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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, so I haven't been able to get on here because of computer issues but I finally fixed my laptop. For those of you who don't know: Moko is a nine (almost ten) year old Shiba Inu rescued about a year ago.

Background to the problem:

It was awfully sunny outside and while feeding Moko I noticed she had patches of grey on both her eyes. I immediately suspected cataracts and went to Google. I confirmed the diagnosis because I knew she already had ye old hazy-eye so the grey could only be the cataracts.

I noticed she rubs at her eyes a bit (perhaps only one side now that I think about it) so once I regain job-status I'm going to ask the vet if there's any meds for inflammation that are cheap.

The problem:

Today I woke up. Upon hearing me awake Moko started to whine. I went to the bathroom. Weirdly, her whining didn't escalate so I glanced over and she wasn't looking at me, just staring off to the side. Other than that everything seemed okay so I clipped on her collar and leash. Again, strange that she was so devoid of energy but I figured since I had gone to bed late yesterday she was tired.

She wasn't as energetic in the yard but got excited to go into my parents house (they feed her treats). My brother reached over to pet her and she yelped. Mum noticed a Shiba Fluff on her neck (oh god it's shedding season) and reached over to pull it off and Moko yelped.

I took her home and inspected her neck. She was acting weird and I put it together that it looked like she couldn't see. So I grabbed a handheld flashlight, lifted her muzzle and shone it.

One eye was blue-gray and the pupil shrank. The other was waaaay less see-through and the pupil stayed blown, no reaction to the light. I checked for injury or inflammation and there is none that I can see.

Question:

Oh god I reeeeally hope it's just sudden onset of cataracts! I'm unemployed right now and although I'm looking for a job I just don't have the ability to go to a vet :( Is there anything else I should check for? Is it something more serious?!
 

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Bumping this to the top of the forum for you.

The only thing I know of would be pressure build up in the eye, but that's a wild guess on my part. I hope someone else can give you a better idea.
 

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Unfortunately you will need to find a way to get her to a vet asap....eye issues are nothing to wait on. These could be ulcers on the eye and untreated lead to so much pain and more issues. You will need to sell something to get her into a low cost clinic if nothing else.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The most expensive things I own are my car and my laptop, unfortunately. Neither can be sold because they're all I have of said items (not to mention dirt old and needing TLC). I own one piece of furniture; a table and two chairs. Other than that I own pretty much nothing else besides lots of papers, childhood memorabilia, and books. :( I'm going to ask the vets if any do payment plans. A new one opened really far from my house so I've never been there but I've heard good things.

I'm getting a loan to fix my car so while I'm at it (if the vet does payment plans) I'll procure one for vet bills too.

@Rain from what I've read so far it's probably the secondary cataract: Glaucoma. Or, at least, I'm hoping because out of all the suggestions that one's the least scary. Apparently other than meds for pain and possible surgery to remove the eye not much can be done.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So after a closer look the pupil is distorted. It's not perfectly round, almost like the iris is leaching into it on the top and bottom. I don't know if that's normal with dogs and blown pupils.

I've been thinking about it and I'm not sure this is a sudden thing. It's the same eye she got dog pink-eye (as the vet explained it) and she still gets boogies and rubs it. It's also on the side that she would fail to follow toys if they were tossed (regardless of her interest). I dunno, I can't see any vets until Monday anyways so I'll monitor it and step up my game on finding a job.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Darn, too late to edit my above post.

Update:

She is now acting completely normal. Even jumped on top of her crate. Her eye is the same as well.

My suspicion is some sort of pressure buildup that got really bad yesterday? I'm pretty sure dogs don't acclimate that quickly.
 

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If the dog had swelling and discharge I'm still leaning towards ulceration on the eye. If the pupil is not round and used to be I would be seriously concerned.
Posted via Mobile Device
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The stupid thing is I have no idea if it used to be round or not. I never checked because there was no reason to. Her other eye is so I'm leaning towards "not normal." I'm calling the vet clinic first thing tomorrow to see what can be done.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So I called and they don't do payment plans but there is a Pet Vet Credit Card they suggested for me. They told me to come in for a checkup and the Vet can either diagnose her right there (if it's obvious) or estimate the cost of what they need to do to fix/diagnose it.

So she's going in tomorrow morning and I'm crossing my fingers. Send lots of luck our way!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Quick update before we head out on a walk.

Bad news: The vet has no idea what the heck is wrong

Good news: other than being blind in that eye everything is perfectly fine.

There's no pressure, scarring, floaties, or infection. Although the pupil is all messed up there is still light hitting the back of the eye as the other pupil contracts when light is shone into the bad one. I asked about the bogies and she said that since the nerve is probably messed up there could be something wrong with the moisture so pick up some saline eyedrops and apply four times a day to prevent complications.

Basically I need to keep an eye out (lol) for head tilt, bugging, third eyelid etc but otherwise everything seems fine. She did offer to refer me to an ophthalmologist but the nearest ones are twelve hours away so I refused.

