The Eyes Have It

Well, Baxter and I had an interesting afternoon. Total disclosure; Rhonda went along too, and was quite miffed that the nice tech lady petted and put drops in Baxter’s eyes and completely ignored Ronni. How dare she?

Anyway, Baxter’s appointment today with the eye doctor came about because of minor but noticeable changes in his behavior over the past 6-9 months. They were small changes that didn’t amount to all that much.

When we would open the front door to invite him out to go potty, instead of trotting right in front of me and out the door as he always has, he started hesitating and then trotting around behind me and out. Weird, huh?

He seemed anxious and hesitant to run up the doggy ramp on the left side of our bed and needed coaxing.

Then last month, I started taking both dogs to weekly Rally practice. Baxter is/was an old pro at both Rally and Freestyle (Heeling to music), although admittedly it’s been a few years since we’ve worked at it.

He struggled, which really surprised me. He ignored hand signals for turns, pivots and spins, and surprised me by popping out of heel position several times to scoot around behind me to walk at my right side.

There were a few other little things, but taken together, I was leaning towards believing Baxter was developing a vision issue rather than forgetting his training.

In a happy happenstance, a local breed club was hosting a 2-day, low-cost eye clinic this weekend, so I jumped on the opportunity.

Baxter, on our way to the eye clinic.

Baxter was a model patient, prompting the Doctor to comment that he was a delight to examine. Bax allowed the doc to shine bright lights in his eyes, peering through his devices with his (the doctor’s) face right at nose distance. Our boy just wagged and stood there quietly. ❤️

Because of my previous observations, I was prepared and not particularly surprised by the results.

The vision in Baxter’s right eye is quite limited. In layman’s terms, he has a degenerative eye disorder with an excessive amount of “floaters” in his right eye, which is blocking his eyesight. There is no sign of cataracts in either eye, and he isn’t in any pain. He simply can’t see much from that eye.

On the bright side, thankfully, Baxter can see pretty well out of his left eye. The doctor said the vision in that eye was fairly normal for a 12-year-old dog. Not perfect, but not bad. No sign of eye disease.

Anyway, now that we have confirmed the vision problem, his odd behavior makes a lot more sense. He is compensating fairly well, all things considered and since there doesn’t seem to be any problem with his left eye, we aren’t looking at him having to cope with total blindness any time soon.

Baxter remains as cheerful and sweet natured as ever, still plays with Ronni and loves spending his days keeping his Dad’s lap warm.

We look forward to playing nose work games when summer comes again. He enjoys the game as much as ever – and really, all a dog needs is a good nose.

Baxter is a happy, if somewhat quirky little guy and much loved. ❤️

Our boy, Baxter, in his youth. Always ready for a good game.

Published by 2dachsnite

I’m a RV Sometimer (less than full time, but more than a weekend warrior) living in Alaska, with dreams of seeing the country in my RV. I am 70 years old and married, but my husband isn’t a fan of RV travel, so my journeys are mostly solo except for my navigators; dachshunds Baxter & Rhonda. I’m also a spinner of tales - and a spinner of yarn (my other passion). My spinning wheel, along with the dogs, go along on all my travels. I look forward to sharing my stories, including photos and videos, with you.

2 thoughts on “The Eyes Have It

  1. I love hearing about your kiddos. Although Baxter is getting up there in years, I am pleased to hear that he is still doing well and that his eye problems won’t really affect him much. He sure is a sweetheart! Here’s hoping you have many more good years together!


  2. Hugs to you and Baxter. It’s so hard when our fur babies start to fail.

    On a lighter note, I saw a sign that instantly brought you to mind. It was a picture of a Daschund with the caption, “I know a little German.”


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