Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Adjusting and Denial

I am getting my head around Carmen's diagnosis. Yes, it sucks but Carmen doesn't care. Yesterday she greeted me with 5 individual kisses - for my little onion this is beyond generous! Obviously she was trying to tell me it is okay - she's fine.

We do not know how quickly or slowly the PRA is progressing so we are going to make the most of the time we have left to play agility. I know I will try to be observant and I know Katrin will let me know if she thinks Carmie's sight has worsened and she is becoming a danger to herself on course.

I just ordered two bright yellow tags from Boomerang Tags that say "I have vision loss" (which is maybe poor grammar? oh well) with contact info on the opposite side. I ordered one for my in-laws and one for me when I am trialing that has my cell phone number and says "I am attending an agility trial" on it.

Even though I took Carmen to see a SPECIALIST I keep having moments of denial. I think for a second, "Perhaps he was wrong. Maybe I should get a second opinion." Oh good gods, lady!

Since receiving the diagnosis Monday I realize small things that make so much more sense....

Carmen's occasional snappy/snarky behavior - peripheral vision suffers first.

Her dislike of the chute - going in to a dark closed tunnel when you do not see well in the dark?

Her refusal to jump out of the car when it is dark out/night.

Even though I wish the diagnosis were wrong, all of these things support that it is correct. We had a super class last night which I will post more on later.


manymuddypaws said...

the good thing about all of this is now you know. Now you can take care to make sure she is comfortable when it is dark, and train a little differently to accomodate her vision loss.

i can't remember- did she like the terrier stuff (going into holes?) maybe you could make the chute more of a fun game- dark or not...

anyway, I feel your "getting a second opinion" pain- as humans we always wonder if there is something better- but you know that he was right- PRA isn't something that can be easily misdiagnosed.

we're thinking of ya!

penni said...

I'm so sorry, Jules. Carmie will still have lots of fun and we all know you're do everything you can to slow the progression. The really sad thing is that PRA is entirely preventable by selective breeding. You and your girl should not be dealing with it.

Jules said...

She does like terrier stuff, so I plan on doing lot s of training this spring. Apparently the Dachshund club doesn't have a clause about blind dogs and she could still compete for a while in AKC with partial vision.

It is wild to be conscious of this denial feeling. :\

Penni, I plan on submitting Carmen's blood work to OptiGen to hopefully help further the prevention and I am going to see if I can speak at my local MS club about the dna test they have available. All the breeders should be using it! (I am pissed/frustrated they aren't.)

Blue said...

That's really frustrating that the schnauzer breeders aren't using the DNA test! I hope you do get a chance to talk to the people in the MS club. With the test, it should be so easy for breeders to avoid at least certain forms of PRA.

I bet the terrier stuff will be really fun for Carmen in the spring.