In the Blink of an Eye

Glaucoma blinds before most owners even notice a problem, but gene therapy offers hope.

By Jo Rossman | Posted: Tue Dec 12 00:00:00 PST 2000

Page 7 of 7

"Patches relates to his world in a whole different way," Orr said. "His other senses have taken over. He maneuvers all around our house. He knows where we are even when the house is quiet. He jumps down from chairs. I have put my hands over my eyes and I don't know if I could do that. When he walks on his leash every day, he steps on and off the curb and you wouldn't know he's blind. Other than not being able to see, he's perfectly fine."

The family's other dog, Lady, a Beagle-Collie mix also has adjusted to Patches' blindness. When he bumps into her on occasion, she takes it in stride.

The dogs' adjustment to blindness was a somewhat happy outcome: both dogs continue to enjoy life. But for future generations of dogs, better solutions may be on the horizonbetter pain management, more successful treatments, tests to help breeders and perhaps even a cure, one breed at a time.

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