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Old 08-07-2012, 08:54 AM
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Doberluv Doberluv is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: western Wa
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Unhappy My poor little Chulita...so sad.

I’ve been carrying this around with me… haven’t posted about it until now because I just didn’t know where we stood with Chulita and her cataract. It's been well over a year since I first started noticing her behavior becoming weird sporadically when on a walk. It became increasingly more consistent as time went on. She would just stop walking and kind of shrink back like she was afraid to go on…plant her feet and refuse to move. I tried working with her, giving treats often as she’d come along. It was mostly noticeable when I was at my daughter’s. Here, she went on a few walks, but insisted she stay on the sidewalk where it was easy and smooth. She enjoyed walks at our new neighborhood for a while. But she has come to dislike walks almost entirely.

She did see a regular vet and because of some irritation and pressure in her eye, (suspect glaucoma) she went on eye drops to relieve that. She had her pressure checked regularly and had her eye drop med refilled. This was back in Idaho and then here too. I moved here last Sept.

Skip ahead a few months: I noticed a cataract become worse and worse, so she went to an ophthalmologist, one of just a few in this part of the state… and sure enough, she was, by this time, virtually blind in her left eye. The other eye is fine. She had all kinds of tests and it turned out it would be fixable because other structures are fine. (sometimes it’s not effective to do the surgery) It would cost about $2,500. So, I hemmed and hawed over that one. She is a 12 year old dog with a heart murmur. It‘s been many months since those couple appointments.

Meanwhile, she developed more fearful responses to things like shadows of grass blades or anything moving anywhere near her. Her depth perception is way off because of the blindness in one eye, so it looks like things are coming right at her and are going to hit her. (apparently) She will shrink back, flutter her eyes, and startle at so many things outside.

She will act like she’d like to go for a walk when I get out the leashes, but then once on the driveway, that’s as far as she’ll go, planting her feet and looking afraid. It’s really pathetic. The vet also said that if I don’t fix it, she will get use to it and adapt. It could take time, but they usually learn to compensate and that depth perception thing will not bother her anymore. So far, I see no improvement other than she recovers quickly. She will freak, then bounce right back. It’s worse on a sunny day when there are more shadows. Inside she’s fine and does like playing with toys and with Jose`. She doesn’t seem to be too affected too much by things indoors where everything stays pretty much the same and there aren’t those shadows or things moving in front of her too close or too much.

I took her to the vet again just the other day to get her eye pressure checked because that is high unless she stays on her eye drop meds. (1-2 times a day) He also found that her heart murmur is at a level 4 which he said would make it very risky to do the surgery to fix the cataract. It has gotten worse than it was a year or two ago.

So, poor little Chulita is getting to that stage where I’m fearing she won’t be around too much longer. We’ve sworn off walks. She just doesn’t like them anymore. It’s so sad because she use to be my little hiking buddy and would charge through the woods bravely. She sleeps a lot but will play inside a little bit with toys…gets silly and happy. And of course, she loves cuddling. So, there is still enjoyment in life, but no more walks. I wonder if she’d be a candidate for a stroller of some sort. Do you think she’d like that? As it is now, Jose` and I go off for a walk and she sometimes comes to see me put the leash on him. She wags her tail and looks expectant. And off we go, leaving her behind. Any time I’ve tried to take her too, she gets out as far as the middle of the driveway and then plants her feet…doesn’t want to go. It breaks my heart every time we go off and leave her there. We come home and find that she has been snoozing on the couch, so I guess she gets over it. But this is hard.

Thanks if you read this whole thing. It was loooooong.
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