Puppy might lose his eye.

(60 Posts)

I am crying...

We were out on our afternoon walk today. We were having a super time, he was being his usual silly self, eating all the horse poo he could find, sniffing, charging around, making me laugh.

He scrabbled in the undergrowth as usual then came out scratching at his eye. I called him and he came over. A thorn was stuck right in his eyeball. he let me pull it out, I did this without thinking, now wonder if I should have left it. His eye shut immediately.

Luckily we were 5 minutes from home. Called the vet, I have a plan with them thankfully. Was down there in 20 minutes so less than an hour since it happened.

His inner eyelid (that might be wrong) had closed over, so the vet put in an anasthetic to open up the pupil etc. He couldn't see the damage (or not) but said the puppy was extremely unlucky, the last time he saw such a direct trauma to the eye like this was 4years ago.

I now have antibiotics, two types of eye drops, some other tablets and an appointment tomorrow. No idea whether there's long term damage or not at this stage.

Feel rather crap. I love him whatever but I still feel crap.

Thank you for your kind words.

Floral - I understand what you mean. Even being in the garden, I can't guarantee he won't do something to aggravate the injury. He charged around like a nutter with a JRT this morning, before I knew that I shouldn't let him, as our usual vet said keep walking him. There would only be so much training that I can do to tire him out. I had sort of wondered (although I haven't thought deeply obviously) that I could take him early in the morning and mid afternoon to some extremely quiet walks that I know to give us both a break. And, if I can't even play energetically in the house, what an earth will I do?

Sounds incredibly selfish but the ophthamologist is an hours drive away too, which is a lot of miles and petrol.

But I feel so defeatist if I don't try to save his vision, although my gut says bite the bullet.

He's in his crate now and I have left the room so he will have a good nap.

Ho hum..

Also, no lead, in case he pulls and strains his eyes?!

Floralnomad Fri 22-Feb-13 15:19:21

Don't feel guilty ,its a sensible decision given everything that you've been told . Especially if its not even a life long solution , he will adapt quickly I'm sure and better now than when he's older.

tabulahrasa Fri 22-Feb-13 15:23:29

Honestly - I'd have his eye out, you can crate him for 8 weeks...I've just done 3 weeks and it wasn't as hard as I thought it might be, hard, but do-able.

But, it seems like a lot if stress for him and you when realistically, he might still have to have it out and he probably won't even notice it's gone. Like I said, my old boy adjusted absolutely fine and let's face it, he was never going to be a fighter pilot anyway.

groovejet Fri 22-Feb-13 15:28:28

It's a good sign he is full of energy, Flynn was very quiet for a few days following his injury.

We didn't walk for 2 weeks, kept the rooms dim as light would aggravate his eye due to the eye drops, not sure what you have been advised but it is a very similar injury. We were given very little hope but not sure if it was luck or being very vigilant but he got through it, admittedly he is a bit of a lap dog at heart so being so strict on lack of exercise was a bit easier.

tabulahrasa Fri 22-Feb-13 15:34:39

The other thing to think about is how much that long without exercise will affect his behaviour - I don't know how old he is, but my puppy's been on restricted exercise since he was just over 4 months and the last 3 weeks he's been crated...which means he's now a 35kg bouncing nutcase when we go out, throwing himself manically at people and dogs (thankfully in a friendly way because he was well socialised until that point) do at 7 months I'm having to start all his lead training from scratch with him being massively over excited while I'm trying to do it.

Groovejet - neither the vet nor ophthamoligst mentioned lights, although it's very dull here anyway weather-wise and the lighting in the kitchen can be very low anyway so it's not an issue and if it helps. How did you make a decision?

Tab - how long did you have to crate him for a day, was it his limp? He's 4 months and a Springer, loves his walks but is pretty placid actually, very soft, would rather roll over than fight his corner! If no-one gives him attention, he tends to nap. However, he's always had a good amount of exercise, so I don't know what eight weeks of none might bring! Additionally, you raise some important points that I hadn't thought of at all. We were about to start the KC Bronze award and I guess, at 4 months,asocialisation is still very important indeed. More important than an eye? God I don't know!

He is extremely well socialised so far, I have worked like mad at this. He loves all people and all dogs!

Sorry - typos, I was typing and cleaning and not checking.

Sorry to hear that needastrongone.

But for what it is worth I agree with everyone else and would go for option 3 if 1 fails. Good luck whatever you decide.

tabulahrasa Fri 22-Feb-13 16:26:24

Well mine isn't placid at the best of times, lol.

But yep he had a limp - it turned out to be elbow dysplasia and he had to be crated after having an operation for it... I had to pretty much keep him in his crate, I did cheat a bit and cornered off a space the same size as his crate next to the couch so he could sit with us which made it easier, but he was in there all day.

