Eye of doG (5 KB)

Last updated: Sun, 6 Jul 2008 07:40:38
It is now Wed, 17 Jan 2018 07:09:22

Kumbi's turn for me to lift his paw

Kumbi's paw lies on my hand

[c30183-kumbipawa.jpg] Kumbi allows me to lift his paw

Kumbi is blind, but comfortable!

Dogs who go blind with diabetic cataracts, as Kumbi did, are still the same dogs they always were. Dogs who go blind this way usually cope far better than do humans who have once been sighted and lost their sight.

These dogs do require our respect, and sometimes some aids in helping them learn to find their ways.

For instance, it's best not to move furniture around inside the house or in the yard. Stairways might normally be blocked. I have only a few steps, no stairways, and Kumbi feels his way with his paws.

I do have a set of steps up to Our Bed, which have a protective fence to keep the dogs from falling - or leaping! - over the side and off onto the floor.

Blind Kumbi loves his walks!

Kumbi walks straight and true. He knows the neighborhood where we walk. He uses his ears and his nose. I believe he has a little peripheral vision remaining; he seems to be aware of light and dark. However, he can't see right in front of his nose, and if something is where it doesn't belong, he's just as likely to bump into it. He has learned to walk slowly in crowded areas.

Handling a blind dog

Each blind dog may have different requirements, but many are similar. Kumbi still has good hearing, at age eleven and a half, so I don't need to make any special noises, nor stomp around. I do talk. For instance, when Kumbi is relaxing in his favorite Sentry Spot, in the Front Stoop Pen, and I go indoors and leave him there, I start talking, in a normal voice, and keep talking until I have the front door shut. That way, Kumbi can hear that the sound of my voice changes with the shutting of the door, and he can also hear the door shutting.

Our dog door is almost always open, and Kumbi can go in and out at will.

I am careful not to pounce on Kumbi.I speak quietly as I approach, though he can probably hear me coming. When touching him, I lay the flat of my hand gently, careful not to be tickly, on his side.

Blind Kumbi communicates

It fascinates me to watch Kumbi continue communicating with me as he did before he lost his sight. He does all the same things he used to do, such as perhaps touch my calf from behind, He wags his tail as I talk to him. He looks up as though he could see, though I can see he's not focusing on my face, but looking just a bit in the wrong direction.

Many dogs are sensitive about the handling of paws, including both Kwali and Kumbi, but you can see in these pictures that neither dog is overwronght by it.

Insulin Injections and Blood Glucose Testing

Kumbi is the recipient of twice-daily insulin injections. Like many other diabetic dogs, he comes willingly for his shots, once he's determined there is a treat available.

Probably his willingness results because I really did study in excruciating detail how to give painless injections. And my vets taught me how to prick for blood samples without causing pain.

Truly, I was astounded that the pricks for blood samples don't hurt Kumbi. When I hurt him by mistake, he always lets me know; he is very demontrative about it - vocal, that is!

We can, with practice, learn to give painless injections, and for the prick for blood samples, we need to use a lancet thick enough to bring up the size of blood drop needed, and we need to handle the lancet gently, but make the prick itself fairly swift.

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FOUNDATIONS. Work at the dog's pace; don't push the dog; do ask the dog to cooperate. If the dog moves away, let the dog go. Invite the dog back. If it doesn't come, let it be, and try again later. Both practice and real sessions should be short; no more than a few minutes each. If you don't succeed in three tries, wait at least hours before the next try.
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