a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Of Dog Eyes and Human Feet

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Of Dog Eyes and Human Feet

SUMMARY: Eye tested Boost; Tika bloody.

The other day, got this email from Nancy Gyes:

I am involved in a Vision Study with Optometrist Gina Day and her research partner Maureen. Vision testing is being done on dogs suspected of having ETS (early take-off syndrome), or some kind of vision problem that might affect their jumping. We also need to test a large number of non-affected dogs who jump well as a control group. As we are getting into the testing we realize that there is really not nearly enough knowledge about how dogs test that are normal good jumpers. The retinoscopy is used to discover if there is a refraction error in the dogs eyes, since dogs can’t read eye charts, just like babies or young children. We would like to test a lot of shelties and border collies since there are so many of them in agility, but we also want to test lots of other breeds. And we would especially love to test your dog if they are a nice jumper, or if you think your dog may have a vision deficit.

I took Boost up with the theory that there's nothing wrong with her vision--she runs fast, knocks bars but no sign of early or late takeoffs or hesitations. My assumption has been that she knocks bars because she doesn't try hard enough not to.

That might still be the case, but now the waters are a little muddied: Turns out that she and I share something besides a birthday, and that is myopia (near-sightedness) and astigmatism. Of the 30-ish dogs they've tested so far, Boost rates the worst of any in the near-sighted department. On the OTHER paw--she also rates the highest for the quality of her binocular vision (use of two eyes together), so maybe the near-sightedness is less a player since the binocular vision is what gives good depth perception.

They're just starting to collect information, so it could be a long time before they have enough information to actually publish something. Can hardly wait.

Meanwhile, about Tika's odd eye problem (description and photo in this post). This red bloody-looking lump on her inner eyelid(?) showed up around the beginning of April. Don't think it has changed really since then. However, yesterday morning she had bloody crust next to that eye. Same thing when I got home last night. Same thing when I got up this morning. Don't know what it means; still looks about the same to me, she's still not rubbing it or anything.

Anyhoo, off to the vet again to see whether he has any better ideas on what's going on, and if not, maybe to the doggie eye doctor. It's always something involving the wallet, isn't it.

And since we're all going to ail together, I guess, I went ahead and got a cortisone shot in my sore foot today (as mentioned in these posts). As I was afraid of, it's hurting more now, ow ow ow, hope I can get to sleep. Had this same reaction many years ago to a cortisone shot in the thumb, but then it got much better more quickly than w/out the shot. Meanwhile, icing icing icing. And maybe in a few days I'll be pain-free. One can only hope.


  1. Interesting about Boost. I think Miley probably has some vision problems. In the fall,it we train in the evening with lights, the shadows really effect her jumping.

    1. It might or might not be a vision thing with Miley. Bright lights that cast dark shadows can really affect lots of dogs and their humans, too.

  2. That's interesting. Maria in UT has a dog with the early jump thing and she's trying out contact lenses....hope she reads about this! And hope your foot is better now!

    1. Wow, contact lenses seem like a real challenge on dogs--putting them in, taking them out, making sure they don't float out of place like they sometimes do on people, the risk of them falling ou like they sometimes do for people--she's a daring woman.

      Foot isn't feeling better. Doc said it could take a while. Hoping there'll be an effect.