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18 Blind-Risk Dog Breeds 35 Valuable Tips for Blind Dogs Is it cruel to keep a Blind Dog? How can I help my Blind Dog? How do you know if your Dog is Blind? Does a blind dog suffer? Are Blind dogs aggressive? Can blindness be reversed in dogs? How do you test a dog for blindness? What happens when a Dog goes Blind? Myths and Facts About Blind Dogs How to Help a Blind Dog & Puppy How to Walk a Blind Dog? Blindness in Dogs & Puppies: Detection, Symptoms & Causes Blind Dog Home Navigation Methods Dog Blinderness Examination & Tests "Living With a Blind Dog" Books How to Know If a Dog is Blind? How to take Care of Blind Dog Blind Dog Safety & Protection Blind Dogs Synthesia Scenes Blind Dogs: Myths vs Facts Blind Dog Common Misconceptions Seeing Eye for a Blind Dog Is it Cruel to keep a Blind Dog? How can I Help my Blind Dog? What Happens when a Dog goes Blind? How can you tell if a Dog is Blind? Blind Dog vs Blind Human Blind Dog vs Blind Cat Guide for a Blind Dogs Blind Puppy Caring Guide Blind Dog & Puppy Training Verbal Cues for Blind Dog Collar for a Blind Dog Blindness in Senior Dogs Toys for Blind Dogs Adopting a Blind Dog Eye Canser in Dogs DIY Blind Dog Toys Blind Dog Harness Blind Dog Resourses Retinal Detachment Glaukoma in Dogs Muffins Halo Catarsis in Dogs Lens Luxation Blind-Deaf Dogs Blind Dog Collar Blind Puppies Dog Vision Blind Dogs Eyes Dog Eye
I cannot see you Mommy, when you cuddle me so near. And yet I know you love me, it's in the words I hear. I cannot see you Daddy, when you hold me by your side But still I know you love me when you tell me so with pride. I cannot see to run and play out in the sun so bright For here inside my tiny head it's always dark as night. I cannot see the treats you give when I am extra good But I can wag my tail in Thanks just like a good dog should. "She cannot see. The dog's no good" is what some folks might say "She can't be trained, she'll never learn, She must be put away." But not you, Mom and Daddy, You know that it's alright Because I love you just as much as any dog with sight. You took me in, you gave me love and we will never part Because I'm blind with just my eyes, I see you in my heart.
written by Sherrill Wardrip
18 BLIND-RISK DOG BREEDS This article is proudly presented by WWW.DOGSAHOLIC.COM and Wyatt Robinson
Dogs do not rely on their sense of vision to the same extent as do humans. The dog's vision is also not as highly developed as it is in humans. Dogs also cannot focus well on near objects, are partially color blind, and have poor detail vision. Canine vision is superior to human vision for detecting moving objects in dim light. This vision suits their original need as nocturnal hunters. Since the majority of domesticated dogs no longer hunt to survive, blindness does not interfere with their domesticated primary function - being a companion and pet.
Some of the dog breeds that show a predisposition for this condition are Dachshunds, Miniature Schnauzers, Pugs, Brittany Spaniels and Maltese. Studies have shown that more than 60% of the dogs with this condition were female and that 46% of SARDS cases were diagnosed during the holidays in December and January. The cause of SARDS has been unknown and poorly understood, even now.
Dog breeds that are naturally inclined to suffer from blindness:
If the blindness affects only one eye, it is called unilateral blindness. If it affects both eyes, it is bilateral.
Sometimes dogs can become suddenly or gradually blind, and it depends on the severity of the disease. Dogs are individuals and react in different ways to losing their sight. But for all of them, there are some things you should do at the start.
Dogs who are blind from birth are unaware that they are different from other dogs. They interact with the world much like any other puppy, they just go about it differently. Blind dogs rely on their senses of smell and hearing to compensate for the lack of sight, and those senses become more acute over time. Without proper socialization, however, a dog may become fearful and stressed in unfamiliar situations.
Therefore early and frequent socialization with other animals and humans is important and should continue throughout life. It allows the dog to develop self-confidence and dog and his owner to bond more closely. The dog will experience a richer life with exposure to a variety of new people, situations, and experiences.
Most dogs with vision loss and blindness experience a gradual loss of vision over time. Frequently owners rush to the veterinarian with a claim of sudden blindness when examination indicates that the animal has been blind for some time. The dog has managed to compensate so well, it's only when there is a change in their home environment or exposure to a new situation that the problem becomes apparent.
These dogs are far better equipped to deal with the vision loss/blindness than the owners. The owner's sense of grief and loss is understandable, but usually the pet has moved on and is coping just fine. Many people consider euthanizing their blind pets, thinking that their quality of life will be diminished.
Sudden onset blindness can be much harder for both the dog and owner than a gradual loss of vision. Even then, most dogs can adjust, but the adjustment period is likely to be longer and harder. Where a dog whose vision gradually diminishes has the opportunity to work on mapping out his environment and developing coping strategies without the owner's help or knowledge, a dog with sudden onset blindness is plunged into darkness without warning. He is more likely to experience depression, nervousness, and anxiety.
The owner will have to take more precautions, such as adding baby gates or otherwise blocking off stairs and other hazards, removing or padding sharp corners on furniture, and make other accommodations until the dog has adjusted to his condition and mapped his environment.
You may need to limit access to one or two rooms at a time until the dog is comfortable there, before expanding his access to the rest of the house. Once he has mastered those, add another room or two. You may need to walk him around the rooms and "show" him obstacles - placement of furniture and other objects, and the location of his food and water bowls and bed or crate.
How well your dog will cope with blindness will depend on the dog. Young dogs will adapt better than old dogs, but may require more vigilance because their exuberance can lead them to dangerous situations. Indoor pets are likely to adjust more easily than those allowed to run free. A dominant dog in a multi-dog environment may have more difficult adjusting than a single dog, especially if the other dogs challenge his pack position. Or his companions may help him with adjusting. If blindness is caused by a painful condition such as glaucoma or a systemic disease such as diabetes, the dog may have more difficulty adjusting until the underlying condition is treated.
Even dogs who adapt well otherwise may experience some personality changes. Many dogs will develop some degree of separation anxiety, they are more dependent on their owners and will become distressed when the owner leaves. This can be addressed through training and behavioral modification, but it will be more challenging because the underlying condition, blindness, cannot be changed. Perhaps the most important factor in how well a dog copes with his new condition is the owner. Giving your dog the love and support he needs during his adjustment is crucial. If you must give in to your emotions, do it away from the dog. It is important to remain upbeat and positive in his presence.
BLINDNESS IN DOGS: SYMPTOMS & DETECTION This article is proudly presented by WWW.DOGSAHOLIC.COM and Wyatt Robinson
The observation of your dog's eyes may not show that he is blind right away, and if you do not take your dog for the regular checkups, it will take some time before you notice anything unusual. However, there are some signs and symptoms that would suggest that your pet is losing his sight or that he has gone blind completely. You must observe your dog.
If you notice that he bumps into walls, furniture or other objects or that he is not confident about jumping and stepping on stairs, then you should be worried. If you decide to test the dog's sight by shining a bright light into his eyes, you probably will not find anything because the pupil constriction is not an accurate test and the pupils can become smaller from light reflexes.
Test your dog's vision: Observe him in a dark room or place where the furniture has been rearranged. If the dog hesitates and starts bumping into objects, then you should turn on the light and see if he is doing the same. If he does the same, he is probably completely blind, but if he shows more confidence, then that may mean that his sight has been only partially impaired.
However, you should keep in mind that only a vet can give you the qualitative diagnosis and information.
There are some other signs that would show visual impairment:
The confusion in new surroundings
Clumsiness and bumping into things.
Disorientation, confusion or fear, especially in new and unfamiliar places.
Hesitancy to jump due to impaired depth perception.
Difficulty finding common things such as water bowls, toys, bed, etc.
Walking cautiously, with nose to the ground.
Disinterest in playing and going outside.
Appears lethargic and depressed.
Sleeps more than usual.
Reluctance to move from one spot to another
The dog not being able to find food and water bowls
The dog being clumsy and disoriented in general
Eye rubbing or squinting
Cloudy, discolored, inflamed or tearing eyes with a large pupil and the dog being easily startled.
A dog can also show signs of depression, anxiety, weakness, lethargy etc.
Detecting Loss of Vision Some signs that your dog may be experiencing vision loss or blindness include general clumsiness, bumping into walls and furniture, startling easily and apprehensive behavior, inability to find toys or food and water bowls, reluctance to go out at night, excessive sleeping or loss of playfulness, disorientation or confusion, or changes in the appearance of the eyes. If you notice these behaviors in your dog, you should seek immediate veterinary care.
Your veterinarian will likely conduct a thorough physical exam to determine the cause and extent of the dog's vision loss. This may include blood work, neurological exam, cerebral spinal fluid test, MCR or CT scan, and ophthalmologic exam. You may be referred to a veterinary ophthalmology specialist. Treatment of the condition will depend on the cause. And while the vision loss may not be reversible, your dog can still live a fulfilling life after adjusting to his new condition.
The causes of vision loss and blindness in dogs range from normal aging and heredity to disease and injury. Their eye is an organ that has a structure that receives the reflection of an image and then processes it. Most often the onset of blindness in dogs is gradual. In this case the eye structure deteriorates over a period of time. If any of this relay is disrupted, the visual process becomes impaired, and the dog is no longer able to process the image.
