My poodle shows signs of blindness. Is this common with miniatures? If not an inherent disease, then why? He never gets sugar, eats very little meat and more veggies, and legumes, gets tons of running exercises, yet he's apparently losing his eyesight. Otherwise he's a happy, playful, loving 11 year old apricot mini.
Can someone help me regain his eye strength? When I toss the ball, he chases it and brings it back with such gusto. Yet sometimes he can't find his ball and it could be right in front of him. The other day he was bumping into some dried, dead bushes. Will it be long before he is toally blind?
I'm heartbroken!
Mike
I am curious why you are posting this here rather than doing the obvious and bringing you dog to the vet?
My poodle shows signs of blindness. Is this common with miniatures?

It is not uncommon. Responsible breeder screen for PRA and breed only from several generations similarly tested. Since opthomologic screening can only show the condition does not presently exist it is repeated by responsible breeders as often as necessary as to be within a year of the breeding. There is, in many breeds, now DNA testing available and that is a much more useful tool as it can detect carriers as wellas affected dogs, and it can detect the gene even if the problem is not currently manifest.
If not an inherent disease, then why?

There are many reasons for blindness apart from inherited disease, but inherited problems are the most common cause of non-trauma blindness.
He never gets sugar, eats very little meat and more veggies, and legumes, gets tons of running exercises, yet he's apparently losing his eyesight. Otherwise he's a happy, playful, loving 11 year old apricot mini.

Why is he getting so little meat and so many "veggies and legumes"? His digestive tract is not designed to make good use of those as food sources. He need to have his proteins offered in a more digestible form, i.e. animal protein. If you are making his food for him then either reconsider and use a commercial diet, or use recipes that have more meat products than vegetable products. This is especially important in the older dog. His digestive tract is less efficient than it was earlier, so food that are easiest to digest are usually a better choice. Feed him like a dog, not like a human.
Can someone help me regain his eye strength?

Instead of just a regular vet take your dog to an eye specialist. This kind of vet will have the right equipment to take a really good look at his eyes. With better quality information you will get a better idea of what is and is not possible.
When I toss the ball, he chases it and brings it back with such gusto. Yet sometimes he can't find ... The other day he was bumping into some dried, dead bushes. Will it be long before he is toally blind?

You won't get any realistic idea until you get a skilled examination. And keep in mind that this is going to distress you a lot more than the dog. You might want to see if the "Fetch and Flash" helps him. http://www.sitstay.com/store/toys/toysball1.shtml
http://www.wtpets.com/fetchandglow.htm

Diane Blackman
http://dog-play.com /
http://dogplay.com/Shop /
My poodle shows signs of blindness. ... He never gets sugar, eats very little meat and more veggies, and legumes...

I don't know if this applies to dogs, but a vegetarian diet can cause blindness in cats.
I'm with Dianne - feed him more meat. He has a carnivore's digestive system - built for meat.
11 is basically late middle age for a small dog, but it could still beage related.
And, yes, take him to a canine ophthalmologist. Soon. If he has glaucoma, he needs treatment yesterday. There are some causes of blindness that can be cured, and more that can be treated to prevent further damage. If you have a local vet school, they will have an ophthalmologist on staff. If you're in or near a big city, there will be one there; you own vet can refer you.
If you are habitually neat, and don't move things around too much, your dog can cope well. They don't have the same sense of loss that we have.

You can also mark things, like the top and bottom stair, with some scent you can stand living with.
Try putting some scent on his ball, like vanilla. My 3/4 blind girl finds hers by smell when she can't see it. She also sees it much better when it's moving. She is blind in one eye and has no lens in the other. (Which is why I can spell "ophthalmologist.")
There is a list for blind dogs:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/blinddogs /
I'm not on it, but may join soon.
Ruthie in CO, with Gracie who has hereditary lens luxation. alowan'earthlink'net