zoey's diagnosis

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Postby PITS4LIFE » March 13th, 2006, 1:51 pm

Zoey is tired and a little disoriented by the medicine, but the outcome was not good at all. Zoey is going blind. Retinal Degeneration, progressive. I cried. I feel so bad for her. I will get a new vet though. The eye doctor said that she should of noticed the dilated pupils. I guess I should of recognized it to myself. Zoey will more and likely have to be put down.... due to her aggression. It will not be long from what the doctor says that she will be totally blind. It is not curable. This disease can hit any kind of purebred or mixed breed dog. I should of seen it, all the signs were there. No help though when your vet tells you everything is alright. I WILL BE CALLING HER!! I don't know what to do, I feel so helpless. It is a very sad day in our house!!! No wonder we had so many problems with the pups and her, she can hardly see to do her job. :(
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Postby Maryellen » March 13th, 2006, 1:53 pm

oh no!!! poor Zoey.. at least now you know what happened.. have you thought about whether the retinal issue is genetic? will the pups possibly have it too?? now, is it possible her aggression is due to not being able to see and being startled since she does have a problem medically?? has the new dr said anything about medicines or anything to help her? or is her blindness going to come on rather quickly?

i just did a quick search, and it says its genetic..
http://www.lowchensaustralia.com/health/pra.htm

http://www.ovma.org/pets/prd.html

Progressive Retinal Degeneration (PRD)


Progressive retinal degeneration is widespread throughout purebred dogs, with over 85 breeds known to have contracted the disease to date. It has been noted that any bread of dog can be affected by PRD.

The disease affects the retina, which is the innermost layer of the eye. It is located in the back half of the eye, and is composed of specialized nervous tissue that transmits the image viewed by the eye to the brain for interpretation.

The first sign of PRD is a loss of night vision, followed later by the loss of day vision. Because dogs do so well with very limited vision, owners often don't detect the disease until it is quite advanced. In some dogs, (e.g. Irish Setters) the loss of both day and night vision occurs simultaneously. Occasionally, owners will note that dogs have trouble seeing moving objects. The disease may also first be detected when the animal leaves its familiar environment (e.g. on vacation), when bumping into objects or hesitancy may be noted.

As the disease progresses, pupils may remain dilated regardless of changes in light, Often, because the pupils are dilated, owners may notice cataract formation. The disease is not related to cataracts, but cataracts may form secondary to the disease. It is a retinal problem for which there is no treatment.

To diagnose the disease, an ophthalmoscopic examination is done. Early subtle changes are best detected by a veterinary ophthalmologist.

Good breeders routinely screen their breeding stock. However, as PRD can be a late onset disease, many offspring may have already been produced before the disease is detected in the parents. However, NO offspring from affected dogs should be used for breeding purposes. This is thought to be a simple autosomal recessive inheritance, so that carrier dogs cannot be detected.

Any dog with mature cataracts should be screened prior to surgery for a functional retina. This is done by electroretinography (ERG). It is pointless to remove cataracts if the dog is retinally blind. Occasionally, a luxated lens may be removed in a dog that is blind in an attempt to prevent glaucoma.

For more information on PRD or other eye problems, please see your veterinarian.
Last edited by Maryellen on March 13th, 2006, 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby cheekymunkee » March 13th, 2006, 1:55 pm

I'm so sorry but at least now you have your answers. Poor baby & poor you.
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Postby rockermom » March 13th, 2006, 1:59 pm

ohhh you poor thing. You have been having some week. I feel bad for you. Better you found out than something drastic happening. I hope her pups turn out ok.
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Postby mnp13 » March 13th, 2006, 2:15 pm

If the aggression is caused by her sight going, wouldn't it be possible to adjust to that? Make sure you make noise near her so she is not startled. There are many blind dogs that function with minimal problems. You know the medical reason for the problem now.
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Postby SisMorphine » March 13th, 2006, 2:41 pm

Oh wow :( I'm so sorry. What horrible news to have gotten :(
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Postby PITS4LIFE » March 13th, 2006, 2:44 pm

Maryellen wrote:oh no!!! poor Zoey.. at least now you know what happened.. have you thought about whether the retinal issue is genetic? will the pups possibly have it too?? now, is it possible her aggression is due to not being able to see and being startled since she does have a problem medically?? has the new dr said anything about medicines or anything to help her? or is her blindness going to come on rather quickly?

i just did a quick search, and it says its genetic..
http://www.lowchensaustralia.com/health/pra.htm

http://www.ovma.org/pets/prd.html

Progressive Retinal Degeneration (PRD)


Progressive retinal degeneration is widespread throughout purebred dogs, with over 85 breeds known to have contracted the disease to date. It has been noted that any bread of dog can be affected by PRD.

