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Carly is my 9 year old girl. She’s very healthy, no arthritis, etc. About 2 months ago, her eyes suddenly sunk in, and got very red and baggy. I thought she was having a stroke. When my vet saw her, one eye had had almost gone back to normal, but her right eyeball had started to swell. He was stumped, and said he had no clue what was going on. Her eyeball was filled with blood. She was acting perfectly normal, chasing the cat, playing with Scarlet, eating, drinking. Nothing out of the ordinary. It didn’t appear to be an injury.

So I made her an appointment with the eye vet. The pressure in both eyes was in the normal range, and after examining her, said she was stumped too. Her eyeball was big, and red, and didn’t appear to be painful. She did say that we could try and treat with drops, but in her opinion Carly would ultimately lose her eye.

Back to my regular vet for lots of bloodwork, which was really good. Healthy old girl. The two vets talked back and forth, and today Carly had her right eye removed at the eye clinic. I’m sad, and a little freaked out, and feel overwhelmed. Antibiotics, pain meds, cold packs, hot packs, keeping Scarlet away from her. Argh. She’ll have to go to work with me until her eye heals.

I brought her home about 45 minutes ago, and she’s very loopy. She got on the couch for a few minutes, but then slithered off and got in her crate in the mud room. Unfortunately, the Amazon guy dropped off packages at my front door, and she blasted out of the crate, barking. Ugh. She’s back in the mud room right now.

Oh, yeah. Of course Scarlet comes in heat today to top it all off. Kill me now.
 

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Oh, your poor girl. That is a difficult decision but the right one. Could it have been a fungal infection behind the eye? My old vet, who died years ago, once treated my old GSD for that without an official diagnosis. They said by the time they tested, the dog could have died. We got a certain antibiotic, I think. It was about 12 years ago and I don’t remember which meds they used. At the time it was not a common illness or treatment. A friend lost a rescue Akita due to a strange eye disease, where its eye bulged and it could not be treated.

A family member’s dog lost an eye due to a dog attack and it was a very painful and difficult healing process. Hopefully your dog won’t have that kind of discomfort since it was done intentionally. But give her plenty of healing time to get back to her old self.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Once it’s all healed up, Carly won’t even care. She takes everything in stride. I’m the one that’s all stressed out. I feel like I need to stare at her to make sure she’s okay, and she’d rather go in the dark mud room and get in a crate.

I didn’t get a chance to talk to the eye vet after her surgery, but I will when I take her back for her check up.
 

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I have photos. Not from today (yet) but of the progression of this thing.





 

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Oh my goodness yeah thankfully the other eye is okay. They can do great with one eye won’t slow her down a bit but what would cause this. I have not seen anything like that. Did she have any scratches on her eye or mentioned fungal eye infections. Luna had scratch on her eye once they looked very red and weird to me but cleared up with medicine. I have no idea where she got the scratches from. One time she had something irritated her eyes bumps on eyelid from a tick bite I’m forgetting the name And went away on antibiotic and eye ointment.


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It’s just a mystery.
 

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I know this operation is intense for owners. I've been there. Take a deep breath. They recover SO well from it.



One of my dogs had a double-enucleation at the vet ophthomologist after a long saga of inoperable cataracts and glaucoma. He looked awful following the enucleation -- he was quite pitiful looking the day we brought him home! It was so bad that some lady I didn't know literally sobbed in the lobby when she saw him. He had a swollen face with lots of bruising, etc. because they have to disconnect some of the muscles around the eye, so there's some facial trauma during the surgery. He had RX pain meds that were great at bringing down the swelling and keeping him doped up for a few days. However, mine healed VERY quickly. I think three days after the surgery, he already looked about 75% better.



I'm glad that you had the specialist do the surgery. I've been WAY happier with the way the specialist does enucleation vs. a generalist vet -- even though it costs a lot more. The rescue has had a few glaucoma enucleations done by a generalist to save money, and while they were successful with good outcomes, I really think the aesthetics of it is a lot better when done by the ophthalmologist. Ours put a small round medical device in the empty cavity and permanently closed the eye over it, and it kept the facial shape without any sinking of the eye cavity -- and no visible, ugly third eye-lid either. Something about oldster's face kind of looks like a toy with closed eyes -- very adorable looking. I think it cost 3x more to have the specialist do it, but I've never regretted it because she did such a great job.


One suggestion just in case the other eye ends up going this way too...start training her with notice cues just in case she loses all vision. For example, on a daily basis, we use: touch, step up, step down, watch out!....etc. It's just a matter of reminding yourself to use the word when that act occurs so that the dog makes the association. Touch is a hugely important cue for us, as nobody reaches out and surprises the dog, even to pet him -- it's about respecting his space, and he loves that. Don't despair if it goes that way! Vision is a tertiary sense to them after scent and sound, and they adjust magnificently.



Best wishes for Carly's recovery!
 

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My regular vet said if she was his dog, he’d have the eye vet do the surgery. It was more expensive, but she’s done waaay more of them. Carly actually doesn’t look bad at all. Her face is dark, and her other eye is dark. It all kind of blends in.

She’s just camped out in her crate with the door open. I’m a mess. If she ever comes out, I need to let her out to pee, give her some more water. See if she wants a little bit to eat. Put a cold pack on her eye (this unnerves me a little, lol), give her an antibiotic.

I might have to murder Scarlet. She absolutely doesn’t understand why she can’t see Carly.
 

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Wow, so sorry about Carly, the pictures, that would freak me out for sure. are they going to send the tissue for analysis? Moo is going thru an old age thing and his eyes would look droopy and a little sunk in before we got him on the meds he's on now, but nothing like your pictures. Hoping for a quick recovery for Carly.
 

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I like the idea of doing some training with Carly. Years ago I had an Italian Greyhound that had PRA (progressive retinal atrophy). She started going blind at 3. I had to do a similar thing with her. She could navigate really well.

I know Carly will absolutely be fine. I hope she heals quickly. She’s 9, but in great health. I do remember when the eye vet was explaining the procedure, that she removes the third eyelid. I think that’s when I got kinda squeamish, and don’t remember what else she said, other than lots of little stitches were involved.
 

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Yes, she’ll let me know if anything shows up in the tissue samples. I haven’t talked to her yet to find out if she saw anything odd when she did the surgery. That’s one reason my regular vet wanted me to have her do the surgery. She’s obviously seen more than he has.
 

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I’m taking off work tomorrow. My original plan was to take her to work with me, but I think we both need another day at home. She’ll go with me on Wed, and for the next two weeks until she gets her stitches out. The trick will be getting her to not get all worked up (it’s a grooming shop). I’ll just have to get a sheet and throw it over her Great Dane sized crate. I purposely booked light this week so I could go home early. Hopefully it won’t be too stressful.

Thanks Magwart, for the info. It helps.

If this dog ever comes out of the crate, I’ll take a photo of her face.
 

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How long did the surgeon say to keep her quiet? My relative’s dog adapted very quickly. Her favorite job was to sit by a window and observe the yard. That continued after surgery.
 

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She didn’t really say. The tech said she’d feel better in a couple of days. Just basically keep Scarlet from licking her face!
 

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As would be expected, She looks tuckered out These pics are as you described that it seems to blend due to her dark fur and it seems your knowledge of her and your own anticipation of how she will adapt is in line with what others have experienced so that's good.

The first picture of her eyes almost seemed like there was a vacuum of pressure coming from behind and then it reversed, stopped at the proper point with one eye but continued with the other. Very mysterious.

I hope she has a quick recovery and I'm glad that you have a productive focus with some new training with cues. It helps to have purpose even though it hopefully will never be needed.
 
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