Blindness is sometimes a secondary symptom to other canine diseases such as heart, liver, and kidney ailments or systemic diseases such as diabetes. Even though dog blindness can be part of the aging process, there are some conditions that may lead to blindness in dogs, such as:
Many cases of canine blindness can be causes by genetics, however, the statistics show that these vision disorders have been more prevalent in white colored dogs such as Boxers and Great Danes. There is no a prevention protocol that may help your pet beforehand, however, the regular checkups can ensure that you find out about the condition and problem in time, and that can save your dog's vision.
One of the less known causes is the suddenly acquired retinal degeneration syndrome (SARDS). This condition is usually associated with older pets and the medium age is 8.5 years and hardly understood until now.
There is a lack of inflammation which means that this cause is immune-related. The cells of the rods and cones of the retina suddenly die out, which is called apoptosis. According to the recent surveys, more than 60% of the owners discouraged the need for euthanasia for dogs with SARDS, by stating that even though blindness was the factor for the decreased quality of life, they did not make special provisions for their dogs and that the navigation in and around the house was moderate to excellent.
Old dogs gradually become blind and sometimes even the genetics can be the main cause.
Home Testing You can administer one of a few different home vision tests to your dog. One is to stand in front of her and move your right hand, as if ready to give a command, and then switch to your left hand. Switch back and forth a few times to see whether your pup is able to follow the movement. Another good test is to rearrange the furniture and then turn off the lights. Bring your dog into the room and watch to see whether she moves about confidently, or if she hesitates and bumps into things. Next, turn on the lights to see how she behaves. A dog with some sight will move around more confidently in the light, while a severely impaired dog will still move with caution. As an alternative to letting your pooch stumble around in the dark, simply take her someplace new and see how well she navigates.
When you take a picture of your dog, do you see lights in his eyes? Rather than the red eye you get from camera flash, the dog's eyes reflects green. Looking back at old photos, the green lights began two years prior to his going blind. Again, never having a pet with eye issues before, we did not know that was a potential clue.
Next Steps If you suspect your pup is experiencing eyesight problems, consult your vet to determine the extent of vision loss and whether it can be corrected. If it's not reversible, your priority should be your vision-impaired dog's safety and comfort. Use pet gates and barriers to keep her away from stairs, fireplaces, swimming pools and places where she could injure herself. Make her world as easy to navigate as possible by establishing routines, providing familiar surroundings, and leaving her bed and her food and water dishes in the exact spot where she already knows to find them. Consult a trainer to teach her to respond to sounds and verbal commands. With proper training and a solid routine, even a completely blind dog can live out a comfortable and happy life.
A Dog Eye Exame is required on a yearly basis to check eye health and determine if there are disorders affecting the eyes. Injuries, hereditary and illnesses can lead to eye damage. Some conditions can also result in pain, rupture and blindness in the eyes. A basic eye exam must form a part of your dog's routine veterinary examination. Further testing may be required in cases of puppies and dogs that are about to be bred. Eye testing may also be done to detect suspected disorders of the eye.
Dog Eye Examination and Vision Test The type of dog eye examination depends upon the suspected condition or the symptoms being displayed by the dog. In most cases, a visual inspection of the eye and eye structures is done. The vet uses a lighted instrument and magnifying tool to inspect the eye. The eyes may also be dilated by adding drops. Special drops are introduced into the eyes in case of injury or abrasions in the cornea. To check for dry eye, test strips may be used. To prevent pain and discomfort, the vet may administer numbing medication to the dog. There are also certain machines available which test pressure in case of glaucoma. Eye disorders can occur in dogs for various reasons. Some dogs inherit genes that make them vulnerable to eye conditions.
Some common hereditary disorders of the eye include certain types of cataracts, persistent papillary membrane and progressive retinal atrophy. Blood samples are sometimes evaluated to check for genetic disorders. The eyelids are also prone to some disorders which can lead to corneal damage. Therefore an eye exam also involves inspection of the eyelids. Some breeds are more susceptible to certain disorders. It is advisable for owners to be aware of conditions and disorders that may affect different breeds.
Diseases can also lead to eye problems. Lyme disease, distemper, parvovirus and dry eye are examples of such eye problems.
Cataracts may develop in dogs affected by diabetes or those that have undergone radiation therapy. Exposure to certain toxins can also lead to cataracts. An immediate eye exam is required if your dog displays symptoms such as redness in the eyes and eyelids, discharge or tearing. Blinking excessively, sensitivity to bright lights and repeated rubbing of the eyes can also mean that early eye treatment is required. A dog vision test is also necessary to detect blindness in dogs as most dogs can adapt very well to familiar surroundings even if they are blind.
SAFETY IS FIRST ! Remove any sharp objects from your home and ensure that the dog does not have any access to dangerous places
Always carry your dog on stairs, never let him go where he can fall or tumble
The leash is the most important tool since it is as holding your dog's hand. You can keep your dog on the leash even inside, until he gets adjusted
Never approach your blind dog from behind because doing this may frighten him.
Never let your dog off leash outside, he can get in trouble or hurt himself
Carpet Patterns Make a "sniff" or "carpet" road throughout your home so the dog can easily navigate and walk. Carpet sample squares are cheap and while your dog is learning the layout of the house put carpet squares in the doorways going into each room to make it easier to find the door openings. Place a carpet mat at both top and bottom of stairs so the dog knows when it's at the top or bottom of the stairs. Teach stairs by placing a "treat" on every step or two. Stand in front of dog, holding collar or harness, and gently encourage, without pulling, practice until he is able to go up and down smoothly. A carpet "runner"down a hallway can make a great "runway" for playing ball indoors. A ball with a bell inside is great fun for a blind dog and your dog will know that as long as he is on the "runway" it is safe to go full blast!
34 BLIND DOG TIPS
1. Make a Safe Zone Have a comfortable, safe spot for your pet to be. A large soft-padded bed is helpful to keep them comfortable.
2. Dog Proof Your Home Get down on all fours and crawl around your home looking for hazards. Put corner protectors on sharp furniture and baby gates at the tops of stairs until your dog can safely maneuver them.
3. Create Location Cues Carpet runner on well-traveled parts of the home should make a useful sense to your blind dog.
4. Let Others Know Get a shirt, collar, bandana, badge or vest for your dog that reads "I'm blind" to wear on walks. Tell people about your dog's condition so they approach slowly and let the dog sniff them first. Also, get a tag for your dog's collar that says "I'm blind" in case she ever gets lost.
5. Talk to Your Dog You already have conversations with your pooch, but it's especially important now so he can figure out where he is. Make sure you have his attention before touching him so you don't scare or startle him.
6. Remain Consistent Always keep dog's food and water bowls in the same spot. Once your dog has learned where his food is, it will be easier for him to return to it if it doesn't get shuffled around often.
7. Another Dogs Be watchful around other dogs! Make sure your other dogs are okay with their space being invaded. Be mindful of impossibility of blind dog to read the visual body signs of other fellow or not so dogs.
8. Keep a Routine Having a daily routine is extremely helpful!
9. Use Scents You can, and should, still engage in active play with your dog. He can still fetch! Rub a dog treat or put a small drop of essential oil on a dog toy before throwing it to help your pooch find it and choose an open, safe area for him to play in.
10. Walk Him Through The House Leashing the dog and walking him around will help him familiarize and navigate through the house.
11. Leave the TV On Keeping ambient noise like a TV or radio on while you're gone not only orients your dog to different rooms of the house, but also reduces feelings of loneliness.
12. Try a New Water Dish A drinking fountain-style dog bowl that constantly circulates water is practical for a blind dog. The bubbling noise will help your dog more easily find his water dish.
13. Alien Visitors Be sure to inform your visitors that your dog is blind and make sure they know not to pet him until he's had a chance to sniff their hand.
14. Use Bells You can attach small bells to your shoes or other pets to help your dog hear you moving about the house, at least until he is more familiar with listening to the sounds of footsteps and vibrations from movement. Entertain your blind dog with jingle bell toys or toys with bells inside!
15. Keep the Floor Clean Toys, shoes, clothes or other objects on the floor quickly become tripping hazards for a blind dog, so keep the areas he frequents most especially free of clutter. If you've always enjoyed moving your furniture around now would be a good time to pick your "favourite" layout and keep things in the same location for your blind dog.
16. Don't Change The Floor Plan Once you have arranged the furniture in a way so your dog can easily pass through a room, try not to move it around again. Keeping everything in place will help prevent disorientation and injury.
17. Use Fun Toys Toys that give treats, squeak, talk or make noise are especially rewarding to blind dogs.
18. TV is relaxing Leave a TV or radio playing softly near the pet's bed or wherever they spend the most time when you are gone, the sound is soothing.
19. Use Textured Rugs Place rugs or floor mats of different textures near the outside doors and at the top and bottom of the steps. This will help your dog learn these locations.
20. Introduce New Commands Teach your dog important safety words like "step up," "step down," "left," "right," "danger" or "stop" to help him safely navigate the inside and outside world.
21. Bell Collars If you have other pets at home you can get bells at any craft store that can be added to the collar of other pets so your blind dog can easily tell where they are.
22. Baby Gates Use a baby gate screen to block stairs until your dog has mastered them.
Plastic Place Mats Plastic place mats placed under the food and water bowls will help your dog "feel" when they are right up close to the bowls.
23. Door Wind Chime A wind chime near the back door can be helpful to your dog in getting headed back to this door after going outside. Door mats at all outside door entrances are also very helpful.
