Blind and Deaf

donnakt_gwAugust 14, 2011

My little Yorkie has been deaf for a while but now she has lost her sight as well. She is 17 years old. Does anyone have any hints as to keeping her as happy as possible. She now wets on the carpet. My daughter wants me to crate her..BUT she likes to walk around the house. What would you do?



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Why is she eliminating in the house? That wouldn't have anything to do with being blind and deaf. Unless the blindness is from untreated diabetes. Or does she have incontinence or a UTI? Both can be treated with meds. Proin or DES if incontinence, antibiotics if a UTI. I would gate her in a room with a floor that's easily cleaned until you and your vet have figured out why she's eliminating in the house. Are you walking her enough? Old dogs - even blind ones- still need exercise, fresh air and stimulation.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 12:38PM
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Thanks for your response. I have been taking her out but she had used a potty pad she can't find the pad. I didn't mention, I'm 75 and have arthrites in both knees..I can't walk her. I have an 11 year old little boy that I have take out as well..he has a bad leg and can't get up and down the steps. I was much younger and my husband was living then too so circumstances have changed. But I still have to little furkids to take care of.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 2:35PM
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As suggested above, have her checked by a vet first.
If her incontinence can't be treated, don't hesitate to use doggie diapers on her, and wraps for the male if they're needed. It may help to have a groomer trim her so she's easier to keep clean but otherwise keep some baby wipes on hand for clean ups.

Here is a link that might be useful: urinary support

    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 7:25PM
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Our dog lived to be almost 18 and he was deaf, and then blind. I got a corral made for was white plastic. He stayed in it during the day while I was at work. I had a huge kitchen with a vinyl floor, and set the corral up in there with newspaper on the floor. Usually, he would poop and walk through it and still manage to get it on the floor, so I was mopping every night. We couldn't leave him loose in the house because he would walk into a corner and not be able to get out. When we were home, we'd pick him up and carry him outside to go to the bathroom, but he didn't always need to go when we took him out. They didn't have doggie diapers then. The vet said there wasn't any drug we could use for incontinence, although I did try one my Mom was taking then. I had researched it and it was okay for dogs to take, but it didn't help. If your dog has never been crated, I personally think it would be upsetting to her to start now. I just held my dog a lot, and petted him when I was home. He always had a good appetite and still liked attention. Just try to let her do the things she still can do, and make her quality of life as good as you can. We finally decided that Gus wasn't enjoying life anymore and had him put down. It is a very difficult thing to do. I was hoping he would go in his sleep, but it was not to be. He also had arthritis really bad and a bad heart valve. He had a very difficult time walking around, and being blind made it all that much worse. Good luck with your girl.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 8:32PM
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Thank you, I was hoping to hear from someone with the same problems I am having. Sweetie isn't used to being crated. She likes to go where she wants to go and when she wants to. I have her favorite beds where they were when she could see..and water sitting where she is used to it being. She does pretty well..but I don't want to go anywhere and leave her with out me being here to take care of her. I try not to be sad so she won't pick up my feelings..but that isn't easy.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 9:18PM
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I had two geriatric dogs who eventually went both deaf and blind. It is not at all unusual for a dog that age to be incontinent at least occasionally. Many elderly people are as well in advanced age for many reasons other than bladder infections.

Both of my dogs still did pretty well with finding their way to the dog dish, their sleeping pads and the door when they wanted to go out. They compensated amazingly well. They did have accidents, however and they became increasingly frequent as other issues like arthritis became more profound. Sometimes they just couldn't get up and go to the door to signal before nature called. I lived with a bucket, mop and bleach in my hands. I never used pee pads with my dogs and I think it was just more ingrained to them that their urges meant they went to the door. That made it easier for me than it would for you if you used pee pads, I suspect.

I did use a baby gate to keep them in the tiled area and off the carpeting. It still gave them a good sized area in which to move around and they adjusted well to it and I suspect found it less confusing than having the run of the house. It could be your dog is having other issues totallly unrelated to potty or sight or hearing if she is not compensating well. She should be able to find her pee pad with her nose.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 9:58PM
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Maybe I change the pads too often..there is no smell for her to pick up..This is why I posted's new for me and I'm trying to learn and be able to help Sweetie.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2011 at 10:08PM
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Well there becomes a problem with them finding their potty areas by scent when they've already fouled things like carpet in other areas of the house. Even if we think we've cleaned it sufficiently since we can't smell it, the average dog has a sniffer at least 250 times more acute than a human nose. If she comes upon a spot where she had an accident, and there's any scent she can detect, it might register that it's OK to pee on it again.

There might also be some cognitive degeneration going on. It's possible she is not as mentally functional because of organic reasons. Yes, dogs can get dementia.

I think crating her at her age would be distressful to her but do you at least have a room or section of the house where she can be confined with something like a baby gate where she would be easier to clean up after? If your daughter meant to keep her permanently crated or caged, it would strike me as a total loss of quality of life. But realistically you also cannot allow your home to become one big pee pad because your dog likes to wander around.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2011 at 12:22AM
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