It depends how strict you have to be, before his op and as of today, I can have him loose in the room and only crate him if he gets too over-enthusiastic, he gets ten minutes a day on the lead and no playing in the garden or any games which involve running or jumping.

So it's been 3 months since he could go to training classes or have anything more than a ten minute on-lead walk and while some of the new bounciness and playing up is going to be just because he's older, some of it is definitely because he's had so little contact with outside.

I know an eye seems like a big deal to us - but when my old dog had it out, it was pretty much, oh I can't see there, oh well...lol

TheChimpParadox Sat 23-Feb-13 07:50:58

Sorry to hear the update needastrongone.

See what the weekend brings with the medication and when you go back to the specialist they will have a better idea how to proceed.

Our dogs third eye lid was temporarily stitched up so us to allow the eye to heal underneath initially - then a graft on the eye to seal where the ulcer was . It was all doom and gloom at the beginning with the possibly of her losing the eye but they saved it all be it reduced sight.

I found that the specialist (who I though was great and my dog loved seeing him - might have been to do with dog treats however) was plain talking and called a spade a spade so we knew the worst outcome from day 1 but it actually worked out ok.

Tab, blimey you've had a tough couple of months, I hadn't realised. Hope he's ok? Any long term issues to consider?

Groovejet - eye is much improved today, he's absolutely fine in himself. All the redness gone although his pupil and cornea looks glassy and sort of reflective. If it continues to improve I might ask for extra time for the medication to work but I am not the expert, what I see might not be what he sees and the injury might be just as bad but the swelling less.

Thanks all, I agree, better to get it done with if that's what is going to happen anyway. It's just he has such a pretty face, not that he wouldn't afterwards but you all understand what I mean!

Sorry, I meant chimp. It was all doom and gloom yesterday, just praying our miracle happens and the medication works.

tabulahrasa Sat 23-Feb-13 19:26:17

Ah the monster puppy's still less work than one of my cats - I have shockingly bad luck with pets, lol.

At the moment I have no idea how well his op worked, but the signs are good if I can stop him bouncing on it hmm, he might always have a bit of a dodgy leg and he will at some point develop arthritis in that joint badly enough to affect him - but fingers crossed he'll be ok to go for walks and play and the arthritis will be later rather than sooner. I'll know in a few weeks how it's all gone.

Hopefully the medicine will work and you won't have to have his eye out - with my old dog (it was years ago btw, he's long gone) once it had healed it didn't actually look that bad, it just looked like it was closed. It wasn't something that you noticed every time you looked at him if you see what I mean.

Ok update. Not sure I have done the right thing and appreciate advice. DH was short with me on the phone but I suspect he's pressurised at work and didn't have time to talk or take in what I was saying but it hasn't made me feel better!

Harry's eye did improve a lot over the weekend, looks almost normal but with a sort of glaze over it. I appreciate this is the medication kicking in but the Vet agreed re the improvement. DH and I agreed to just go for the eye removal, for the reasons above really unless the vet agreed that there was a significant improvement and to continue to medicate.

Vet just seemed to think this was so final at such a young age, he tried hard to remain neutral, it sounds like he influenced me but he just felt there's still a chance of sight I think. We talked for about half an hour. Having the lense removed (option 2, the big operation) would give him the best chance of retaining sight but it is possible to medicate (i.e eye drops) indefinitely and keep the eye intact. He would go blind most likely eventually as, essentially, there's a leakage from the puncture wound right next to his iris which may not remain stable but when that would be, well obviously he can't say. He has a Staffie whose two years down the line on medication and still fine. Eye drops 4 times a day.

We are medicating until Friday and I go back.

I am not sure I have done the right thing, I think I have bought some time that's all (for me or dog, not sure) but he could retain some vision indefinitely, certainly an eye at least.

God - I was so sure this morning! Now I am more confused!

DH wasn't helpful and moaned he thinks the vet is after the money, I don't think that's the case at all, he can bloody come with me on Friday.

Rather a ramble. I love my dog whatever the outcome but would hate to have his eye removed if there was a possibility of some sight for a period to come. Or am I looking at his lovely face and not accepting stuff?....

tabulahrasa Mon 25-Feb-13 14:09:23

Well like I said if it was me, I'd have it out because dogs don't care what they look like and he will still be able to see absolutely fine out of the other eye.

But, it is your decision and if you're unsure then don't rush into anything - until the point that you do something final you can still change your mind, once his eye is gone, it's gone.

TheChimpParadox Mon 25-Feb-13 14:19:14

I think you have to take each day as it comes and re assess each time you go see the specialist and not make any major decisions at this stage. If the vet is not completely convinced about eye removal I would take that on board very seriously.

Initally we were at the vets two or three times a week - then weekly checkups, fortnightly, eventually monthly and signed off after about 8 months.

Can they not seal the puncture wound with a graft ? Would possibly save the eye but not all the sight ?

On the money side - you have insurance hopefully ?

