Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Saving Bea's Sight

I've been behind on my posts as we've had a bit going on lately.  First and foremost has been working to help our dog Bea.  On Saturday morning Hannah was petting her and said "there's something wrong with Bea's left eye".  I took a look and it was very inflamed and had a cloudy area in the center.  I went online and everything I read told me to get her to a vet immediately.  So I called our local veterinary office and they only had one vet in that day and were booked solid.  I was given an appointment for the following day and took that, but decided I'd call other clinics to see if I could get in faster.  As I was completing the call the receptionist asked again what the trouble was and I explained about the condition of her eye and all I'd read warning to get her in right away.  She asked me to hold and went to talk to the vet.  When she came back on the phone she asked if I could come in right away and they'd fit me in as soon as possible.  So Kevin and I headed over and after waiting a little while Dr. Ed Dworkin came in to see Bea.  He's had serious eye problems himself and was very sympathetic with her.  He used a tonometer designed to give the pressure reading on the eye.  Normal should be in the range of 12, and can even go into the 20's without real concern.  Danger zones were in the 40's and if the eye remained in the upper 40's for more than 48 hours irreversible permanent damage was certain.

Bea at the vet and not happy to be here.  This eye is quite enlarged and cloudy.

Dr. Dworkin, D.V.M.

Bea's left eye was 70 and right eye was 22!!!   He said she definitely had glaucoma and gave us the phone number for a group of specialists.  He then went out to try to call and get her in.  Unfortunately they are closed for the weekend, so he prescribed some drops to help relieve pressure and said to call them right away on Monday.

On Sunday both eyes were swelled and partially closed. We began using the drops in both and gave her a little aspirin to help with the pain .  Poor baby, you just feel so helpless.
First thing Monday morning Kevin got the Animal Eye Associates group on the phone and after explaining Bea's diagnosis was told to come on in and though they had a full list of appointments they would squeeze her in.  After waiting a bit she was taken in and her eye pressure in the left eye was at 57 (better than the 70 on Saturday) and the right eye was 12.  We were given a few choices that were available for treatment.  After having already spent a lot of time looking for answers and treatments over the weekend we decided to have Laser Cycloablation Surgery done that afternoon to help control the glaucoma and try to save her sight.  Unbeknown to us glaucoma is a disease that is very prevalent in Basset Hounds and can come on quickly as hers had between the ages of 4-6 years of age.  She's just over 6 years old.  There is no known cure so it's something that becomes a life long treatment for management.  Needless to say I have been doing a lot of research to try and find out ways  that can help in this with diet changes, especially since we've recently been dealing with yeast infections on all the dogs skin.  We thought it was external contributors we've encountered since our move and this is probably part of the problem, but I've been reading too about food allergies and changes in the formula of our long used food products that have caused allergic reactions in dogs.  GREAT!!!

Bea after surgery, eye is clearer, but swollen.

She hated having to wear this cone!!!
Dr, Noelle McNabb D.V.M. , her surgeon

Out of it on the ride home

We will head back again to the vet today to have them check her eye pressure.  They had to remove a little fluid yesterday, and we're hoping the pressure results will have improved today.  The surgery is not inexpensive, it ran $1700.00 and that included the surgery, meds and all follow up visits and treatments that pertain to this surgery.  The alternatives were using meds only and this has a much slower rate of eliminating pressure or traditional surgery that has a lot of complications.  If pressure can't be relieved then blindness occurs and in most cases surgical eye removal is recommended to relieve pressure.  To maintain eye appearance prosthetic eyes can be inserted, needless to say this costs about 3 times what the laser surgery runs.  Bea is still not back to her old self, but she's definitely better than she was last weekend.  Will give updates as she continues treatment and makes progress.

Eyes are clearing and reacting to the unwanted flash from the camera.  That's actually a good sign.

Just let me sleep please!  Her appetite is still off, though she's always been a picky eater.

That's it for now, will bring updates on all our projects as well as news on Bea.  The kids are definitely happier and relieved as they were really worried about her.

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