Yesterday I took in a deaf/blind Dachshund puppy. She is a bit young, 6 weeks old. She appears to have one partially functioning eye that can distinguish light/dark and a missing eye. At this point I also believe the puppy to be deaf. She has an underbite, a possible roach back, and a possible skewed muzzle. She is the result of a merle x merle breeding... However, she is in good weight and observing her interact with her surroundings, she behaves like a "normal" puppy and was not overly alarmed at being in a new place.
Now, I am no stranger to dogs! Born and raised with them. Showed and bred, mostly German Shepherd Dogs, for quite a few years as a youth. Did agility with my white GSD bitch as a kid. Tons of fun! Wish I still had that kind of energy.
Now, years later, I have some health issues but I am still surrounded by dogs. I have my personal "pack" mainly made up of small dogs and a Boxer. All bitches of various ages. I manage a goat dairy that makes cheese and there are a large amount of "work" dogs that belong to the owners of the farm. Border collies and Great Pyrenees. The GP know their job of course, but I do work with the BCs to work the goats and am assisting in the training of the newest youngster who shows a lot of promise.
I am visually impaired, and my boss and the farm owner is deaf, so we're quite the group, but it works.
So you can imagine how a deaf/blind puppy (although the "breeder" was not aware the puppy is deaf), even one from a BYB CL ad, would pull on my heart strings...there's always room at my inn.
I have made a vet appointment for Tuesday so that will give us some more information.
The first night was a non-event. She slept well and was taken to an appropriate potty spot several times, and my husband took her a few times this morning. We also made sure she was able to get a drink of water at those times.
Right now she is between the paws of our young Boxer who is very gently playing with her. Our Boxer may be a bit of a silly creature (it was my husband's breed of choice lol) but when it comes to babies and puppies, she is a miracle worker. She calms them down, keeps them clean, and plays with them. Our older Boxer who passed away this year was very much the same, and would even nurse (or try to nurse) bottle baby goats while cleaning their bottoms.
At this point it is obvious the puppy can see changes in lighting and is very much deaf. I almost had second thoughts last night, wondering what I had gotten myself into (we're in the middle of a move actually - we are moving from our current home into a smaller home on the farm I manage - much more outside space but less inside space, not that we use most of it in the current house).
I have spoken to a good friend who is a dashie lover - if little puppy does not fit into our lives, I know she too would make an excellent home.
I have worked with deaf dogs, and I have worked with dogs with one eye (one of the BCs here on the farm is one-eyed) but I admit I have never worked with one that is both. I have read some very good articles and have some good ideas on how to proceed, but I would love to hear more information, or even anecdotes about your own experiences.
Thank you so much!
Last edited by Epona142; Dec. 1, 2012 at 04:31 PM.
Reason: Took out some parts that did not apply to this forum via copy/paste
Thanks - the collar has been mentioned a couple times in the places I've asked about the puppy, so something to look into for sure.
Bluey - I will look into the group and the spinal problems, thanks for giving me a heads up on that - I never did any breeding of dogs with merle, so while I am familiar with the basics of the genetics, I do need to take time to research more in depth about it and it's repercussions so I know what to ask the vet about on Tuesday.
I suspect that she can see *something* out of the one eye. Behind the deformity it appears to be a normal eye and does track movement - I am willing to bet she can see large or close shapes.
She has already gotten the hang of potty-time; when she is set down in the appropriate area (the same spot every time) she eliminates right away. She will also whine and signal she needs to do so. Thank goodness!
She has no name just yet. Many people have suggested Helen Keller but it just doesn't fit with the rest of my names (to me anyhow!)
I wish you guys could have seen her puppy playing last night. I put her down on the floor in the game room (a small room) and kept an eye on her while reading my book. She became very excited and began to bounce much like any puppy would. Upon discovering my husband's foot she was transformed into a joyous twirling ball of fur (probably because it smelled like something dead?) She also found a stuffy toy on her own. She does *not* like to be on the floor by herself for very long, so we are working on that in stages. Otherwise she is in my lap or next to me.
The vet took a look and said there is some deformity to her muzzle and spine, and we will need to watch those as she grows.
He agrees with me that she has some use out of the deformed eye, but not much.
She is very happy today, even after being poked and prodded. She is spending less time crying about being "lost" and even played with the other youngsters we have. She also chomped on my toe...puppies!
She has decided too, that the kennel is a wonderful place to sleep. So glad about that!
Another good night and lots of playing and happy. She is settling in and showing herself to be very adaptable. She is playing with the other young dogs we have, though we supervise as they sometimes get a bit rough and need to be settled down.
I have a mostly blind dog (~90% - she sees some light and dark) that was probably this way from birth (she is 9.5 and I have only had her 1.5 years), but no one noticed (long story). She also doesn't hear very well. Anyway, she definitely has some challenges since she never learned things like how to deal with unlevel ground, bashes into things when excited, and struggles with stairs (especially when excited), but she has otherwise adapted even to new surroundings (like my home) very well. I used a strong, unusual scent (rose water!) to teach her where the doggy door was (the flap means the light/dark contrast isn't there, so I marked the edges with the scent and initially left the flap off and helped her through with a leash), leave lights on when it gets dark in the early evening, and crate her when I go to bed at night. My 4-acre property is fully fenced and I was very careful how I introduced her to it so she didn't get "lost" if I wasn't right with her - usually she doesn't stray far from my side when we are out there. If I need her to come to me, I have to be moving, within line of sight, and pretty close, while calling her name. Typically, I rarely have a need for her to "come when called". We don't go to lots of new places as that causes her to get very stressed (we go to the vet when necessary and that is it) and I allow her to meet new people on her own terms as they also cause her stress. No amount of socializing or taking her new places was able to reduce this stress, so we generally just avoid it (I lead a quiet life with not a lot of visitors and plenty of space for the dogs to exercise and be stimulated without leaving the property).
I think Ellie is lucky to have found you and raising her will be a challenge, but not impossible. Good luck!
My golden got heavy duty cataracts later in life which made him blind, but he was still the loviest lover of people and my best friend early to current life (he was about 18 when he died! Of bad luck!) So don't worry, doggies can be great through it all!
And that pic with the Boxer just made the pain of my loved one's return back to her home elsewhere easier to deal with. That was cute enough to be a cure for something.
I have a rescued dachsie that was the product of irresponsible breeding of two dapples. He is mostly blind, but can hear. He has seizures and also has had 3 spinal surgeries. What little eye sight he has, he is loosing and I am heart broken. In reality, he is happy, well adjusted and gets around just fine. He sees an ophthalmogist 1-2 times a year to monitor his pressures as he is prone to glaucoma.
I admire you for taking in little Ellie and look forward to seeing her grow up. Please co tinge to update us with pictures! She's adorable!
Thanks all - good point, I do need to take more picture.
She has settled in very well. She sleeps in my lap or somewhere I've set her down where I can keep an eye on her, potties when she wakes up, plays for a while, then cries to tell me she wants to be picked up for another nap!
She is even playing with the other dogs now. She prefers my husband's feet as a playtoy though. She is adapting VERY well and for all things, appears happy and full of puppy love.
Since I also have two foster pups in the house right now, it's one heck of an adventure around here!
Poor puppy. I hope the breeder did not breed merle to merle on purpose. Some do and then pretend it was a mistake. These 'byproducts' of merle to merle are often euthanized. Makes me sad that people keep doing this when the odds are pretty clear what will happen.
I sincerely hope this dear puppy can have a good quality of life.