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Diabetes and Regulation in General The big picture of managing and regulating a dog's diabetes

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Old 08-22-2010, 06:54 PM
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k9diabetes k9diabetes is offline
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Location: Northern California
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Default Re: Adjusting to blindness?

Most likely a dog with cataracts has been adjusting to diminishing sight for a while now and it has just finally reached the point where s/he can't compensate anymore.

And yes they very definitely do go through an adjustment period, usually a few weeks to a month, where they are tentative and spend a lot of time bumping into things.

I sometimes wonder if they don't kind of wait around at first for the fog to clear! And then at some point they think okay, I guess this is how it is. And then they start figuring things out.

In six years involved with dogs with diabetes, still the best example is a little tiny Yorkie, Sandy, who went blind in the wintertime while living in the east on a few acres of land. She had to navigate a couple of steps before she got to the snow that was deeper than she was tall. Her person was, to put it politely, "doubtful" that she would adjust and she suggested that a couple of us who said it would be okay ought to try walking a mile in her shoes first!!

And she had a point... I had a dog who was 30 inches tall, two-thirds legs, no snow, and no steps!

But after a few weeks, Sandy just got over it. She figured it out and moved on and no one was more relieved that we were! LOL

Some dogs take longer than others but a few weeks is pretty typical I think.

It's also good to remember that a dog's brain approaches the challenge differently. Dogs don't wring their hands and fuss over Why Me? Why Did I Have to Lose MY sight!!! We do that but they don't. My sense with Chris was more like, "Well, that's different." So almost without exception, blindness is far more traumatic for the people watching than for the dogs.

You can try scents to get their attention. Some people scent paths through the house and doorways to help them navigate and that would be good but you might consider a strong scent to get your dog's attention. Maybe not food but something that would kind of grab his attention but not be unpleasant like a flower oil or tree oil.

(I just got back from an intro to nose work class and spent a few hours watching dogs follow their noses.)


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