24. Socialisation Socialisation is so important especially for blind puppies and dogs. Visit parks & other places where your dog can socialise! When your dog is out socialising, let people know that he is blind so they don't reach out to pet unexpectedly.
25. Familiarity Helps Try to have something familiar to the dog: toy, blanket, bed, etc., for comfort when going to a strange new place.
26. Small Dogs Pick Up If you have a small dog, avoid picking him up to "help" them get to food or other areas. They need to learn on their own, and actually become very confused when picked up and set down.
27. Children & Baby If you have young children have them put on a blindfold and crawl around so they can "see" that things are different for their new friend.
28. Owner's Voice Hearing your voice is very soothing, so talk to you blind dog often. Let him know when you are walking out of a room etc. Even just some "silly chatter" is enjoyable to a blind dog. Remember to speak to your dog when you are approaching to touch, especially while sleeping, to prevent startling him/her.
29. Harness is Safety! It's best to walk you dog on a harness. You will have more control if the dog pulls, with less stress to the neck & eyes.
30. Home Base Having a "home base" is helpful as they learn to "map" out the house and garden. Bed, crate, or food bowl makes a good "home base" and if he/she becomes confused can start out again at home base. Your dog will learn to "map" home and garden in its mind when ready, but you can also put dog on a short lead and encourage to walk around room to room, and around garden using treats if needed. If your dog hesitates learning to "map" the house, get down on all 4's with him, as this is fun for pup and you can slap door, floor, and furniture with your key word for warning a obstacle is in it pathway.
31. Your Blind Pooch is not pity! Above all, don't forget to treat your pooch just like you would any other beloved pet, because that's what he is first and foremost!
32. Sudden Noise Alert Your blind dog will be startled by loud and unexpected noises: a car starting, a door slamming, or vacuum or other appliance turned on. To the extent possible, you can minimize this by teaching her an unexpected noise is about to happen. You can use any word or words you want, maybe "wow" prior to the noise occurring.
33. Whistle Whistle can be a handle for attending your dog at a park.
34. Protective Corner Foams Protect the sharp and dangerous table corners with a protective foam corners. These are used for toddlers and should be obtained from a local hardware store.
35. Garden Roses Poke Check the garden look for low growing branches etc., that could poke the dog in the eye & trim them back.
Every blind Dog's owner must make accommodations to help their blind pet navigate throughout the house. Similar to a blind person, a blind dog must use the senses of touch, hearing and smell to become orientated or determine where it is in a room and to navigate or find its way around. A blind dog can find its way around a room by bumping into things, feeling the texture of the flooring and temperature changes from airflow.
Dogs have a more sensitive sense of hearing than humans. Sounds and subtle echoes can help the dog become orientated and navigate itself within a room. Dogs have a very keen sense of smell. A dog in the house can smell the presence of another dog outside, if the wind is in the right direction.
Blind dogs must use their senses of touch, hearing and smell to orient themselves and navigate about a room. Touch includes bumping into things with its nose, feeling the texture of the floor and noting temperature changes from airflow. Rugs may be used to help in navigation. Using sound to navigate includes hearing a fixed sound like from a radio, hearing commands from its master, sensing echoes. Dogs have a keen sense of smell, but they mainly use it to navigate by sniffing close to the ground or floor. Scents may be placed there to assist them.
Using the sense of touch Bumping - When trying to move about a room, the blind dog may bump into the wall or furniture. This can be a shock, since the dog usually bumps into things with its sensitive nose. Once it gets an idea of where things are, the dog can usually get around a room fairly effectively, provided furniture isn't moved. It certainly may take a while to establish a mental map of the whole house, though. Dog owners may use a special hoop around a blind dog's head to facilitate touching and reduce bumping into things with the nose.
Feeling the flooring - If there are items such as throw rugs or runners on the floor, the blind dog can use them to help navigate a room. It is like following the sidewalk outside. It is often suggested that owners of blind dogs place rugs or runners in strategic areas to help their pet know what part of the room it is in and to guide it through a doorway.
Airflow - A cool breeze from an open window or door can give a cue as to where it is. Also, it there is a source of heat, such as an air vent, it can be use to help orientation and navigation. In the summer, a fan can be located in one area to provide an orientation cue.
Using hearing Sounds - When hunting a small animal such as a mouse in tall grass, a dog can focus in on the faint sounds of the animal. But surprisingly, they don't seem to be able to determine the direction from which a sound comes as well as humans can.
Radio or TV - But still, a radio or TV that is in a set location in the house or a room will help a blind dog become orientated. It is also a good cue to guide navigation.
Speaking - Speaking to your dog and giving commands will greatly help navigation. Giving commands like stop or stay, step up and step down will will help the dog avoid bumping into things and to navigate steps.
Noise makers - Some owners of blind dogs wear small bells when they walk their pet, so the dog will know where the master is. Tapping on a step or on a food bowl will also help the blind dog find it.
Using smell Sniff odors on floor - Blind dogs use their sense of smell to a great extent to get around the house and to know where they are. Dogs can smell faint odors in the rug and on furniture to help in navigation. Of course, a dog usually has its nose close to the ground. Marking areas higher up, like on the wall or on doorjambs may not work as effectively as creating a path of smell along the floor. Some people use extracts, such as Vanilla, to mark areas.
Scented areas - A blind dog may be able to distinguish areas, especially if there are scented items in a room. Certainly the kitchen will have smells of food around the stove and table. But note that scents and odors spread quickly through the air and the location of the source may not be distinguishable.
Food - The dog may be able to smell the presence of its food at a distance, but since the odor quickly spreads throughout the area, the dog may not be able to zero in on the food. You actually have to put the food a few inches from the dog's nose for it to tell where the food is.
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Synesthesia technically it is a neurologically-based condition in which detections-stimulation of a sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway. Humans who have such experiences are known as "synesthetes". Some are well paid "pilots" using HUD devices (Head Up Displays)! Others who use them probably are blind, deaf and blind-deaf dogs. It's estimated that it could possibly be as prevalent as 1 in 23 persons over its variants. Synesthesia is sometimes reported by humans as a result of blindness or deafness.
Sensory linkings such as "sound -> vision" or "touch -> hearing". Psychological research demonstrated that the experiences can have behavior consequences, while functional neuroimaging studies identified differences in patterns of brain activation. Psychologists and neuro-scientists study it for its inherent interest, and for the insights it may give into thinking and perceptual processes that occur in all. Most report their experiences are neutral, or even pleasant. Rather, like color blindness or perfect pitch, synesthesia is a difference in perceptual experience and the term just points at the brain basis of the difference. For example, sound-color synesthetes, as a group, tend to see lighter colors for higher sounds. Individuals report differing triggers for their sensations, and differing intensities of experiences. There were common elements. Neurologist Richard Cytowic identifies the following diagnostic criteria:
Synesthesia is involuntary and automatic.
Perceptions often have a sense of "location.", "looking at" or "going to" a particular place to attend to the experience.
Consistent and Generic
Laden with affect.
Synesthetes often reported that they were unaware their experiences were unusual, unless new or until they realized other people did not have them. Most report that their experiences are pleasant or neutral, although, in rare cases, they report that their experiences can lead to a some sensory overload confusion. Most report it as a gift - an additional "hidden" sense, something they would not want to miss. Most become aware in their childhood. Some apply this in daily life. Synesthesia can occur between nearly any two senses Sound->sight or perceptual modes. Sound -> color synesthesia -> voice, music, and environment sounds such as clattering dishes or dog barks - Thunder storms? trigger color and simple shapes that arise, move around, and then fade when the sound ends. Sound often changes the perceived hue, brightness, scintillation, and directional movement. People rarely agree on what color a given sound is. Groups say that loud tones are brighter than soft tones and that lower tones are darker than higher tones, i.e. can form textures in the reflections from complex material and surfaces.
BLIND PUPPY CARING GUIDE This article is proudly presented by WWW.WIKIHOW.COM
Prepare your environment. Dogs that are blind from birth are very adaptable and do not need a completely unmoving environment, since they develop excellent mental maps and adjust, but they do need to be away from stairs and sharp objects that they may bump into.
House train them normally. Most sighted puppies rely on feel and smell as much as a blind dog. Puppies don't have great eyesight.
Get your treats ready! :) Chicken thighs are very inexpensive and a great luxury for dogs. Gourmet preparation is not required - just bake them until they are not pink, then cut them into tiny pieces. Training pieces are not meals.
Condition them for words. Sighted dogs can see how happy or upset you are, but blind dogs need to learn it by touch or treat. Condition "Good!" (Good boy, good girl, good puppy, good Fido) with either a soft pet or a small treat. The best treat is a tiny piece of chicken for a small dog. Blind dogs can be trained for some actions far easier than sighted dogs, because they are not distracted. Easy words and easy training are even easier for a blind dog! Condition something negative with a sharp sound. It can be a hiss, pst, "uh-uh," or something very short. The sound alone should be enough to deter bad behavior, but steering them away from the behavior at the same time will help.
Use liberal touching and affection. Sighted dogs look at your face for affection. Blind dogs can't. Touching, petting, and rubbing are their only signs that you are affectionate towards them.
Tell them what you are doing. You may not think they can understand, but they will develop an understanding of what you are doing by what you tell them. If you walk away, tell them in a simple word about what you are doing. "Laundry," "Dishes," "Jammies," "Potty," and many more daily activities are all things they can come to understand. You can even use made-up words for activities. "Hodeeho!" could mean you are going to the car and will be right back. Feel free to make up as many words as you want. Your sighted dogs will understand these too.
