerbs etc. I want no bumps or falls so he is confident walking. Use scent but remember it is not precise like sight. For the dog that won't eat get on the floor and share the bowl - try sharing some chocolate ice-cream (a little chocolate won't hurt) he probably ate something that confused him and now he is scared to eat. I have answered more than one post - sorry I am in a hurry perhaps you could share my answers with the others. We put Ank on a stimulant for 2 weeks and it seemed to help his confidence. Senility as well would be a disaster but more likely fear and confusion and then they CAN'T think straight. As for house training I have a sighted hearing 5 month old pup that is way worse than my blind boy- he will get it if you go with him
good luck everybody and remember touch is reassuring and calming as well as a means of communication.
I am new to this site and now have a newly blind 17 year old Cockapoo. I found the site by accident this morning when all of this first started. But just in the short time that I have been reading and researching on this site, I have found so many wonderful tools to help me make my fur baby more comfortable and able to deal with what she is going through. Thank you so very much for taking the time to care and give devoted pet owners like us the information that we need in times like this!
You might like the books I posted in the other thread about Tommy, who's deaf and blind.
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