Blind dog flinching on walks

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Blind dog flinching on walks

This is a discussion on Blind dog flinching on walks within the Dog Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Dogs category; I have a 13 year old Pomeranian with diabetes and cataracts. He can discern light and the absence of light but that's about it. He's ...

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Old 06-28-2016, 04:41 PM
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Blind dog flinching on walks

I have a 13 year old Pomeranian with diabetes and cataracts. He can discern light and the absence of light but that's about it. He's been pretty good at navigating his environment for four years now. Certain things would always cause him to flinch, like sharp noises. But recently, about three weeks ago, the flinching started to occur his during walks, and it's more extreme, to the point where I think he is hurting from all the stress. What seems to trigger it is light and shadow. I have seen him flinch when I turned off the lights. He might think there's an object heading towards him.

Nothing in the environment has changed, he's been here for two years now, same building, same walks. He is not sensitive to bright lights. Also, he flinches more if he touches certain items inadvertently, like flower pots outside.
As soon as I noticed these flinching episodes, I took him to the vet and he got a checkup with no issues found. Since then though, the flinching has been getting worse. It's like everything scares him. I don't think it's pain, he is not bothered by bright stationary lights.
I've been limiting his walks and trying to avoid sunlight, but sometimes it even happens in the hallways of the building.
I'd like to restore his quality of life.With diabetes, exercise is very important and I think walks helped. Since the flinching started, he also doesn't want to walk far even when it's darker outside and the sun is not a factor.
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Old 06-29-2016, 02:11 AM
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Would walking him in bright light help?

His vision may be going more and that could be what is causing the flinching and walking him in bright light may help. My old dog had cataracts like you describe and did fine until he completely lost his sight, not being able to see at all caused him a lot of stress, if your dog is losing more of his vision it could be that going from light to shadow is going from being able to see some, to not being able to see at all, and is causing the flinching. Keeping him in bright light may let him still be able to see some and stop the flinching.
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Old 06-29-2016, 09:11 AM
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There is cataract surgery available for dogs, not inexpensive, but there are Vet specialists that do it.
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Old 06-29-2016, 11:41 PM
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I was going to suggest the same thing... my diabetic dog had his cataracts removed and it was truly miraculous, going from totally blind to seeing perfectly (or for all I could tell). Flinching could be a result of running into a few things badly (perhaps while you weren't around) making the whole blind thing that much more unpleasant.
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