She did mention that Moko's lost quite a bit of weight but I was all: "She was fat when I got her. She didn't stay fat for long." So other than upping her food a bit because she's a tad underweight she's in good health.

*phew* had a scare there. I do have some questions about potential blindness:

What can I do to help Moko if she ever goes completely blind? I'm going to go around and pad the few corners I have and stop using the leash on her collar for potty breaks (she pulls). But other than that I have no clue (I don't have any furniture to move either so that's a non issue).
 

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I'm so glad Moko's alright! LOL, better to be a bit underweight then still overweight. Hopefully her other eye stays good.

Shadow's been completely blind for over a year now, and had very limited vision for around 2 years before that. He adjusted really quick to the blindness since he was slowly losing his vision before it happened.

What I did to help him was:

Acted the same toward him, and tried not to let how sad I was for him show in my voice or manner toward him.

I didn't baby him about it, but encouraged him to continue doing what he used to do. So I'd put his food down in it's usual spot and let him find it, I'd show him the steps that lead to the house and let him go up and down them himself (I'd be right there in case he started to slip or missed a step). I'd let him go out in the yard by himself and allow him to wander and only help him if he was honestly lost. He now has confidence to do things by himself and will still try to do new things.

I marked the top and bottom step with mats so that he can find them and knows where they are.

I padded any corner, and on walks keep an eye out for anything that may poke him in the eye. I got down to his level in the yard and house to make sure I didn't miss anything. If he was younger I'd invest in doggles so that he could run around outside at full speed and I wouldn't have to worry.

On walks I'm always looking out for anything he could trip on.

If I had a larger house I'd consider using mats or scents to mark different rooms.

If I move something I show him that it's moved.

I hold my hand down by his nose or talk to him before touching him so he knows it's me.

If I had the money I'd love to make a gravel path, or stepping stone path from the gate to the house.

Plant something with a distinctive scent by the front and back door so that it can be more easily found by the dog when he is outside.

If your dog is young and likes to play try some noise making toys.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yay, I was hoping you'd give me some pointers!

Yeah, I was pretty happy to hear that she's underweight. It makes me feel accomplished :p

I usually feed Moko in a Kong (less RG) so there's really no "spot" it goes. I'll make sure to show her good side the Kong and if she loses all vision maybe putting her paw on it or letting some kibble fall out would help? Or maybe I should feed from hand.

She is never going up my stairs (my cats have fallen through them) so I'll baby gate the bottom I think. Maybe put a mat down so she knows where it is.

I don't currently have a fenced yard so other than avoiding things that may poke her I'm pretty good for that. Maybe I'll get her an eyepatch and she can be a pirate dog. I have no idea how well she'd wear one, even if it was for a walk, though.

I'll have to pad my one doorway so she doesn't bump into it. Maybe put down a small, long mat into the room. Figure out a way to mark the curtains that are in front of the pantry/water tanks/fuse box... perhaps spraying it with Feliway or that dog one (I can't use air fresheners on account of the bird). The bathroom has a high step on it but I don't know if two mats would fit (it's an itty bitty bathroom). Maybe I won't let her in there, the floor has holes and she wouldn't be able to turn around without hitting something... hmmm.

Now that I know she's blind I've been telegraphing my movements and speaking more. Mostly it's so she knows I'm there (she has a tendency to sit reeeally close when I'm in the kitchen. Makes sense now why I kept bumping into her). It's also been a "duh" moment for her hesitancy with nail clipping. It will be harder to clip from one side but if she can see me it will make it easier on her.

She likes sleeping on top of her crate too. I think I'll get or make a ramp for her. The crate door is always open which I now know is a hazard but if she prefers the top....

Lol, she already drives me nuts with her squeaking toys. I should probably pick up a ball or toy that makes noise when it hits the ground instead of pressing.... some sort of bell thing maybe?

Thank you for the pointers! I'll start going through the house and seeing what needs to be done before she goes completely blind and what needs to be done now. I'm so happy I don't care about furniture because there's not much to be padded and most of it will never move XP
 

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You're welcome!

She's going to bump into things, it's pretty much unavoidable. As long as she isn't running or moving fast when she does, and the object doesn't have any sharp edges, she shouldn't hurt herself. You know the robot vacuum, it vacuums by itself, and it bumps into the wall then turns around and goes then other way? That's what Shadow reminds me of. He'll bump into walls and furniture on a frequent basis and I haven't moved anything.

Yeah if she doesn't have to use the stairs it may be best to just block them off. I carry Shadow down the stairs because he'll, for some reason, try and jump off the last step or second to last step. Unfortunately he doesn't land he crashes. Even trying to guide him down he's jumped before I could pick him up to stop him.

If you're worried she'll hurt the blind eye now you can still try doggles, they're made to protect dogs eyes that like to stick their heads out of car windows, ride in the side car of motorcycles, or in the bed of a truck.

