Personally, well professionally, I’ve never really liked dealing with eyeballs. One of the first emergency cases I ever saw was a Lhasa or some such dog with an eyeball “popped out” … that was enough to make me question my new career path, needless to say! So I’ve never learned much about eyes, considering that to be an area I could safely steer away from. Then, as always, my own pet’s eyeballs became the concern, and it was literally staring me back in the face.
Georgia, my little rescue dog that picked ME as her person (even though I kept telling her that I’m a CAT person), started squinting one eye, then both, six weeks ago. I was on the road, so my partner took her promptly to the vet, who suspected conjunctivitis. I returned from the road the next night, a Friday, and all weekend long I watched as she seemed very uncomfortable.
She kept her eyes squinty, but she ate, and in her stoic way, didn’t let on just how MUCH pain she felt. Monday I kept my scheduled recheck, and lo-and-behold, her pressure was 65 in each eye! They put her on an immediate drip of Mannitol, called in drops for me to fetch at the local pharmacy, and we began the process of making her more comfortable. Glaucoma wasn’t even on my radar until the vet spoke the words that evening.
Turns out we have a world-renowned veterinary ophthalmologist about 40 miles away, who just happened to have a cancellation the next afternoon. Off we went, hoping for hope. The left eye was shot, no vision at all. But the right eye had a slight chance. But then over the next few days, that deteriorated, so the decision to perform chemical ablation on both seemed the best choice. Additional eye injury wasn’t even on my radar, until her eyes began looking like crap.
Georgia after her surgery.
Off again to the ophthalmologist, to see if the ablation we scheduled needed to be changed to something else. Ulcers, infection and more pain had appeared for little Georgia. Again, bilateral enucleation wasn’t even on my radar, until she had it done 10 days ago.
Once again, I am just a pet owner, trying to adapt to my pet’s blindness, but more difficult, my own mourning for her sight. I grieve the “Georgia Before” who used to watch TV to spy any critter to go running after, barking at the screen. I grieve the “Georgia Before” with her bright eyes laughing when I’d come home after a trip. I grieve the “Georgia Before” who, despite her age, seemed as spry as any little dog without the gray on the muzzle. Then, I had to deal with the selfish me … while Georgia took the whole thing in stride.
We must remember, and point out to our clients, that our pets have so much to teach us: Be thankful for each and every day, and the senses you still have for your benefit. Once again, I didn’t even have that on my radar.