Blind Shih Tzu
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Thread: Blind Shih Tzu

  1. #1
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    Blind Shih Tzu

    I have a Four year old female Shih Tzu. She was just diagnosed with detached retinal. The Vet Ophthalmologist told us that they do have operations for retinal detachment but there is no guaranteed that it would work for her. I feel pretty bad for my Ginger because she's only four years old. The Doctor told us that there are only two places that perform the surgery. One is in Virginia and the other is Canada. In spite of what the Doctor is telling me I would like to see if I can get some positive feedback on this issue, that's why I'm here. If anyone has encountered any similar issues I would appreciate if you can chime in. Thank you...

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  3. #2
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    Re: Blind Shih Tzu

    First let me say that I am very sorry that you and your baby are going through this traumatic experience. I know from experience how devastating it is to watch your baby bump into things while trying to navigate her way around.

    Did your vet/opthamologist explain the cause of the retinal detachment? Unless it is progressive retinal degeneration or atrophy,which can be inherited, there could be an underlying condition that is a much bigger problem than the loss of sight. High blood pressure is a real culprit. Sudden Acquired Retinal Detachment (SARDS) is quite often associated with Cushing's Disease so this could be a possibiity as well. In any event, time is of the essence if you are going to opt for surgery. The longer you wait, the greater the risk of failure or elimination as a viable candidate for surgery due to continued degeneration.

    On the upside, unlike humans, dogs adapt rather quickly to being blind. Here are links to information on PRA/PRD, SARDS and a blind dog survey where many pet owners like yourself have found helpful. Be sure to take the survey as the more data taken, the more meaningful the survey.

    http://www.petplace.com/dogs/progres...ogs/page1.aspx
    http://www.michvet.com/library/ophthalmology_SARDS.asp
    http://blinddog.info/survey.shtml

    I hope this helps.

  4. #3
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    Re: Blind Shih Tzu

    Lulusmom, Thank you for your reply. Yes, I took my Gingy to what I was told to be the best Ophthalmologist in NYC. I took her to the NYC animal Hospital as my vet suggested. The Doctor told us that the problem was PRD, very common to the Shih Tzo breed. She said that from the looks of it probably the left eye went blind first. She said is very hard to tell because the dog will function pretty normal so long as they can see, even through one eye. Then when the other eye went blind all together, that's when we notice herpeculiar behavior. Her general vet did all the necessary test to rule out any other problems. Gingy's health is in quite well other than her lost of vision. The vet also told us basically, that an operation would not help this condition much if at all. The Ophthalmologist told us the same thing but not in much detail. She said that people would try to do what they can if money is not an issue. I wish I could say that money is not a problem but Iwould be lying. Though we do carry pet Insurance for Gingy, but they don't cover all the expenses. My real concern is will it work and for how long. She's only four but I notice already that she's adjusted quite a bit. She's still playful and we try to keep her active as much as possible. Perhaps it may not be a good choice for the operation after all. I posted Gingy's vision problem to see if anyone has had the same problem. And possibly to get some kind of good feedback on an operation. Thank you very much for your respond and for your kindness.

  5. #4
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    Re: Blind Shih Tzu

    Hi again,

    I want to give you one last link to information regarding a breakthrough surgery in 2007 by Iowa State University for dogs with sudden onset of blindness. Dr. Grozdanic is the man to call and his number is listed on the site. Who knows, it may be worth a call. Best of luck to you and Ginger.

    http://www.public.iastate.edu/~nscen...ay/blind.shtml

    P.S. If you are looking for folks that have experienced what you are going through, try checking out blind dog forums. Here are a few links that I hope will help.

    http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/blinddogs/
    http://blinddogs.yuku.com/
    Last edited by lulusmom; 10-01-2009 at 03:34 PM.

  6. #5
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    Re: Blind Shih Tzu

    Thank you, I will definitely look into it...

  7. #6
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    Re: Blind Shih Tzu

    I know first hand how heartbreaking it can be to discover your dog has such a handicap. I have had two dogs go blind. My first was my male mini dachshund, Gus. He developed Cushings disease which took his sight. He did great adapting to this. Way better than I did. You could almost see him counting his steps as he moved around the house. He got around pretty good. Then our female dachshund has gone blind with detached retinas. She is almost 15 and not adapting as well as Gus did. She doesn't seemed to be bothered, but does run into things and get sort of lost at times. I agree that it is harder on us than it is on them. I wish you well.

  8. #7
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    Re: Blind Shih Tzu

    No doubt Bones, it is harder on us. My Gingy use to have the run of the house. She use to be able go down to the basement and play with her toys. Now we had to limit her house space. We use to let her go in the back yard so she could do her thing. Now I havepractically carry her out at times, and carry her back in. Sometimes we take a little to long to take her out and she does it inside the house. But what are we going to do, she's part of the family and we have to deal with it. But it definitely is a heart breaker. Thanks for sharing...

  9. #8
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    Re: Blind Shih Tzu

    Quote Originally Posted by Gingy46 View Post
    But what are we going to do, she's part of the family and we have to deal with it.
    Try checking out various sites that will help you help your dog navigate through the house and even out doors. In addition to the links already provided, I am providing including a few more below that I hope are helpful. I also recommend that you check out the blind dog forums and talk to people that can share their experience, what works and what doesn't, etc.

    http://www.school-for-champions.com/...blind_dog.htm#
    http://www.dummies.com/how-to/conten...lind-dog.html#

  10. #9
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    Re: Blind Shih Tzu

    LILUSMOM, I will do that I just need the time to do. Right now I'm a little overwhelm with stuff, but I will definitely check the sites out. Thank you...

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