It is a very stressful time , my DH was busy at work - I work from home so had the time to do the vets visits , administered medication etc but at times my DH was the same about the money issue and kept making sure that the insurance claim had gone in etc etc . He was devasted however about the dog but sadly with work at times she was not his top priority.

Floralnomad Mon 25-Feb-13 14:25:44

If there's a chance of further improvement or stability just medicating then I'd probably do that if not I'd still go for removal of the eye , there's no way I'd do the removal of lens operation . I can see a bit where your husband is coming from re the vet as they gave you the choices last week , you made your choice and it sounds like the vet has tried to sway you slightly today . Perhaps it would be best if your husband does go with you if only for moral support IYSWIM .

Thank you so much for your replies.

Floral - I think that's what's pissed off DH. We made a decision and, in his eyes, the Vet should have respected this. That's probably a bit stark, and the vet probably does have good intentions, but that's how DH sees it. It's confused me certainly.

DH IS a lovely bloke, but exactly as you describe Chimp, busy, stressed and not as involved on a day to day basis, he's bi-polar and loves the dog to bits, he's been such a good influence on his illness. We do have insurance, lifetime cover with Petplan, which is actually probably giving us more choices and more confusion than usual. Had we been on the breadline, the eye would be out. We are not on the breadline and have insurance etc. No mention of the graft.

He's going to try and come on Friday, which will mean him fiddling with the diary but it's tough to listen to all the technical jargon, keep the puppy calm and make emotional decisions.

SpicyPear Mon 25-Feb-13 16:32:50

I think what you need to consider is that the vet won't have to live with the pain and medication etc of the lens removal. Pup and you will. Super specialists can sometimes lose sight of wider welfare issues.

Whatever decision you make is valid, but no 1 priority has to be pup's wellbeing. You need to make a really conscious effort to push aside any feelings of guilt, your own disappointment and shock at him becoming "imperfect" so young etc. and work out what is in his best interests in terms of quality of life. That's not a criticism or accusation btw, I sure we'd all struggle with those things.

Spicy- fair and valid points and taken in the spirit they are intended. Certainly I have emotion and guilt and shock in equal measure and, in addition, I am really not sure what is right for him, would hate to deprive him of the possibility of sight but equally would rather not delay any inevitability. Rather hoped the vet might provide clarity.

Take your point re practicality too, option 2 just isn't practical at all, particularly given the lack of any meaningful guarantee of success.

It sounds as though the vet has provided clarity though. Without actually telling you what to do, he steered you towards what in his opinion is the best course of action.

I agree with someone up thread that there is no need to make a hasty and irreversible decision. They have given a chance of simple medication working - option 1 - which is the most obvious step to take first and then move onto options 2 or 3.

As money is not an issue, I am wondering why you are reluctant to prolong his chance of sight? There is no need at all, as I understand it to just whip his eye out without even trying to save his vision. Option 2, while being quite a committment isn't impossible. It is only 8 weeks of intensive treatment which if option 1 doesn't work might make his life easier for a while.

If all else fails, then option 3 is going to happen anyway.

Check the terms of your insurance policy - mine would cover the additional fuel costs to visit specialists.

And don't feel guilty. There is nothing at all you could have done to prevent this, and your boy will be fine no matter what happens. Loved and happy - that's all he needs.

ILikeToClean Tue 26-Feb-13 10:25:49

needastrongone - just caught up with your thread in shock, you have given me some great advice about when I get my pup and I know from reading all your threads how much you love him, it was just one of those things that happened, you could not have prevented it, but you will do your best for Harry no matter what. As others have said, he does not care what he looks like, he just cares that he is well fed and well loved - which my goodness he is! Fingers crossed that the medication route works for him in the first instance, but if not, he will certainly adapt to option 3. Keep us posted.

Thanks Iliketoclean!

Update.

ITS POSITIVE!!!!

As positive as the specialist would get anyway! Immediately on examination he commented that it looked good, it does as you can hardly tell now. He examined for about 5 minutes and then the vet nurse took the dog so we could chat.

His little body and the extremely swift and thorough action taken by our own vet is helping no end, I am going to phone them in a minute and thank. The risk of infection has gone completely which is a huge positive. Cornea has healed already, another postive. The bulge of liguid is 'flattening out', again another postive! Lots of positives!!

Positive, positive positive!! Exact words were 'it's as positive as it gets at this stage' and 'he might not even lose his sight in that eye' although huge caveat there which I very much took on board and didn't ignore in hearing what I want to hear.

No more antibiotics but still 2 x anti-inflamatory eye drops and another appointment in 10 days.

Thank you all so much for your words of advice and support, puppies put your through the wringer don't they?

ILikeToClean Fri 01-Mar-13 12:40:30

Yay, sounds like good news, much more reassuring than you first thought although of course still a way to go. Keep my fingers crossed for your little chap.

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