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Is my dog blind or not?

I noticed that my dog sometimes bumps into my leg when we play. Then he would run into direction where I throw a toy or bully stick but he wouldn't go directly to it but rather find it by smell. He also bumped into sign pole and couple mailbox posts. He wouldn't blink when I "stick" my finger into his eye or he wouldn't react for me waiving objects in front of his face, which used to make him either scared (comb) or curious (most things). I took him to vet and doc declared him blind. He is 7, and he is miniature Schnauzer.

But, he also exhibits "not blind" behaviors. He likes to cross streets. And when we walk, he stops on driveways and points towards exit. He used that we cross either off driveway or pedestrian cross and not over grass strip. When I do take him via grass and curb - first, he jumps off curb with confidence of dog that sees, then as we approach opposite curb, he jumps on it at right time and space as he sees exactly where it is. He is afraid of water drains on the street and when we approach one, he still doesn't want to come close to it. When I took him to vet today, when I turned to the street that leads to the office, he was crying like I never heard him before (we were there 2 days ago with his limping condition and they hurt him a bit). He was also trying to look out of window. When we drove back he was content.

I noticed this ~2weeks ago. That he was laying and not playing, and not finding his bones clearly when I threw them. He has some limp and they found some damage on the finger, which we blamed  in his not playfulness. But this morning my wife saw him walking off the porch into the bush and finally, she believed what I said days back. And doctor confirmed. He also had wisdom thees removed 2.5 month back. While we're waiting for appointment with ophthalmologist... I am wondering, if his totally blind, or he sees something, or he sees dark and bright? Because he obviously does things as both, blind and not.
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675347 tn?1365460645
COMMUNITY LEADER
Yes it is possible he has partial vision which might come and go, depending on how well he feels, or the light conditions etc.

Dogs do generally adapt very well to loss of vision, as they rely on other senses, such as smell and hearing which are more acute than ours.
Blind dogs can sometimes behave quite normally in environments they know very well....places they regularly go, so long as nothing is moved, or changes quickly.

An appointment with the opthalmologist is a good idea, so it's great that is happening soon. Then you may have a better understanding of what is happening, and whether there are any treatments to improve -or even reverse it?
Cataracts, for example can obscure vision very badly, but with a simple operation, they can be removed and full sight restored!

Anyway, good luck with that appointment. Post back if you can, or if you have the time, to update us on his progress.
All the best,
Ginger.

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2 Comments
We're back from an ophthalmologist. She confirmed SARDS. She says, she could see degenerative changes in retina. And he still has some day vision but is totally confused at night. Doctor assured that he will adapt in a month time and will be happy dog again. She gave mountain of information. Let me know if you want to know anything. Thank you for original reply
Thank you very much TedKell, for posting back about the opthalmologist's exam.
That is pretty good, if your dog learns to adapt in a few weeks. Dogs are good at adapting to things, so long as they feel basically safe in their lives.

Wishing your dog many many happy days to come!
All the best,
Ginger
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