Yups you read correctly I'm losing my vision. I have SARDS (Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration) The end result of this is loss of function and death of the photoreceptor cells in the retina that capture light. It is a permanent vision loss with no treatment or cure. There's no known cause for this disease. It is an autoimmune disease in some dogs and humans. It seems Dachshunds and Schnauzers,are more predisposed to developing SARDS then other breeds, although it can occur in any dog. It typically shows up between the ages of 5 -10 years of age.
There is a very small number of patients who show improvement in their vision with a drug cocktail therapy if the disease is caught early enough. Thankfully they did catch my declining vision early...We just don't know if they caught it early enough. So we're giving this drug therapy a try and praying hard this will arrest my vision loss with no further decline. We're even praying that some small part of my vision loss might be restored.
We're sorry there wasn't better news, but thankfully I have pawrents that truly believe you make the best of whatever life gives you. There's no guarantees during our time here on earth, and it's better to accept what we get and make the best of it.
Over the next weeks and months Mom will be teaching me some new commands to help me navigate after my vision is gone should this drug cocktail not work. I'll learn Left, Right, Wait, Up and Down so hiking through my woods and fields will still be an option for me. We all know what a fierce, brave hunting pup I am so Mom wants to keep my life as normal and full as it's always been. Should I end up not being comfortable hiking without sight we'll come up with a new plan on how to spend my days.
There will be no furniture rearranging (Dad's happy with that one) It's a good thing I've always worn a harness on our walks (due to our coyote problem and Dachshunds getting caught up in tracking) I will always have to wear one now as my vision isn't the best.
The thing that means the most to me is the reassurance in knowing what ever life may send me, my folks are going to be there beside me. Always with a loving touch and a kind word letting me know everything is going to be just fine and we'll get through it together..That's what family's do.
One thing I'd like to share about my Mom is every time she's noticed something related to my health that's seemed "off" she'd take me to my dogtor and get it checked out. There have been very few times that Mom's been wrong and I've made a trip in vain. Most of the time it's helped tremendously in my recovery from whatever health issue it was at the time. This time it may help salvage some of my vision. We would like to gently suggest this for all pup and pet owners.
Molly and my Mom (Getting through life one step at a time)
Pictures from my visit to the Animal Eye Care Center