Walk your dog. Blind dogs (who have never had sight) are even better on a leash than sighted dogs. They don't have the distractions that sighted dogs have. They will learn, much as a horse does, that a slight tension on the leash means to turn. Keep them on a close leash so you can steer them from things they may bump into, but let them run if it's clear and they want to. Be lenient on your walks. Blind dogs don't heel well, since they can't see where your heel is. Because blind dogs are denied the visual stimulation of walks, let them have plenty of time to stop and smell. Do this either on the way out or on the way back, since they should have some good exercise time too.
Train the dog to sit, stay, shake, leave it, and any other command you think is desired. They may require more touch and chicken treats than a sighted dog to get it the first time, but will reward you with far less disobedience once they understand.
Remember that dogs do not think existentially. They have no idea, if blind from birth, that sight exists. They can be fearless and blissfully happy.
Step train the dog. This can take time for a blind dog, so be patient. Sitting by a step with the dog can help. Say, "Step!" and then put the front paws on the step. They are naturally and rightfully afraid of stairs and steps. Never try to stair-train a blind dog. Disorientation can cause them to tumble and fall. Blind dogs should always be carried on stairs.
Caring for a blind dog does not have to be a burden to owners, as some may think. However, the most important thing to remember is that you should treat your dog normally and not pity him. You must ensure his safety by removing sharp object and then house train him by getting him used to verbal commands instead of the hand signals. Blind dogs can get depressed if they are ignored or if you do not show them affection (since they cannot see your expression), and that is why you should talk to them often, pet them and show them that they are not alone.
It has been proven that a dog owner's normal voice can be used as an effective therapy and training mechanism for blind dogs. Before touching the dog, it is highly advisable to use your normal voice so that the pet will know that you are approaching or planning to touch him or her. Also, you can also combine your voice and some heavy walking which will be more effective in alerting your dog through the vibrations made.
Even if your dog is blind, nothing can dampen their adventurous, fun-loving spirit! Dogs cope well with the loss of their sight, and all it takes is certain changes to the way they are looked after to get them back on their paws. In fact, if allowances are made for the loss of their eyesight, your dog's life should be every inch as good as it was before. Dogs adapt quickly to visual impairment and since they are using their other senses such as hearing and smell the most, they start to rely on them even more after becoming blind.
Give him a halo !!! A new product, called the Halo Vest, places a bumper between the dog and any obstacles. It is billed as the white cane for the blind dog.
One of the first things that you need to do is prepare the environment. Remove any sharp objects and make sure to keep your pet away from the stairs or places that he may fall from. Avoid moving the furniture because the dog would have to adapt each time to the new setting. You should also avoid leaving boxes and toys in walking paths. You can try marking the bottom of the stairs with a perfume and using rags of different texture in different rooms, so the dog can get used to his sense of touch and differentiate the rooms.
You can create the "sniff" path by using various air fresheners, and your dog will get used to them quickly. After that you should place the barriers around the hot tubs, pools or any other dangerous places so you can forbid your dog from stepping into them. Additionally, you should keep your dog's water and food bowls in the same place. You can also cover the sharp corners and objects with the soft insulation, just like when people do with young children and babies.
After that, you should adapt your dog to the new kind of house training, that means that you will have to engage other dog's senses more and reinforce commands by replacing the hand signals with the verbal signals and commands. It is similar to puppies since they have bad eyesight and they tend to rely on feel, smell and sounds. The next step is to condition your dog with words, since the dog cannot see your expressions or movements, you must teach your dogs to behave by touch or treats.
You can teach your dog by praising him with your voice and saying "Good!" and giving him a pet or treat. The dog will remember that he has done a good thing and that he will be praised just as same the next time. If he does something that he should not, in that case raise your voice and say "Bad dog!", "No!", or "Stop!". Some people believe that blind dogs are not distracted as sighted dogs due to their impairment, so they will focus more on your voice and touch.
You should also remember that you should never stair-train your blind dog because a blind dog should always be carried on stairs. A blind dog would be naturally afraid of heights and stairs and he can fall and tumble if he is forced to teach to go there by himself.
Do not forget to use your voice even more and to talk often to your pet. You should do it in a normal or cheerful way. Your dog will feel less lonely and afraid of the dark. You should always let the dog know before you approach him by calling out his name. When you bring new people to the house or you meet them outside, you should always let your dog smell their hand or legs before they touch him. Some owners even attach tiny bells to them and other family members so the dog can be alerted when someone is approaching.
You should place a unique scent on the toys or attach some noise makers to them, so the dog can find them. The squeaky toys can be a great choice too. There are also specific toys for blind dogs that can be bought at pet shops and that you can use to play hide and seek with them. Maintaining a normal routine is very important and that includes that only emotional support, but the physical too – take your dog on regular walks and let him take his time by smelling his surrounding and getting used to them.
Blind dogs need more time adjusting and smelling around them than sighted dogs. However, you should never let your dog off leash because he can seriously hurt himself. That also means that you should never ever let him out of your sight when you are surrounded by new environments.
When it comes to indoor tips, the drinking water fountains are great, since the bubbling sounds they make can help your dog come to them more quickly. You can also keep your dog engaged and active inside by creating a crate to lounge where he can feel comfortable. If you have other animals and pets in your home, make sure to put bells on their collars or legs, so your dog can be warned beforehand and not get startled.
When it comes to outdoor tips
, older dogs that are usually blind cannot exercise and walk as much as younger animals. You know your dog's needs the most, so you should decide how much exercise is needed and where is the safest place for it. Your dog can get easily startled and frightened by unfamiliar sounds and especially animals, so you should not take him to the parks or places where he can get easily surrounded by strays.
If you decide to travel with your dog or simply take him for grooming, make sure to bring
You should use treats and a short lead and take your dog on a tour. By using scents and rugs of different textures, your dog should pick up the clues and start adjusting. People tend to carry small dogs, but they will get very afraid and confused when the owner is not close, so they should be taught being on their own too. Do not forget that a dog always depends on his owner, and when the dog is blind, he needs to rely on his owner even more. A blind dog can live cheerfully if he is properly cared of and you can enjoy your dear furry friend's presence many years to come.
What about eyeglasses? Although animals may have vision problems, pet eyes are not the same as human eyes. For example, dogs tend to be nearsighted. While humans can correct nearsightedness with prescription eyeglasses or contacts, dogs would never keep glasses on their face. Instead, dogs and cats with vision impairment learn to adapt to their surroundings. If you notice that your dog's vision is failing, discuss possible treatments with your vet. Sometimes vision loss is part of the aging process or can be caused by stroke, diabetes and other conditions. There are many ways you can help your pet with failing vision or blindness by providing them with a safe environment.
Helping your dog see better longer As pet parents, we want to do everything we can to give our dogs the best lives possible. Unlike children who can grow to be self sufficient and can understand why things go wrong sometimes, domesticated dogs aren't that lucky. And when age or heredity catches up to them, as it did in the case of our dog Winnie, then it is up to us to do the very best we can to try and remedy what we can.
Keep Your Dog's Spirits High Dogs occasionally fall into depression due to vision loss. If your dog seems unhappy and is behaving in an antisocial manner, assist him by being as upbeat and cheerful as possible. Take him on regular outdoor walks. Engage him in routine play sessions. Get him stimulating and interactive toys. Doggy toys that are equipped with scents and squeaky sounds can often be beneficial for blind dogs.
When a dog loses her eyesight there is a risk that she can become withdrawn. Using toys is a great way to keep your dog entertained and engaged with her surroundings. Just because your dog can't see doesn't mean that she can not have fun with you: There are plenty of games and toys that are perfect for interacting with your blind dog.
Keep your blind dog physically and mentally challenged to avoid him sinking into depression. Walk him often and allow him plenty of sniffing exploration breaks. At first, he may be reluctant to explore new places. If so, keep your walks to familiar routes. Give him time to adjust, and extend your walk by just a little each day. Soon exploring new places and smells will be a favorite activity. Remember that blind dogs enjoy having fun, just like any dog. Because a blind dog relies so heavily on smell and hearing, it will be helpful to select toys that activate those senses.
Most dogs tend only to live in the moment but also be in tune with the dog owner's emotional state. Hence, the blindness may not be a very big issue to them. When the dog owner is either sad or depressed, the dog will still be able to sense it and will try to do what it can to keep the owner happy. Just like any dog, blind dogs love to play with toys and play with you. As stated before, their sense of hearing and smell will grow more acute over time. Consider these when selecting toys. Kongs filled with smelly treats are a wonderful way to keep your dog entertained. You can play fetch with a tennis ball scented with lemon oil or vanilla extract or a ball that makes noise when it bounces, but you may need to limit the distance you are throwing it. Be sure to have a clear space with no obstacles. Tennis balls inside a kiddie pool, with or without water, can be fun for your dog to chase, and they won't be able to get away from him. Look for toys that make sounds.
Try "Hide and Seek" game with your dog. Hiding at close perimeters and slowly expanding is not only a fun game, but also teaches your dog to come. You can also hide small treats and let your dog use his sense of smell to find them. Several treat-dispensing toys are on the market, which are perfect for blind dogs.
The Buster Cube can be stuffed with treats, and when your dog interacts with the toy, treats fall out for him to enjoy.
Similarly, Kong toys are also great for scent games. Fill the inside with peanut butter or any treat your dog loves and he will be occupied for hours.