The disease affects the retina, which is the innermost layer of the eye. It is located in the back half of the eye, and is composed of specialized nervous tissue that transmits the image viewed by the eye to the brain for interpretation.

The first sign of PRD is a loss of night vision, followed later by the loss of day vision. Because dogs do so well with very limited vision, owners often don't detect the disease until it is quite advanced. In some dogs, (e.g. Irish Setters) the loss of both day and night vision occurs simultaneously. Occasionally, owners will note that dogs have trouble seeing moving objects. The disease may also first be detected when the animal leaves its familiar environment (e.g. on vacation), when bumping into objects or hesitancy may be noted.

As the disease progresses, pupils may remain dilated regardless of changes in light, Often, because the pupils are dilated, owners may notice cataract formation. The disease is not related to cataracts, but cataracts may form secondary to the disease. It is a retinal problem for which there is no treatment.

To diagnose the disease, an ophthalmoscopic examination is done. Early subtle changes are best detected by a veterinary ophthalmologist.

Good breeders routinely screen their breeding stock. However, as PRD can be a late onset disease, many offspring may have already been produced before the disease is detected in the parents. However, NO offspring from affected dogs should be used for breeding purposes. This is thought to be a simple autosomal recessive inheritance, so that carrier dogs cannot be detected.

Any dog with mature cataracts should be screened prior to surgery for a functional retina. This is done by electroretinography (ERG). It is pointless to remove cataracts if the dog is retinally blind. Occasionally, a luxated lens may be removed in a dog that is blind in an attempt to prevent glaucoma.

For more information on PRD or other eye problems, please see your veterinarian.

I have got to take her back to him. Thanks for the info. I need to know what I am dealing with. He has to run more test to find out if it is S.A.R.D.
He said that the puppies will have to be screened also. Zoey's parents do not have it. I have already called their owner. I am hoping that maybe with some hard work that I can turn her around with her aggression. Does anyone have any helpful tips to give me, I AM ALL EARS!!! The vet said that if I could not get her aggression under control that I need to think about putting her down because some dogs do not take well to loosing their sight and can be very dangerous. I just hope I can turn her around, but with little kids in my house I am worried. I do not want to keep her locked up all the time. At least I know that it is not painful.
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Postby Maryellen » March 13th, 2006, 2:45 pm

there are ways to train her to get used to no sight.. maybe someone here can help?? i never had a dog that went blind..
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Postby Maryellen » March 13th, 2006, 3:00 pm

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Postby mnp13 » March 13th, 2006, 3:00 pm

I had a dog that had severe retinal demage due to the airbag in my car opening in her face. She adjusted. Animals usually do.

I got used to only approaching her from the right side so that I wouldn't startle her. My cat Merlin would stalk her from the left side because she couldn't see him. Yes, Merlin is a jerk.

I'm sorry if this sounds harsh, but having your dog put down due to a manageable health condition is not responsible in my opinion. Right now she is scared and her reaction is to keep everyone away because she probably can't see them well enough to know what's going on. She may be able to see fleeting shadows but nothing clear enough to identify.

Plenty of people sucessfully manage to own blind dogs.
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Postby babyreba » March 13th, 2006, 3:58 pm

sorry to hear the news on your poor girl. hope you can work this out.
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Postby PITS4LIFE » March 13th, 2006, 4:00 pm

mnp13 wrote:I had a dog that had severe retinal demage due to the airbag in my car opening in her face. She adjusted. Animals usually do.

I got used to only approaching her from the right side so that I wouldn't startle her. My cat Merlin would stalk her from the left side because she couldn't see him. Yes, Merlin is a jerk.

