I received this in an email this morning. I thought I would share with one of my friend who has a blind dog and any of you that are experiencing this.
Let His Sniffer Be His Eyes Janaury 11, 2007
Blind dogs rely on smelling and hearing to make their way in the world. Here's how you can take advantage of Fido's keenest sense.
Bumping into things and having trouble navigating is not uncommon for dogs who are vision-impaired. You can minimize mishaps and make getting around a lot easier by marking each area of the house with a different scent, using pinecones, candles, or air fresheners to create a sniffable map of his surroundings. Try a drop of vanilla extract by his water dishes, a spot of peppermint essential oil on his bed, and your favorite potpourri by the door you use when taking him out for walks.
That can work very well. I used scent training with a blind/deaf dane that I fostered, well perma-fostered he was never adopted. For my blind boy now I just mainly use sounds and touches. I've found that once they figured out where everything was, takes a week or two, they donít have a problem getting around. I of course never rearrange furniture so everything stays in the same spot. I also have a bell on my slippers so he knows where I am at all times.
Wow, both of you have great suggestions. I like the idea of a scent map. My best friend has a lab that is 16 years old and is blind now. Of course he knows his way around and familiar with the scents already.
We adopted a pom, Reba, from rescue that vet thinks is 90% deaf. She is also about 10 years old, has lost teeth and more need to be pulled. The only thing she can hear is an air horn, learned that by accident. Is there anything else high pitched enough for her? The hubby and kids took the air horn away from me. :( She trusts me but is leary around any one else. The kids can't quite grasp the idea that she can't hear them walking up behind her. I have moved Reba's mat into the corner between a wall and my computer desk. She has relaxed more since I did this due to no one sneaking up on her.
There is no need to use an air horn. What do you use it for anyway? If itís just to get attention thereís other thing that are much easier than carrying around a horn and better on your ears.Hears the DDEAF site http://www.deafdogs.org/ it will have lots of info to help you find ways to work with her. I could also email you if you have any questions or want some tips.
I LOVE the bells on the slippers idea! Adorable. The scent is great too because a friend of mine adopted a lhasa about a year about that was partially blind as well as mostly deaf. :( He's 10 years old. Anyway, I talked her into getting Piper's litter mate in hopes that the pup would guide the older dog as his blindness worsened. Sure enough today she told me that she thinks his eyesight is now completely gone and that last night she took them out to potty and he couldn't find his way in the house. The pup figured this out, went to the older dog and guided him back into the house by nudging him in the direction he needed to go. :) How sweet is that?!!!!
I thought maybe you were using it since you said they had to take it away. Many dogs that are clinically and functionally deaf can hear a few high pitched and very loud sounds. You could get a BAER test done and the doctor should be able to tell you what pitches and tones she can hear if you want to know.