Scented toys are great for engaging blind dogs in playtime. Jolly Critters Dog Toys are vanilla scented, making them easy to locate in "find it!" games with your dog. Just be sure and select non-toxic scented toys.
KONG SQUEEZE TOYS When it comes to toys, any dog owner with an insurmountable amount of experience can attest to the fact that Kong's are some of the best toys currently on the market for dogs that can see and those that are not able to see. What makes, Kong's stand out from the rest is that they have been designed in a way that the dog owner can be able to stuff in, treats. The treats will not only act as a motivator for the dog but will also offer various aromas which the visually impaired dog can be able to seek and find the toy.
BABBLE BALLS Just like Kong Branded Squeaky toys, Babble Balls are also another great type of interactive toys for the visually impaired dogs. When touched or squeezed, bubble balls tend to talk or make exciting animal noises that can be fun and insightful for the pet. Over the last few years, the technology used on bubble toys has drastically improved in a manner that a dog breathing or vibrations due to the dog's movement can be able to trigger the toy to produce interactive animal noises.
Once the play ends, the babble ball can switch off automatically and will still be ready to produce noise when touched again. Due to the sophistication and the amount of technology used in the toy, most dogs often tend to think that the toy is alive. Currently, babble balls are available in some series such as the animal series or the talking series which is also called the wise-cracking series. The new generation Babble Balls have been amalgamated with a series of features that undeniably makes them stand out from the rest. All Babble Balls come with a durable ABS construction, improved sound quality, triple sounds, and finally replaceable batteries.
ROPE TOYS Rope toys are suitable for playing fetch and tug of war with your visually impaired pet. Apart from being uniquely woven and hand tied with the aim of improving the dental formula of your pet. Each toy design from the leading companies comes with its story and are suitable for chewing and also playing tag for lots of hours. Currently, there are several rope toys designed that are available on Amazon, they include: Daisy the duck from Jax and Bones, The Zanies Menagerie Dog Toy, Coco the Elephant from Jax and Bones, Griggles 10 inch rope Elton and Daphne the Deer from Jax and Bones. As one of the trailblazing toy designs, the Good Karma Rope Toys have been nominated by several magazines as one of the best toys for cats and dogs.
Shaping Games Playing shaping games with your dog will help them build confidence and offer new behaviours.
BELL TOYS Apart from squeaky toys, there are also various toys that have been designed with bells on the inside. The bell toys are ideal for the visually impaired dogs because they tend to produce bell sounds when moved or thrown so as to assist the dog in locating the toy. However, Bell Toys must be given to dogs under strict supervision because the bell in this toys can be easily swallowed if he or she manages to dislodge it from the bell toy. Currently, there are several brands that deal exclusively with bell toys. They include Four Paws, which is the brand that has produced the Four Paw Rough and Rugged Bell Toy, the Four Paws Rough and Rugged Baseball bell toy, the Rubber Ring Bell toy, and many others.
SCENTED TOYS As discussed earlier, use of scents is also an effective way that will assist your visually impaired dog to locate its toy without straining too much. Currently, there are numerous scented toys on the market like the durable rubber toys from Planet Toys which have been mint scented. Other great examples also includes the Orbee Tough which is ideal for the visually impaired dogs and those that are not. The Orbee Tough scent toy has been designed in a way that there is a location where the dog owner can be able to place treats, cheese, and peanut butter. Apart from the Orbee Tough scent toys, the eco-friendly Vanilla Scented toys from BecoThings are also a great choice for blind dogs. If you have already purchased other type of toys, you can also be able to scent them in different ways so that your dog can be able to find them. For the soft toys such as rope toys or plush toys, you can add a small quantity of scented extract like vanilla or mint to the toy. You can also alternatively decide to add different kind of scents to each of the toys so that the pet can be able to differentiate one from the other.
For the squeaky and hard toys, you can choose to place them in an air-tight bag that is filled with strong-smelling food such as dried liver or a pig's ear. After several days, the hard and squeaky toys will have completely absorbed the smell from these pieces of food.
HOMEMADE DIY TOYS FOR BLIND DOGS DIY toys are suitable for individuals who are looking to cut extra costs by making use of what can be found around the house to design and create dog toys. Apart from being cheaper, DIY is also an amazing way to recycle old materials instead of throwing them away. All in all, there are several toy designs for blind dogs that you can be able to design just by sitting down for a few minutes. Also, with DIY you can always decide to get a little bit creative without exhausting your resources or straining your budget. All in all, here are some DIY Toy designs that you should know.
Jiggle balls Apart from purchasing toys for your visually impaired dog, you can alternatively decide to create your homemade toys that will in turn allow you to save a little bit of money. One such toy is the Jiggle Ball which is usually designed in a manner that it can produce noise. When designing the jiggle ball, you will be required to poke a small hall into an old tennis ball. Through the hall, you will insert a small and simple metal ball.
So as to keep the dog interested, you can also insert a few treats through the hole. For the visually impaired dogs and puppies, the scent emitted by the treat inside the ball will allow them to find the toy effectively without straining too much. Finally, you will be expected to reseal the openings with some stitches so that the jiggle ball will not come out very easily.
Sock Ball Toy Sock Ball Toys are also very easy to design and are suitable for all kinds of dogs. When designing a sock ball toy, you will be required to take an old sock then stuff it, with a tennis ball. But before, stuffing the ball inside the socks, you should ensure the socks is clean because your pet is going to have the toy in his or her mouth most of the time. Also, the scent of socks might confuse the dog, and he or she may start to chew other socks or shoes that may be in the house. After inserting the ball into the socks, you can then decide to get creative with the design since you will be designing this socks for a visually impaired dog. You can decide to insert treats into the socks, or you can also insert a jiggle ball inside the sock ball.
WATCH DOG VIDEO !!! TRAINING IS VITAL ! Training is also vitally important for blind dogs. Instead of just "heel," "sit," and "stay," you need to add commands such as "step up," "step down," "slow down," and "stop." Self-preservation helps the dogs pick up on those new commands, but you have to work at it, too.
Blind dogs can be trained, too, it just takes a little adjustment in your approach. Training a blind dog does not take any special skill or magic. Blind dogs are still dogs, and they are more than capable of learning.
Choose A Training Method So where do you start? Clicker training is a great method to use with a blind dog. The "click" makes a very short and concise noise that is easily distinguishable from anything else. Use the click to mark the exact moment that your dog does the right thing. Then follow this with a reward; most commonly a small, soft piece of food is given. The two easiest ways to teach a dog using a clicker are:
1. Luring: This is when you take a small, soft piece of food and use it to lure your dog into position. For instance, if you want to teach your dog to sit, take the treat and put it front of your dog's nose and then slowly move it up and over his head. As his head goes up to track the food, his rear end naturally hits the floor. When this happens, you want to "click," marking the exact moment your dog sits. You then immediately follow the click with the reward.
2. Capture: This is when you click and treat a dog for doing something on his own that you like. If you want to teach your dog to lie down, then click and treat the very moment he lays down on his own. If he continues to lie down, then click and treat a few more times while he remains down. With consistency, he will soon realize that lying down causes good things to happen. Soon, when you are around, he will begin to offer this behavior, hoping to get a click and a treat! With just a few adjustments you will find that training a blind dog is not really any different than working with any other dog. With patience and consistency, your dog will be learning all the things that you are willing to teach him.
BASIC TRAINING METHODS FOR YOUR BLIND DOG Obviously your dog that is suffering from blindness is going to be a poor candidate to train using hand signals. So you will want to teach your dog several verbal cues – you can do this at home, however, if you are at all concerned or confused, you should enroll in a class or have private sessions with a trainer that has experience training blind dogs. You want to get this right as quickly as possible to reduce confusion for your dog. When using verbal cues, don't start adding them too soon when you are teaching a behaviour. Make sure the dog has performed it, usually using a food lure, at least 3 times before. Next, don't talk too much: talk to your dog, but don't narrate the whole world to the dog, or repeat a cue over and over again.
Keep your verbal cues simple. Use single word cues such as sit, down, lay, etc. Keep your cues consistent. Dogs who can see our faces or body language rely heavily on what they see when learning verbal cues. Sometimes they never truly learn the word but are responding to our body language. Blind dogs do not have that advantage, so we need to help them out by keeping our cues simple and precisely the same each and every time and finally, Consider using a unique sound. Instead of using words or hand signals, you can also use novel sounds for each exercise you teach your dog. A shepherd's whistle, a whistle that you can make different tones and sounds with, would be great for using with a blind dog.
BLIND DOG CLICKER TRAINING Training your dog using a clicker or any other audible marker sound - tongue click, whistle etc, can help them distinguish when they have done the correct thing. The clicker in dog training is used as a precise marker - saying yes, that is exactly what I wanted you to do and is the bridge between capturing the correct behaviour and the reward. For example - teaching the dog to sit using a lure.
With the dog in a standing position, take a reward, and place it in front of their nose. Gradually raise the treat up and take it from their nose over the back of the head - most dogs will sit in order to follow the treat. The second their butt hits the ground, the trainer clicks, and then follows up with the reward. The click to the dog, will indicate "Yes that's exactly what they wanted me to do - great now I'm going to get a reward".
This training utilizes clicking sounds to inform dogs that what they've just done is good. All you have to do is carry a compact plastic box. As soon as you see your dog eliminating in the grass during an outdoor walk, for example, press the metal tongue on the box. Voila, your dog will hear a clicking sound. Right after you click the box, reward your pet with a tasty treat. He will eventually develop a positive association with the click. Once your dog is responding to the clicker, you are ready to start!