I'm sorry if this sounds harsh, but having your dog put down due to a manageable health condition is not responsible in my opinion. Right now she is scared and her reaction is to keep everyone away because she probably can't see them well enough to know what's going on. She may be able to see fleeting shadows but nothing clear enough to identify.

Plenty of people sucessfully manage to own blind dogs.

I am going to do everything I can before that is an option. I have got a friend who owns a training facility and she is going to help me with her, for all of us to adjust. Liek the only thing I said I was worried abot is I have alot of 2-3-4 years old nieces and nephews that I keep and she already doesn't do well with small kids.
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Postby Maryellen » March 13th, 2006, 4:11 pm

what doesnt she do well with small kids?? are they just too jumpy for her? or does she growl and snap at them ??

since she is now going to lose her sight, i would keep her out of the kids way when they come over, and also educate the kids that come over that Zoey is going blind, and she is afraid of loud movements since she cant see very well, and to please give her her space and leave her alone..

say something like that so they understand.. check out the links i posted too..

and get her a walking harness, you know like the ones the blind people use for their dogs? this way when you start training her you can start out with a harness or a leash and use both to get her used to a harness..

i would keep her and king separated as well, and wait and see how she does with training.. if she does good and will tolerate king, then start teaching king to be her guide dog.. it can be done..
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Postby Patch O' Pits » March 13th, 2006, 7:30 pm

Poor gal. I hope training helps her through her illness. Keep us posted
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Postby PITS4LIFE » March 14th, 2006, 8:53 am

Maryellen wrote:what doesnt she do well with small kids?? are they just too jumpy for her? or does she growl and snap at them ??

since she is now going to lose her sight, i would keep her out of the kids way when they come over, and also educate the kids that come over that Zoey is going blind, and she is afraid of loud movements since she cant see very well, and to please give her her space and leave her alone..

say something like that so they understand.. check out the links i posted too..

and get her a walking harness, you know like the ones the blind people use for their dogs? this way when you start training her you can start out with a harness or a leash and use both to get her used to a harness..

i would keep her and king separated as well, and wait and see how she does with training.. if she does good and will tolerate king, then start teaching king to be her guide dog.. it can be done..

She was getting to where she did not like their jumpiness and squealing. She has growled and snapped at them before, she started not long ago, a couple of months ago. Like I said on that one post, she went after my nephew, but he was not doing any thing though. I did not know I could train King to be her guide dog. That seems like it will be a challenge. King is so hyper, puppy hyper. But hey if it can be done I am going to try. I have got to do something because the last week has been awful with her attitude, trying to bite me and my nephew and all the growling. IF ANYTHING ELSE HAPPENS I SWEAR I AM GOING TO SCREAM!!! LORD, PLEASE GIVE ME A BREAK SO I CAN AT LEAST MAKE IT THROUGH THIS!!! I am going to go find some books on how to train a blind dog. but thanks everyone this site helps me because I know there are people on her who understand and are willing to help!!! :)
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Postby Maryellen » March 14th, 2006, 9:14 am

i posted a bunch of links for you michele, they are before my other post.. check them out
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Postby luvmyangels » March 14th, 2006, 10:15 am

Sorry to hear about Zoey. Good luck with everything.
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Postby Maryellen » March 14th, 2006, 10:20 am

she shouldnt be growling at you if she hears your voice.. try before you enter her room to call her name in a cheerful happy voice and see if she doesnt growl then..
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Postby PITS4LIFE » March 14th, 2006, 10:43 am

Maryellen wrote:she shouldnt be growling at you if she hears your voice.. try before you enter her room to call her name in a cheerful happy voice and see if she doesnt growl then..

okay, and thanks for the links.
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Postby pLaurent » March 14th, 2006, 1:56 pm

As to the sight problem only, there is no reason a blind dog cannot be perfectly happy.

Dogs depend least on their sight, as scent and hearing are way more important to them. We get so upset at animals losing their vision because we think how WE would feel, but sight is our most important sense.

It's better if they are completely blind, as being able to see only shadows or parts of things can alarm them. Your dog might be better when she has gone totally blind.

I've known blind dogs and even a rescued dog who had both his eyes removed. He is completely happy and has a wonderful life, as long as his owners don't rearrange the furniture all the time.

Blindness alone (the aggression issue is something else) is absolutely no reason to kill a dog.
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