Hi,
Francisco is 11 years old, very happy, very, very active, extremely healthy, runs faster than the wind, is very playful and weighs 14 pounds. Never saw a flea or a tick in his life. Sometimes a bit obsessive with his toys..wants to play ball all day long!

Suddenly he's showing signs of not seeing very well. He does better in bright sunlight than in the dark, so I started giving him a vitamin A pill once week for possible night blindness. He's bumped into things only a few times and only in the dark.
One vet said it appears to be cataracts. Another vet's opinion has it that there appears to be no problem with his eyes at all. I suggested laziness, perhaps he is depeneding too much on his sense of smell instead of his eyes. The second vet says it's a possibility. It breaks my heart when he's chasing a ball and suddenly can't find it. His little tail swooshes back and forth out of excitement because he can't find, (see) the ball.
Anyone with a similar situation that can throw some ideas my way??? I'd rather put myself down than part with this little guy, but I don't want to see him in this condition.
Mike
If the eye appears to be clouded or yellow it is probably cataracts.

http://www.animaleyecare.net/diseases/cataract.htm#risks

See the site above. Cataracts should be a pretty simple diagnosis so I think you need to get a referral to a specialist from the first doctor and see shat he says. I had a 14 yr old poodle 8 lbs he had cataracts but never bumped into things so I would see an ophthalmologist to see what the problem is.
Wayne
Hi, Francisco is 11 years old, very happy, very, very active, extremely healthy, runs faster than the wind, is very ... sunlight than in the dark, so I started giving him a vitamin A pill once week for possible night blindness.

Have you told the vet you are giving this vitamin? Have you and the vet discussed the correct dose etc? Vitamin A must be used with much caution.
He's bumped into things only a few times and only in the dark. One vet said it appears to be cataracts. Another vet's opinion has it that there appears to be no problem with his eyes at all.

Your observations support the first conclusion better than the second. I would see a veterinary opthomologist who has the intrumentation and experience to do a complete exam.
I suggested laziness,

Unlikely.
perhaps he is depeneding too much on his sense of smell instead of his eyes. The second vet says it's ... can't find it. His little tail swooshes back and forth out of excitement because he can't find, (see) the ball.

If it distresses him and he has a choice in the matter then common sense says he will choose to be less distressed. PRA causes vision impairment, and often blindness, and it is common in Poodles.
Anyone with a similar situation that can throw some ideas my way??? I'd rather put myself down than part with this little guy, but I don't want to see him in this condition.

Blindness is not fatal unless you choose to kill your dog because of it. A modest amount of sensitivity about what his vision problems mean to him, and some modest adjustments in how and where you play, and with what and he can enjoy many more years of life. At this point his vision is only impaired, he still seems to have useful vision. But even if he did not most dogs can adjust quite nicely, if you give them the support to do so.

http://www.eyevet.info/blind.html
http://www.blinddogs.com /
http://www.blinddog.info/blinddoghelp.htm

Diane Blackman
http://dog-play.com /
http://dogplay.com/Shop /
If the eye appears to be clouded or yellow it is probably cataracts.

NOT true, and you're probably scaring people unnecessarily here. The most common cause of cloudy-looking eyes in older dogs is a condition called nuclear sclerosis, a normal finding in aging dogs that does not interfere with vision. See photo at
http://www.vetmed.iastate.edu/services/vth/clinical/ophth/faq-vet.asp#sclerosis
I would see an ophthalmologist to see what the problem is.

There I agree with you entirely. To the OP - there is a list of board-certified veterinary opthalmologists at http://www.vmdb.org/clinic.html . Even though the vets you've seen already may be good ones, they do not see the variety of eye problems that an opthalmologist does. Don't hesitate to make an appointment with one.
Dianne
You missed the detail the nuclear sclerosis is a grey coloring if you look at the picture here
http://www.animaleyecare.net/diseases/cataract.htm#whatis

you can see the Yellowish cast grey means that it is probably OK

Wayne
Anyone with a similar situation that can throw some ideas my way??? I'd rather put myself down than part with this little guy, but I don't want to see him in this condition. Mike

He's not in any pain, he's not suffering. Why think about putting a healthy, senior dog, who's loved and wanted, down? He just doesn't see as well as he once did. It's not just a poodle problem we all get old eventually. It's not the end of the world.
I have a toy poodle who's 10 or so (she was originally a rescue so I have no idea of her exact age) and her eyes are a little cloudy and she sometimes bumps into things. I keep her play area free of major obstacles and walk her on a short lease.
Mike,
I have a little dog, high energy, loves her ball - and she is blind in one eye, and blurry in the other. She was depressed for a couple of weeks after the surgery that saved her eyes, but has returned to her usual high energy self.
I've really enjoyed watching her learn to cope. Her "good" eye sees movement very well, so if she sees the ball moving, she's after it in a flash. If it goes on her blind side, she listens for it to bounce, then goes there and looks for it with her "good" eye and her nose.

Remember that dogs don't sit around going, "I'm blind, oh woe is me, what a loss." They don't have the kind of self-sense that worries about stuff like that.
I'll bet you can find a Yahoo group for owners of blind dogs.

Meantime, follow the good advice and find a canine ophthalmologist.

Ruthie
alowan"earthlink'net
Hi, Francisco is 11 years old, very happy, very, very active, extremely healthy, runs faster than the wind, is very ... put myself down than part with this little guy, but I don't want to see him in this condition. Mike

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