VERBAL CUES FOR BLIND DOG
1. Name Game: - This is a great way to teach a blind dog to orient to you. Start with 10 small, soft treats. Say your dog's name and give him a treat. Repeat 10 times. Do this a couple of times a day over a period of two or three days. You want to see your dog get visibly excited when he hears his name. Next, when your dog is not paying attention to you, say his name. As soon as his head turns around and he is facing your direction, click immediately and follow with a treat. Soon he will respond and come to you every time he hears his name.
2. Come: - I teach this the same exact way as I teach a dog to respond to his name in the Name Game above. Not only can you teach this using the word come, you can also teach it using a whistle sound as your cue. This way you also have an emergency recall as well.
3. Sit: - Using luring, follow the same steps as described above.
4. Down: - Have your dog sit. Then take a small, soft treat and put it in front of your dog's nose. Slowly move your hand with the treat straight down between your dog's front feet. Letting your dog smell or even lick at the treat, hold it there until he crouches into a down. Click and treat. You can also capture the down as described above.
TRAIN BLIND DOG BY SCENT You can teach your dog to follow a track or trail on the ground, to air scent and to identify scented objects. All three can be taught simultaneously because they employ similar scenting skills. To teach scenting a track, you need some treats and a grassy area, such as a baseball field or park. Although hot dogs are not the most nutritious food, I find they work best, and you won't over stuff your dog's belly. Begin early; many people start by 6 a.m. before anyone has walked on the grass.
Have your dog sit or lay down and stay. Take a couple of inch-long pieces of hot dog and use your shoe to mash them into the grass. Make sure to crush the grass under the hot dogs, which will release a grass scent. Then, with the hot dog residue on the bottom of your shoe, walk a straight line away from your dog. Every six or ten feet, drop a piece of hot dog. Stop after about 20 feet and drop one of your gloves or one of your dog's toys; your dog needs to find something at the end of the track. Drop another piece of hot dog on top of the item.
Go back to your dog and release him from his stay, encouraging him to smell the ground where the hot dogs were. Tell your dog "Find it!" and let him sniff. If he begins to follow the track, praise him quietly by saying, "Good dog!" and let him lead the way. Don't be too enthusiastic or you may distract the dog from his sniffing. Also, don't try to lead him; let your dog figure it out. At this point, your dog is following several scents: the trail of hot dogs, which helps motivate him, the crushed grass where you mashed the hot dogs and the crushed grass where you later stepped. Your dog is also following your individual scent, which he knows well because he smells your scent every day. But now your dog is learning to combine the scents, to follow them and to find the item at the end of the track.
When your dog successfully completes this trick, make another one by taking 10 steps to the side. If your dog is excited and having fun, you can do three or four short tracks per training session. As your dog improves over several sessions, make the track longer, add curves and corners, and drop several items along the way, but put the hot dog only on the one you want him to find. When making tracks longer or adding curves, use small pegs, stakes or flags to mark the track so you can tell if your dog is off track.
Air scenting requires your dog to find someone by sniffing the scents wafting through the air instead of following a track. Most search-and-rescue dogs have both skills. they can follow a track, but if people walking over the track spoil it, they can also use their air-scenting skills. You will need another person to help find a spot with room to run and places for a person to hide, such as a field with trees. Hold your dog while the other person shows him a treat or toy. The person should playfully tease the dog to get him excited and then run away from the dog for a short distance. The person should then hide behind bushes or tall grass. Wait a few seconds, letting your dog watch and think, and then let him go as you tell your dog, "Find him!'' When your dog finds the person, he or she should give your dog the treat or toy and praise him enthusiastically.
When your dog begins to understand the game, you can make him more difficult. Have the other person run into the wind once and then with the wind so your dog has to use his nose and think through the problem. The person can run a zigzag pattern away from the dog or change hiding places once out of the dog's sight. Increase the difficulty of the challenges gradually so your dog doesn't get discouraged. When your dog becomes good at finding the other person, turn him away or cover his eyes so he can't watch the person run away. Then your dog really has to use his nose. Identifying scented objects can be taught much like tracking. Use a piece of hot dog to scent a particular object, such as a glove. Place the object on the floor or ground and send your dog to it. Praise your dog when he sniffs the object. Easy game, huh?
When your dog consistently goes to the object, scent it with a piece of hot dog and place it on the floor with several other different objects. But use tongs when placing the other objects so your scent is not on them. Send your dog, telling him "Find mine!" Don't say anything if he sniffs the wrong objects, but praise him when he finds the right one. Make training fun for your dog. Remember, you are trying to control a skill your dog has naturally. Use lots of praise, be enthusiastic and vary the training. If your dog has a good time, he will try harder and concentrate more.
Blindness can occur in dogs, and it can seem scary, especially when it happens suddenly. Here is some information to help you navigate the situation and keep your dog comfortable and happy.
What Causes Blindness in Dogs? Some causes of blindness are the result of issues within the eye, while others can be systemic or affect other parts of the body as well as the eyes. Why senior dogs are particularly vulnerable to eye problems? Some disorders are a result of aging and wear and tear.
Cataracts, retinal degeneration, for example, are often age-related degenerative conditions. Older animals have had more opportunity to sustain injury to the eyes, which can lead to long-term complications like glaucoma. Some eye diseases are a result of systemic conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cancers - all of which are more common in the elderly. Here are some common causes of blindness in dogs:
Infections or Inflammation (viral, bacterial, fungal)
Cataracts (can be caused by diabetes mellitus, toxins, genetics, or other diseases)
Retinal detachment (can be caused by high blood pressure, kidney failure, or other diseases)
1. Calcific corneal degeneration: Some older dogs will start to mineralize the surface of the cornea in one or both eyes. These deposits are gritty and uncomfortable in the beginning, then portions of calcified cornea can slough leading to deep ulcers. These are very slow to heal, in some cases they do not heal at all. The areas of sloughing are thinner than normal, and in extreme cases the thin spot can rupture, leading to loss of fluid from inside the eye.
Calcific corneal degeneration can be seen with certain diseases - Cushing's disease and kidney failure, but can happen as a consequence of aging alone. It typically develops in dogs 14 or older. It looks like white spots on the surface of the cornea, and often it is not noticed until an ulcer develops and persists beyond normal healing time, at which point the patient makes their way to an ophthalmologist. If caught early this can often be treated and maintained with drops to remove minerals from the corneal tissues.
2. High blood pressure: In addition to causing cognitive changes, high blood pressure can also cause ocular problems, particularly in dogs 10 or older. Dogs suffering from high blood pressure may develop one or more observable signs, including:
Acute onset of blindness
Ocular hemorrhage (bleeding inside of the eyeball, or globe)
Abnormal eye movements (nystagmus)
How You Can Maintain Eye Health for your dog? Basically be aware that eye problems can worsen very rapidly in pets, so if a change is noted seek attention quickly. Signs of a problem include increasing cloudiness, squinting, discharge - a new onset of tearing, mucous or especially yellow or green, infected-looking discharge, bulging or sinking in of the eye in the orbit, or a decrease in vision. You want to feed a balanced diet and keep the hair around the eyes trimmed short enough to be able to keep it from irritating the eyes, as well as letting you see the eyes clearly enough to notice a problem early.
Groomers often are the first to notice an eye problem in longer-haired breeds. Some age-related conditions: senile retinal degeneration and age-related cataract development in particular can result from oxidative stress, a fancy name for the wear and tear of everyday life, such as sunlight, UV exposure and time.
Antioxidant supplementation can help prevent this type of damage if your dog's diet does not contain enough to do the job. Check with your vet about specific supplements and dosages. These will not help with conditions that are a result of other types of damage, such as diabetic cataracts, inherited retinal diseases or glaucoma.
7 Ways to Keep the Light in Your Blind Dog's Life by WWW.AKC.ORG
Blindness is devastating for humans who prize their independence. Dogs, however, are lucky in that they are used to depending on others, us, for help. Even better, there are a lot of things you can do for your blind dog to make life easier all around:
1. Do Not Move the Furniture If you were thinking of redecorating, now is not a good time to do it. Keep the furniture, as well as food and water bowls, where they always have been.
2. Draw a Scent Map Dogs rely more on their noses than their eyes to experience the world, so use that sense to aid navigation. Tracerz, for example, produces markers made of essential oils and wax specifically for this purpose.
3. Put Bells On The Blind Dog Rescue Alliance recommends that you wear bells so your dog will have a clue, other than scent, of where you are. Bells work well with other animals in the house, as well.
4. Give him a Halo A new product, called the Halo Vest, places a bumper between the dog and any obstacles. It is billed as the white cane for the blind dog.
5. Learn from Others Many people and dogs have gone through what you are experiencing. Do not go it alone. You can find help and advice through are support groups, such as blinddogs.com, as well as online resources and books, such as Living with Blind Dogs by Caroline D. Levin, R.N.
6. Stay Put Dogs who once loved being out and about may become happier homebodies. If you must take your blind dog to a strange place, be extra vigilant and keep things as familiar as possible, by bringing along her bed, toys, and other reminders of home.
7. Remember what is important! Vision is a key sense for humans, but it is not the main event for dogs. Scent and hearing play bigger roles in how they experience the world, and that is just considering the physical senses. Dogs are masters of empathy, so do your best to keep your spirits up, not matter how you feel about your dog's blindness. Remember, they never have to look at your face to know what you are feeling.
