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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 18941
Experience:  Dog breeder/Trainer and Behaviorist 18+ years
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My dog lost s sight about 4 yrs ago, he was doing fine. he

Customer Question

My dog lost his sight about 4 yrs ago, he was doing fine. he would walk around the house, go up and down the stairs, go in and out of the house. Suddenly has stopped moving around the house, he stays in 1 spot all day and it has become very difficult to get him to come back in the house. after a walk or even a bathroom trip, he stops dead and won't move. any ideas?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Dog Training
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 11 months ago.

Hi JaCustomer,

My name is ***** ***** I’ve been involved professionally with dogs in the health and behavioral fields for over 18 years. It will be my pleasure to work with you today.

In order to supply you with an informed answer, it is necessary for me to collect some additional information from you. When I receive your response or reply, it will likely take me between 30-45 minutes to type up my reply if I am still online when I receive notice that you replied. I hope you can be patient.

Do you know the cause of his loss of sight?

How old is he?

What breed is he?

Is he still eating and drinking normally?

Is he eliminating normally?

Is he avoiding stairs or jumping?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
He had 1 eye surgically removed due to a growth,lost the sight in the remaining eye due to glaucoma, he is almost 10yrs,
english labrador, yes he's still eating and drinking normally, he will go up and down the stairs once you get him there
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
still eliminate normally
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 11 months ago.

Thanks for the additional infomration. It sounds like he's had a rough lot in life. I've owned a dog who lost her sight at around 8 years of age. She lived another 3 years perfectly fine. INitially she could hear and smell, then at around 9.5 she lost her hearing too. She could still smell and as a result was still able to get around pretty well. But then she lost her sense of smell and became much like you describe. She didn't want to move. On a leash she would move a short distance and then freeze unsure. Sometimes if I touched her, she would move a few more feet. At this point, her quality of life was severely compromised and we decided it was in her best interest not be scared to even move and we let her pass peacefully.

So the first thing I would recommend is having his hearing checked. He may have been taking verbal cues from either the sound of your footsteps or your voice and now has lost that and hasn't adjusted to using his nose. Or like my dog has lost the sense of smell as well. He might also be starting to experience some problems with his spine. Large dog breeds sometimes suffer from a condition called degenerative myelopathy which can also cause problems with the rear legs and paralyses. You can read about this here:

http://www.petplace.com/dogs/degenerative-myelopathy/page1.aspx

Buffered aspirin can be given to a dog with a dosage of up to 5-10 mg per pound every 12 hours. Keep in mind that a dog's body does not metabolize aspirin in the same way as a human and thus should not be given more than a day or two without contacting your Vet. The aspirin may need to clear your dog’s system before other medications can be given, so keep that in mind if you decide to give aspirin and be sure and tell your vet when your dog is seen. Read side effects and precautions here.
http://www.petplace.com/drug-library/acetylsalicylic-acid-aspirin/page1.aspx

Given his age, I'd definitely get him in to have his hearing and other testing done since he is elderly. You might try the touch method to see if he responds to that. Often just a stick or can that you can lay against his shoulder might remind him you are still there and want him to move forward if indeed he is losing his other senses.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have . If you do find this helpful, please take this opportunity to rate my answer so I am compensated for my time.

If you have questions in the future that you wish me to answer, you may click here and bookmark the page or make it a favorite. It is best to put my name "JANE" in the question as well.

Since there have been recalls on certain foods, please check the following site to be sure the food your animals eat is not affected. If it is affected, contact your vet as soon as possible. Have your dog seen if they have any symptoms.

http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/RecallsWithdrawals/

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