15 Mar 2013, Comments (11)

Friday dogblogging: What’s up with Ollie

Author: Helen

When our vet was looking Ollie over and taking blood samples to try and find out what his mystery malaise was all about, she suggested we test him to see how his eyesight was going. Her preferred method was to place various obstacles between him and his food bowl at feeding time.

He passed this test without tripping over anything but I noticed he was slowing down and sussing out the shoes, boxes and what have you with his nose.

I put his leash on and took him out into the park. Since his odd behaviour started, I noticed he still walked really well on the leash. Extra well. No pulling or zigging or zagging. Staying close to the person walking him.

I took off across the lawn and steered him towards a small branch lying on the grass.

He tripped right over it.

So.

He can’t see.

His eyes are as brown and clear as ever, but something must have gone wrong with the retina. According to Dr Google, he could have an adrenal or hormonal condition or… something. There will be more trips to the vet to make sure he doesn’t have something systemically wrong like that.

It becomes clear now: the slow walking, the caution, pausing for minutes before he jumps off anything, standing as if staring into space. And much happier on the leash, of course.

He’s pretty good on his own turf – he can still clear the couch in two bounds and bustle out and down the deck steps to give some strange dog what for for daring to walk too close to his fence. But when he’s outside, if we’re not careful, he does walk straight into things – Doink.

Ironically, a charity collector for seeing eye puppy trainers rang me the other day. We’ll be Ollie’s seeing eye humans.

Comments (11) »

  • Kath Lockett says:

    Ohhhhh…. A friend here has a little dog who has recently lost her sight too. She’s OK in her own apartment but in ours – the ‘doinks’ (that’s how we describe it too) against chair legs, the walls, pot plants and shelves is a bit heart breaking.

    However if Ollie is familiar with home and loves being on the lead, he’s still happy and healthy in every other respect?

  • Deborah says:

    Oh! Lots of talking then, so he can hear where you are, and walking on the leash.

  • Helen says:

    Correct!
    He’s OK to wander in the park near to us, too. But you have to let him potter and find his way, not expect to stride along.

  • Mindy says:

    Poor Ollie, is he a very old dog? I have heard that blind dogs tend to cope very well actually, as long as they are looked after and it sounds like Ollie is on a pretty good wicket with you.

  • Helen says:

    He’s only eight. That is the age when heart failure tends to kick in, one of the signs is slowing down and not doing what they used to do, hence my failure to notice what the problem really was.

  • hannah's dad says:

    Oh that’s maybe not good news but also not real bad.
    With his senses of smell and hearing and lots of thoughtful care from his family [which I’m sure is coming his way] I’m sure he’ll cope really well.
    My brother had Saddy for about 10 years on his 3 acre property and Saddy was happy and comfortable as long as no-one shifted a chair whatever without letting him know first.

  • Liz says:

    Hugs to Ollie. But, as others have said blind dogs seem to do well.

  • Jan Barrand says:

    Best of luck to Ollie and his family. He is obviously in excellent hands.
    If Ollie is still interested in play, balls or other items with a small bell inside( or anything that tinkles/rattles) of course make excellent toys for any pet with impaired or lost vision. You can then adapt this audible aid for all sorts of things.

  • Helen says:

    That’s a great idea, Jan! Welcome to the Cast Iron Balcony.

  • Casey says:

    Oh how sad for Ollie. I am so sorry Helen. Hugs.

  • Helen says:

    Sorry you languished so long in moderation, Casey. Welcome to the CIB. (Ollie sends his thanks)

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