We found out today that Polly has a syndrome called SARDS – Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome. Instead of slowly going blind, Polly has gone blind in about a month. We first noticed it a few weeks ago when she would run into things on our walks. At first we thought it was because she was so interested in following a scent that she didn’t look where she was going then noticed that she was looking up many of these times and still not seeing the tree, bush or stone in her path.
Her litter has a very poor genetic history, and after the suffering and loss of Finn, her brother, we had to know what was going on. Our local vet helped a little with an exam and some kind words, but he recommended we go to a specialist in Columbus. The specialist confirmed her blindness and gave us her SARDS diagnosis, which is actually good news since the other thought was that it was a Central Nervous System issue which could mean a brain tumor.
Paul and I cheered the blindness and explained to the doctor that set backs are OK, it’s the terminal issues we fear. I kept thanking God all the way home and the energy in our house was elevated by our relief and knowing Polly isn’t in any pain and can still have a happy life with us.
I am so happy that it’s just blindness, and though the lights may have gone out for Polly on the outside, she is full of so much brightness that we are going to do whatever we can to make this no big deal for her.
Thankfully as a dog she doesn’t have the emotions of self-pity and despair for something that she may think is normal. She gets around the house well, except when she’s excited then she walks into walls and doors, and of course our legs. The stairs are no big deal since she takes them slow and outside she is always on a leash so I have become her seeing-eye human.
I am proud to speak out that I have a blind dog and I love her. Plus I am incredibly thankful for her in my life!