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I took Kel, 12-1/2, to the vet for his six month physical and one concern I have is that he seems to be going blind. He can see better in the daylight but still seems to have problems. At night he has mega-problems, like he has night blindness. If he wanders into my backyard (the streetlight is broken in the back) and out of range of the streetlight in front, he gets "lost". I have to send Mac back to find him and "herd" him back out front. During the day he's fine going into the backyard and making his way out front without problems.

For the past 9 months or year he's had a brown discharge from his eyes, especially in the morning and after eating. He has a hard time focusing to take a treat from my fingers even in bright daylight, but can take one easily if placed in my outstrached hand.

His vet said he may have Progressive Retinal Atrophy, however, he doesn't have anything obviously wrong when she looks into his eyes. His rehab vet agreed with this diagnosis.

I've looked this condition up on several web sites and his symptoms follow the description of this condition, BUT most sites say dogs get it from puppyhood up to 7 years of age (this is why I'm posting here and not on the SENIOR forum). I know there are exceptions so maybe this is one, but I just don't know.

All the sites agree there is nothing that can be done to prevent the blindness.

Kel has numerous health issues including sever arthritis, especially in his elbows, liver problems caused by an unknown underlying problem, digestive problems, etc., etc., etc.

If he were younger I'd take him to an opthomologist for a definite diagnosis, but right now I'm not sure I want to put him thru any more procedures, especially if nothing can be done. Unless there's a miracle, I don't see him having much time left (a few weeks? a couple months?) My goal is to give him a quality life for whatever time he has, and I just don't know if taking him to an eye doctor would improve his quality of life.

Does anyone have any experience with this condition? Recommendations? Suggestions?
http://www.animaleyecare.net/diseases/pra.htm
http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cls=2&cat=1606&articleid=343
http://www.gopetsamerica.com/dog-health/progressive-retinal-atrophy.aspx
 

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I don't have any useful info on his condition but just wanted suggest that maybe some solar lights in the back might help him at night?? They don't give off alot of light but they might be able to light his path some and theres nothing when it comes to installing them. Its just an idea. Best of luck with Kel.
 

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My friend's black Lab, Quincy had Progressive Retinal Atrophy. His started when he was about 4 years old - he started bumping into things and eventually went completely blind. I don't think there is a cure or any way to reverse it, and I believe it's genetic.

Quincy adapted, though - in the beginning my friend would lead him around with a leash, teaching him where the 2 steps were to go outside, etc. She made it a point not to change the furniture around so that he could have a mental map of where things were in the house.

Quincy seemed a little depressed at first - but then one day my friend took him over to my mom & dad's to swim, and when he found out he could still swim, his whole outlook seemed to change. He loved to retrieve a duck decoy in the pool and found out he could still do that according to the sound when it hit the water.

After that day, he seemed to adapt to his blindness. The weird thing was that after he went blind, he'd bite out all of the eyes of his stuffed toys! It was as if he was saying , "If I can't see, they can't either"!! He lived for another 7 years and died at almost 11 years old from renal failure.
 

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Thanks for the suggestion about the solar light - do they make them for strong lightening? I know the lamps I have only give off soft light, not enough to light the back yard enough for Kel to see.

And raysmom - thanks for sharing the informtion about your friend's lab. I guess I'll just have to "wait and see" about how Kelly handles it.
 

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Quote:do they make them for strong lightening
There are solar-powered spot lights - I just looked at them as my husband is thinking about getting one for our flagpole - the one I saw was pretty expensive at around $300, but they have less expensive ones also. They also have solar security lights, so that might be something that would help light your backyard -

The website I was browsing is Solar Illuminations at:

http://www.solarilluminations.com/
 

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I forgot to add -

You could also get a few regular floodlights mounted on your house for the backyard - they'd be less expensive and work well - we have them for Kaiser to play outside and night and they really light up the backyard.
 
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