As author Antoine de Saint-Exupery so eloquently put it in The Little Prince: "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye." How perfect is it that the author chose to have those words delivered by a fox?
Sudden Blindness in Dogs Blindness in dogs can progress slowly or have a sudden onset. However, in some cases, blindness that may have occurred over time can appear to be sudden to us upon diagnosis. Blindness is usually not detected until both eyes are affected because dogs are typically able to adapt to only using the healthy eye. Since a dog is so used to their home surroundings, pet parents may not notice that their dog's vision is deteriorating. It is not until the dog is navigating a new environment that pet parents see signs of blindness, such as:
Walking along the wall
Leaning against their owner
Bumping into things
Blindness can also be temporary or permanent. It is important to talk to your veterinarian to get more information about your dog's specific reason for blindness.
9 Ways To Help Senior Dogs Who Are Going Blind
If your dog is quite familiar with your home and their general surroundings, then the symptoms of their vision loss may be hard to spot. If you notice that your senior dog is bumping into things more, having trouble finding things, hesitating when getting onto or off of furniture, suffering from worsening anxiety, or showing signs of aggression or fear when being approached, then they may be experiencing vision loss. The good news is that there are many ways you can still give your senior a great quality of life even if they are going blind.
1. Don't Panic! Some dog parents grow very upset when their senior dog starts to go blind. They think that life will be too hard for their old dog if they lose their vision and consider putting them down. If you are having those thoughts, do not panic. Your senior can get along just fine without their vision. Dogs map the world mostly through their sense of smell, and many dogs' other senses get stronger when they lose the ability to see. Your old pup can still get several more years of healthy, happy living without their vision. Blindness is not a death sentence for senior dogs by any means, and it is quite manageable if you make certain adjustments and follow the advice of your vet.
2. Go To The Vet First Speaking of your veterinarian, you should make an appointment with them as soon as you spot symptoms of blindness in your dog. Blindness can be caused by medical conditions, genetics, or injuries, and many of these causes are treatable. Sometimes blindness is a symptom of an underlying condition that can be caught earlier if you see your vet. There are also certain cases where vision can be fully or partially restored, and there are other cases where vision loss can be slowed or prevented from getting worse. Before you take any further steps, make a vet visit.
3. Focus On Auditory Training And Commands If you have used hand gestures and other visual cues as part of your dog's training, it is time to start moving away from that. Instead, you should rely on verbal commands, and you may want to switch over to clicker training, as these tactics will use your dog's sense of hearing, rather than vision. You may also want to teach them a command like "Careful" or "Slow" to let them know that they are approaching a wall or object. If you are worried about the "you can not teach an old dog new tricks" cliche, fear not. That is totally a myth. Seniors may need more patience, and they may need more breaks while training, but they are certainly capable of learning new things.
4. Keep Your Home Clean And Organized If you tend to set things on the floor, or if you have kids who like to leave toys or backpacks lying around, it is time to get organized. A blind dog can easily trip or knock over things that are on ground level, and they could injure themselves, especially if they already have difficulty getting around due to conditions like arthritis. A clean home is a much safer home for dogs who lose their vision, and seniors in particular will benefit from your organization.
5. Try To Keep Environment Consistent Blind dogs often feel much less anxious when they are in a consistent environment where they can be comfortable in knowing where everything is. If their beds, food bowls, toys, and other items are in the same spots, blind dogs can find them more easily. Keeping furniture in the same spot will help prevent them from bumping into things, as well. Senior dogs prefer a consistent environment, too, especially if they suffer from the early stages of dementia. A predictable environment will help greatly reduce anxiety for your blind senior.
6. Block Off Dangerous Areas If there are any dangerous areas that your dog might be able to get to, you should gate them off or make sure they are blocked in some way so your pup does not get hurt. Stairways or banisters with wide gaps are very dangerous indoor areas, but there are outdoor dangers, as well. If you allow your blind dog in your yard, make sure to fence it off and block access to pools, ponds, rocky areas, or other hazardous spots. You may even want to keep your dog on-leash and accompany them, as it will prevent accidents and give them comfort and confidence to know that you are nearby and protecting them. Always supervise your senior.
7. Get Toys That Work With Other Senses Even though your dog is older, they can still benefit from play sessions. There are toys that are more user-friendly for blind dogs. Toys that have squeakers, bells, or other noise makers will help your senior find them, and scented toys can let your pup sniff them out. Treat dispensing toys are another option that can keep your blind senior's mind active. Just because your pup can not see does not mean they can not play.
8. Take Approaches Slowly Blind dogs tend to get a bit more apprehensive when they are approached. If you want to wake your blind senior, you may want to let your presence be known by saying their name aloud, then allowing them to smell you before touching them. You should also work on establishing a verbal cue like, "Say hello," or "Greet," to let your dog know when another human or dog is approaching. Inform whoever wishes to greet your dog that your pup is blind and needs to take things slowly. Give your dog a chance to sniff the newcomer, and if your pup seems fearful, turns away, or shows disinterest, move on. Let your senior make decisions about who they want to meet, and go slowly.
9. Buy Or Make Helpful Devices For example, Muffin's Halo, which is a ring that attaches to a harness and stops blind dogs from crashing into things. Or cut a sock and fashioned it into a little helmet that left dog's ears and face uncovered, but rolled into a cushion on top of his head. It both softened his impacts and gave him a buffer to slow down because he learned that something was in front of him when he felt pressure on the cushion. Of course, that did not stop him from getting stuck behind furniture, but it let him run without injuring himself. As you live with your blind senior dog, you will find products or invent your own to help your pup. There is no perfect solution for every blind senior's needs, but you will adapt, and your veterinarian can always give you advice. Be patient, consider your dog's needs, and roll with the punches. Your blind senior can have plenty of time left with you and live a great life.
What Is SARDS? THE SUDDEN BLINDNESS SARDS is a permanent form of blindness that occurs suddenly. It is most often diagnosed in older dogs, with the median age being 8.5 years, and 60-70% of dogs with the condition are female. Dachshunds and Miniature Schnauzers are particularly afflicted. Pugs, Brittany Spaniels, and Maltese breeds also show a predisposition for the condition.
Reason of SARDS in Dogs The cause and retinal changes associated with SARDS are unknown and poorly understood. The cells of the rods and cones of the retina suddenly undergo programed cell death, or apoptosis. Inflammatory, autoimmune, or allergic causes have been suspected but not confirmed. The lack of inflammation associated with the condition and the poor response to treatment as an immune-related disease suggest a nonimmune-related cause.
Symptoms of SARDS in Dogs Prior to blindness, many dogs will have difficulty navigating around the house and yard. They may bump into things or show caution in their movements. About 40-50% of dogs with SARDS also have increased water consumption, increased urination, increased food consumption, and weight gain. These symptoms persist after the onset of blindness, especially the change in food consumption. Since these are the same symptoms associated with a hormonal condition called hyperadrenocorticism, or Cushing's disease, a link with SARDS was speculated. Actually, studies indicate that few SARDS patients have Cushing's.
Quality of Life for a Dog Affected With SARDS A survey of owners whose dogs are affected with SARDS indicates that the majority perceive the quality of their dog's life as good. Owners also reported that their dog's ability to navigate both the house and the yard were moderate to excellent. And 40% of owners reported moderate to excellent navigation even in new and unfamiliar surroundings. Of the 100 dogs represented in the survey, only nine owners reported that they thought their dog's quality of life was poor.
LIVING WITH BLIND DOG BOOKS This article is proudly presented by WWW.AMAZON.COM and Caroline D. Levin and Cathy Symons
"Living With Blind Dogs," now in its second edition, is the original and definitive resource book on this topic. It embodies helpful hints from hundreds of blind-dog owners, as well as years of ophthalmic nursing, veterinary, and dog training experiences. Both the veterinary community and dog owners alike continue to praise this text, in which Levin successfully answers the common question: "What do I do now?".
This revised edition contains all the topics covered in the first edition, such as: Dealing with feelings of loss and grief, how dogs react to blindness, conditions that cause blindness and how they progress, genetics, pack issues, training concepts, new skills, helpful hints to negotiate the house, yard, and community, toys, games, and suppliers/resources.
The book also includes numerous new sections and chapters: Dogs both blind and deaf, dogs blind from birth, white canes and other devices, circling behaviors, changes in barking patterns, dealing with cats, giving eye drops, traveling and camping with a blind dog, adding another dog to the pack, dry eye syndrome, VKH, and new findings on PRA and SARD.
BLIND DOG SEEING EYE This article is proudly presented by WWW.DOGICA.COM
This Blind Dog Has Found His Eyes In Another Dog Who Happily Guides Him Everywhere! We all have that one friend who we can bank upon. When life drags you down and everything seems worthless, it's that buddy who picks you up and helps you find meaning in life once again. Hoshi, an American Eskimo dog, found his best friend in a lovable little Pomeranian, known as Zen. What makes their friendship all the more special is that Hoshi is visually impaired but continues to explore the world with his best friend Zen, who guides him wherever the two go!
Mostly, their leash is attached as Zen guides Hoshi along the path, however even when they are not tied, Zen continually looks out for his best friend! Hoshi was affected by glaucoma when he was 11-years-old and his eyes had to be removed. But 6 months before his surgery was due, Hoshi's parents adopted Zen, and the two connected instantly.
