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Happy to be here and excited to be part of the community.

My husband and I adopted an 11 month “hound mix” approx 1 month ago. We’re told he has some lab, pit and German Shepherd in him. He has a spotty adoption history — found as a stray at one month, adopted out, then found on the street a few months later. He came to us on heart worm preventative and we have continued it.

About 1.5 weeks after being with us, we noticed he was squinting his eyes pretty badly. We brought him into the vet, thinking it was allergies. He was diagnosed with a mild case of hook worm and he was prescribed Amoxicillin.

Three days later, he was completely blind, walking into tables, chairs, walls. Our general vet prescribed an eye drop. The next morning, we saw an ophthalmologist, who diagnosed him with bilateral retinal detachment. We were prescribed stronger eye drops (Prednisole Acetate), a steroid (Prednisone) and Doxycycline. Later that week, we saw another specialist who tested him for Aspergillosis and Pythium — both negative. The same specialist ran an X-ray and ultrasound. No abnormalities.

A week ago, an ophthalmologist check up showed that his frontal eye inflammation has reduced, but the back is still swollen. We’ve continued drops and other meds.

Three days ago, we found out that his hook worm has fully escalated. His general doctor prescribed him Virbantel.

Present day, it doesn’t appear that his vision has improved. He’s able to navigate our home, but it appears as if he has adapted — not regained sight. His energy levels fluctuate and sometimes he seems depressed. He barks much more than he has in his time with us (seemingly at nothing) and is sometimes afraid to go outside. The next step, per vet, is to treat him for an autoimmune disease.

We’re prepared to adapt to life with a blind pup, and will give him all the care he needs and love he deserves.

But we would love some answers. Any idea what may have caused this?
 

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No idea; bumping this up in hopes that one of the gurus will see it and respond.

Good luck,

Aly
 

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Another bump, for good measure.

While we're waiting for the pros to answer....What type of HW preventative is/was the dog on? Did the vet not prescribe a dewormer for the hooks? Ivermectin can cause blindness with an overdose. Hookworms can migrate to the eye and cause blindness. An overload of parasites can cause behavioral changes.
 

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We have a lab. Beautiful, black chunky little girl. She was born blind in one eye and keep close watch on the other - so far at 8 yrs, good. Her eye ended up having to be removed due to emergency rise in pressure.

Labs have a genetic issue with detached retinas which was the case with ours. The opthamologist warned us of this at the time if the drops/meds did not control the pressure.

She adapted pretty good. There is some jumpiness, flinching if she is surprised from her bad side. Our troublemaker was trained to walk to her right side when we are out with both of them. Works out good for him, keeps him busy focused on a job instead of looking around for 'those dogs' ;)

Please keep a close eye on your pup and reactions. Swollen and/or high pressure is painful in the eyes. These guys are so tough sometimes, you can easily miss any indication of pain.
 

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WOW -- I've never known blindness to happen in all my foster dogs with hookworms. I did foster one that had his vision destroyed by an prior owner giving him cattle a ivermectin product.


I agree about sticking with the ophthalmologist regularly. Pain management of eye issues is a big, big deal.



As you feel yourself panicking over this, remind yourself that vision is merely a secondary sense for dogs. Scent and hearing are primary. They're thus much better at adapting to blindness than we are.


I happen to own a totally blind dog who is AMAZING. He came to us already blind as a foster dog and somehow became my DH's heart dog. He misses nothing in life--he is not "special needs"...he just expects a little differing cuing. He swims, hikes, chases squirrels, runs up and down stairs -- just like my other dogs. He also gets into WAY more mischief due to his very active nose.



I highly recommend reading everything on this website:
BlindDogTraining.com


Miki is a great trainer, and her handouts are very, very easy to follow. Her handout on notice cues should be required reading for every blind dog owner--it's still the foundation of everything we do, and it was the first thing we started training: Resources | BlindDogTraining.com


Cues we use a lot:
-touch (before reaching to pet or otherwise handle the dog -- no surprises!)
-follow (we're navigating through a place with lots of obstacles, so stay on my heels)
-watch out (you're about to bump into something -- my dog does a 90 degree turn when he hears this)
-step up/down


"Touch" is the most important. His world become very predictable once people stopped reaching for him unexpectedly. Our vet clinic staff have it in his file, and they're all trained to use it -- their boarding staff too. Basically NOBODY handles this dog without knowing that cue. When he hears it, his body position changes, as he waits to feel a hand touch him.



Lastly, if this is permanent, play to your dog's strengths. Blind dogs are incredibly good scenters -- they "see" the air currents. All dogs have incredible noses, but blind dogs are in a whole other league. Take a nosework class.
 

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My friend with a blind Italian Greyhound puts spots of scented oils on stair step edges.
 

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We have a poster on here who is a human eye doctor (EyeDogtor, I think his handle is.) Maybe he has some suggestions.

Boy, oh boy...so much for 'adopt, don't shop, because mixed breeds are healthier!' :( :rolleyes2:

Yes, I've had my fair share of rescues, so am entitled to say this! My first GSD was a rescue with pannus (degenerative keratitis. Luckily it's one of the easier eye problems to treat.
 

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A while back (a few years ago) there was an article likely in Whole Dog Journal about contaminated dog food that lead to all sorts of issues and I think sight problems were among them.
 

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Why was he given amoxicillin, an antibiotic, for hookworm instead of a dewormer?


And an article o the AKC site says hookworm can cause blindness.
 
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