I'd just keep giving her the kong like you always do, she should be able to figure it out. Shadow will push food out of his bowl, then later I'll see him sniffing around it till he finds the pieces on the ground. I also share little pieces of my breakfast with him. I'll click the clicker to let him know something good is near and hold down a piece near him and he'll sniff till he finds it. I figure it's a way to work him mind. What's funny though, is he'll get near it and open his mouth a little, then close it sniff a bit more then grab it.

If she goes completely blind be careful letting her sleep on top of the crate. You'll either have to figure out a way to keep her from falling off by accident or not let her sleep up their. Here's what I mean, my deck is 3 ft high, and has a railing all around it but the railing has a 1 foot gap between the edge of the deck and the house Shadow found that gap and fell off the deck, it happened before I could take more then 1 step toward him. I'm still thankful that he was unhurt, but that small gap was blocked off as soon as I had made sure he was alright. He did that around 6 months after he had gone blind.

Using mats to mark doorways is fine, it works best when each mat has a different texture so that she can feel what room it is she's come to.
 

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Glad its nothing too serious needing immediate treatment. Hopefully its nothing that will come on later, fingers crossed! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
You're welcome!

She's going to bump into things, it's pretty much unavoidable. As long as she isn't running or moving fast when she does, and the object doesn't have any sharp edges, she shouldn't hurt herself. You know the robot vacuum, it vacuums by itself, and it bumps into the wall then turns around and goes then other way? That's what Shadow reminds me of. He'll bump into walls and furniture on a frequent basis and I haven't moved anything.
Haha, you have a Roomba Dog :p There will be a lot of padding in my house eventually! It's not the best built so it's got a lot of "what in the-" things.

Yeah if she doesn't have to use the stairs it may be best to just block them off. I carry Shadow down the stairs because he'll, for some reason, try and jump off the last step or second to last step. Unfortunately he doesn't land he crashes. Even trying to guide him down he's jumped before I could pick him up to stop him.
She used them once (jumped over the gate) and almost injured herself. Then I had to carry her fat butt down because she was too scared. Now she waits at the bottom and cries when I go up. Nobody likes my stairs :/ That's so weird! I'll bet he's tryin' to look smooth... or he keeps forgetting how many steps their are...

If you're worried she'll hurt the blind eye now you can still try doggles, they're made to protect dogs eyes that like to stick their heads out of car windows, ride in the side car of motorcycles, or in the bed of a truck.
I'll see if she'll tolerate it. Shiba' aren't known for their accessorizing but I got her used to the harness by using it for walks so maybe it will work with doggles. If nothing else they'll make for adorable five-second pics! She has misjudged distances and objects before. So far she's smacked her face a few times but no eye hits that I could see. Better safe then sorry, though.

I'd just keep giving her the kong like you always do, she should be able to figure it out. Shadow will push food out of his bowl, then later I'll see him sniffing around it till he finds the pieces on the ground. I also share little pieces of my breakfast with him. I'll click the clicker to let him know something good is near and hold down a piece near him and he'll sniff till he finds it. I figure it's a way to work him mind. What's funny though, is he'll get near it and open his mouth a little, then close it sniff a bit more then grab it.
Well, if she goes completely blind I'll have to feed her where the cats won't eat her kibble! They both go nuts for Moko food! Skooma's too cautious but Sugar steals it from right under Moko's nose!

Naaaw, that's so cute! Like he's making sure it's what he smells! Moko just horks food down (literally).

If she goes completely blind be careful letting her sleep on top of the crate. You'll either have to figure out a way to keep her from falling off by accident or not let her sleep up their. Here's what I mean, my deck is 3 ft high, and has a railing all around it but the railing has a 1 foot gap between the edge of the deck and the house Shadow found that gap and fell off the deck, it happened before I could take more then 1 step toward him. I'm still thankful that he was unhurt, but that small gap was blocked off as soon as I had made sure he was alright. He did that around 6 months after he had gone blind.
Well, the door opens in front of the front door so the ramp can't go there which means it has to be a side-ramp and there's only one side free (the others are against the wall) Looking at this conundrum it would have to be a custom ramp because it has to be L-shaped in order to fit... I'll start measuring and planning. Some sort of railing so she doesn't fall off the side, traction on the ramp.... hmmmm... I'll see if I can plan something as safe as possible. There isn't much space in my place so her decision to crash on top was awesome (she's getting a thick heated bed up there soon). Hopefully I can let her keep her favourite spot.

Wow, that sucks. Thank goodness he was unhurt! Another reason Moko is never going on my stairs; they're open on the side. The idea of her falling from there... *shudder*

Using mats to mark doorways is fine, it works best when each mat has a different texture so that she can feel what room it is she's come to.
I know Home Depot and Canadian Tire have various "bulk mats". I'll check them out and see what I can find. How different should the texture be? Like there are different kinds of black rubber mats but should I look for completely different mats like the gross Welcome fuzzy mats? Or will different kinds of black rubber patterns be enough?
 
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