Their friendship became stronger after Hoshi lost his vision and Zen became his guiding angel. Ever since, the two were travelling around the world, along with their parents, and Zen always makes sure that Hoshi is safe. They travel together, eat together and even sleep in the same bed.
The lovely pups are called the Fluffy duo and have an Instagram page with lots of photos showing their bond of friendship!
SEEING EYE CAT FOR BLIND DOG Eight-year-old Labrador Retriever Terfel was diagnosed with cataracts, a common eye condition that caused the lenses in his eyes to cloud over and become opaque. As his cataracts continued to worsen, Terfel became hesitant, reserved, choosing to spend most of his time curled up in his doggie basket rather than venture out into a once-friendly world that had suddenly become so unfamiliar and frightening.
Terfel's outlook on life changed drastically the day that his owner, Judy Godfrey-Brown of Holyhead, North Wales, took in a small stray cat. Godfrey-Brown could hardly believe her eyes as she watched the little cat gently lead Terfel around the garden. It was as if the cat sensed Terfel's condition and knew instinctively that the blind pup needed a friend.
The difference between blind humans and blind dogs is the degree to which these remaining senses are used. Similar to a blind person, a blind dog must use the senses of touch, hearing and smell to become orientated or determine where it is in a room and to navigate or find its way around. Vision is a key sense for humans, but it's not the main event for dogs. Scent and hearing play bigger roles in how they experience the world, and that's just considering the physical senses. Dogs are masters of empathy, so do your best to keep your spirits up, not matter how you feel about your dog's blindness. Dogs, like people, have a wide array of personalities, quirks, needs and challenges. One challenge some dogs face is blindness. Too many people out there assume that blind dogs are somehow less than their sighted counterparts.
Research from the years 2000 through 2013 on humans & other species showed that many deaf and or blind dogs use secondary ways (alternative modes of sense-perception) that dogs have from birth. Many dogs and a few humans, sense mechanical vibrations (sound) as a coarse kind of "vision" for mapping and getting about safely, at amazing speeds. Dogs can be far more versatile than humans in adapting, but they often need a little time - often months.
Blind dogs see with their hearts. We have all heard it, but what does it mean? I look at my newest foster - a frightened and completely blind senior Yorkshire Terrier mix from one of the busiest shelters in the country. As I gently wash away the physical and emotional scars from his body and mind, a process which may never completely end, I have no doubt that he sees me just as clearly, maybe more so, than any sighted dog. He may not see my face, but he can read my heart. What are some of the myths about blind dogs, and what's the real story? Blind pets really are just like their sighted counterparts!
MYTH: Blind dogs are unadoptable. A blind dog is a dog first! He can be too big or too small, too rough or too laid back, too independent or too affectionate, but he's a dog first and blind second. His blindness does not make him unadoptable. Blind dogs are highly adoptable and are just as sweet, friendly, loving, and gentle, as sighted dogs.
MYTH: Blind dogs are high-maintenance. Blind dogs do not require extraordinary amounts of care, nor are they difficult to take care of, unless there is a medical or behavioral issue that is separate from their blindness. They likely require no more attention to detail than a sighted dog.
MYTH: Blind dogs are helpless and training a blind dog is more difficult. Blind dogs are completely trainable. People forget that vision is not the primary sense in dogs. It may be for people, but not for dogs! The fact is dogs don't need sighted eyes to live a normal, healthy and fun life. Blind dogs can even participate in agility training!
MYTH: You can't move the furniture. They are always bumping into things and items get broken all the time. Blind dogs map out their areas fairly quickly, sometimes in only one day. They can go up and down stairs, run through the yard, and even jump on the furniture to find the best place to nap! Of course, stairs and other areas where they may injure themselves should be gated.
MYTH: Blind dogs are boring and just sit around because they can't see to run and play. They will not play with toys because they can't see them. Blind dogs run and play just as much as sighted dogs. There are also scented toys or toys that jingle, so they can enjoy a wonderful game of "fetch", too! We have had blind dogs steal toys from sighted dogs, and even invent games, throwing a toy across the room and sniffing it out!
MYTH: Blind dogs are depressed and don't do anything. Blind dogs enjoy walks and going outside and going on car rides! Just like sighted dogs, they love being around people and other dogs. And just like any other dog, they will become your best friend! Blind dogs also benefit a lot from living with other dogs that can see. They use their partner as a guide to find their way around and strong bonds develop between them.
MYTH: Blind dogs are always scared. Some dogs may be more cautious as they lose their sight - others may not. It depends on the personality of the dog. Blind dogs are not always fearful; they simply make adjustments to better cope with their new sensory input.
MYTH: Blind pets are no longer guardians of the home. They still know when the mailman or anyone else is at the door and can let you know it. In fact, I have sighted and blind dogs in my house and my blind dog is the only one who alerts me to strangers nearby.
MYTH: Blind dogs cost more and/or blind dogs are not healthy. Some blind dogs may cost more because they might need eye removal surgery or eye drops, but many dogs, blind or otherwise, have something for which they will eventually need medication or surgery. Blind dogs, like sighted dogs, run the range of health issues.
MYTH: Blind and blind-deaf dogs can't enjoy life so it's humane to put them down. If they can smell, taste, hear your voice talking and feel you petting them, they are enjoying life. They enjoy the same things sighted dogs do: walks, belly rubs, meal time, play time and more!
BLINDNESS IN DOGS AND PUPPIES MISCONCEPTIONS This article is proudly presented by WWW.WAGWALKING.COM
Every morning you wake up and one of the first things you do is open your eyes. Now imagine waking up and not seeing anything. No light, no bed side table, no partner lying next to you. Most people that can see take their eyesight for granted and why wouldn't they? Eyesight is one thing most have from the day they are born, until the day they die. But just as eye sight massively affects life as a human, it also hugely impacts the life of a dog. However, there are a number of common misconceptions about blind dogs that this article will look to dispel. It will also offer some useful tips on how to care for a blind dog.
It is a good idea to monitor your dog's eyesight, especially when they get older, as their eyesight is likely to diminish. Throw balls for your dog and look for any emerging concerns. If you do see any problems, seek advice from your vet promptly, this could help you tackle any eye sight issues before they develop into anything too serious. There are a number of common misconceptions about blind dogs that are simply not true. Blind dogs are not necessarily any more expensive than dogs that can see, it wholly depends on the underlying cause of blindness. Blind dogs do not always fall and they are able to still play, because they hone and utilize their other senses, in particular, their nose. You can use scent markers to help blind dogs navigate and there are a range of toys that rely on sound or smell, ensuring your dog will still enjoy playing around with its owner!
MYTH: Blind Dogs Can No Longer Play You'd be forgiven for thinking dogs that are blind can no longer bound around and play fetch. But a study of 50 blind dogs by The Veterinary Record uncovered some interesting findings. Humans forget dogs have well tuned other senses. Take their nose, for example. You can throw an old ball they have chewed for months and it would be worth a wager that they will find that smelly old ball surprisingly quickly. Their other senses also makes them more aware of where sofas, doors and windows are than you might realize. Your blind dog might still have boundless energy and being blind is not going to stop them wanting to jump all over you and play with you! There is even a whole host of toys you can find online specifically for blind dogs. They either carry a distinctive smell or produce an easy to follow sound, ensuring your dog can still enjoy play time.
MYTH: Blind Dogs Are Always Falling This is another misconception people may have about blind dogs But actually, a late 20th-century study from The University of Pennsylvania found dogs quickly adjust to their surroundings, learning the layout of their home swiftly. Having said that, some blind dogs do have problems with stairs. Fortunately, you can easily remedy this issue. One way to overcome this hurdle is to use baby gates at the top of the stairs. Alternatively, you can put distinctive scent markers at the bottom and the top of the stairs to warn your dog. Scent is an increasingly popular and effective way to help blind dogs navigate their surroundings.
MYTH: Blind Dogs Are Expensive Many people think having a blind dog brings with it a number of extra expenses But that depends entirely on the reason for blindness. Strokes, diabetes, cataracts, untreated infections and glaucoma can all cause blindness, but the price of treating them varies widely. If your dog needs a serious operation to combat the underlying cause, then treatment may be expensive, but if not, your dog going blind isn't necessarily going to break the bank.
There are a wide range of issues a dog may experience with their vision. You'll notice a few obvious signs that your dog has problems with their vision including: avoiding the light, redness, cloudiness and discharge. If you suspect there is a problem with your dog's vision, call the vet immediately.
The most common dog eye problems include:
Inflammation Cataracts Irritation Pink Eye
Conjunctivitis or pink eye is the most common eye infection in dogs. It often affects only one eye and is typically caused by an irritant: chemicals, wind, dust - and is usually treated with antibiotic eye drops.
A corneal infection (ulcer) can occur when a dog's cornea becomes scratched and exposed to bacteria. If left untreated, the infection can deepen, causing a corneal ulcer that could rupture the eye.
Topical antibiotics such as ofloxicin and ciprofloxacin are used in treating a corneal infection.
Uveitis is an inflammation inside the eye, causing the eye to appear cloudy or bloody on the inside. An afflicted dog could experience eye pain and sensitivity to light. Blindness can occur if left untreated. Uveitis is usually treated with glucocorticoid steroid eye drops.
It is advisable to consult your veterinarian if your dog's eyes appear red or inflamed, or if there is an unusual discharge from the eyes, or if your dog seems to be having trouble seeing or is sensitive to light. Treatment for a dog's eye infection can be either topical with drops or ointment, prescription or homeopathic.
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