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Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Eye of the Dog

No, this isn't like the hair of the dog.  Although I've needed that more than a couple times.

My regular followers know we been trying for a couple weeks to save the eye of my poor Brandi, who developed an ulcerated cornea.  On Monday, our vet performed a surgery that I found so remarkable, I want to share it.  Note to the squeamish: I'm going to try not to get too graphic here but if hearing about surgeries and such turns you off, you might want to skip the next couple paragraphs. (Thanks, Maria.)

The ulcer has created a hole in the front surface of the eyeball which was being plugged from within by a very thin inner membrane. If that final membrane gave out, the fluid inside the eyeball would leak out and the eye would have to be removed.  Do keep that from happening, the vet created a flap graph from the membrane in the corner of her eye.  He pulled the flap over the center of the eye and stitched to the surface of the eyeball, covering the hole made by the ulcer.  The needle used for this suturing is the thickness of a human hair.  Then he closed her inner eyelid (the canine "third lid") and stiched it shut to protect the graph.

The graph will continue to receive a blood supply through the flap connection until it attaches itself to the surface of the eye.  If all goes well, it will become part of the surface of the eye and serve as a permanent patch over the hole. Once the orignal blood supply is no longer needed, the vet will snip away the flap part and the corner of the eye will heal on its own.  The sutures holding the eyelid shut come out in the couple weeks. The ones on the graph a couple weeks after that.

When everything has healed, we will see a small gray spot on Brandi's eye and she'll see a small shadow but other than that, she'll have her eye and her vision.  As I said, remarkable.

In the meantime, she's a one eye dog and it's got her pretty confused. She bangs her head into things on that side because she can't tell where they are.  I expect her to be adjusting right about the time the first stitches come out.

Now, as long as no one tells my husband what I paid for this little miracle, everything will be fine.

How about you?  Ever gone way above and beyond for an animal you loved?

Unwriting progress: From the original 150,000 words down to 111,618. (I'm at a dead stop here.  Muse is working fine, life keeps intruding.)

I'm currently enjoying: Secrets of Eden by Chris Bohjalian

Quote of the day: “Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.” - Roger Caras


Dru said...

that is truly remarkable. YOu have to love the advancements in medicine.

tauruspete said...

That is fascinating. Our Charlie has cataracts and blind now. He is 18 1/2 years old. Everything works but his vision and I wonder if your vet could do cataract surgery (at a discount.... ) :-)

Stacy McKitrick said...

I lost my dog to cancer, but we did spend a small fortune to try and save him. Unfortunately, it was too advanced and we had to put him to sleep. It was the worst Christmas ever (in the worst year ever - 2001).

I hope the procedure works out for Brandi. I'll keep good thoughts your way.

Maria Zannini said...

She looks good! Now you have to worry that she doesn't give herself a concussion. LOL.

Poor baby.

I think the most I ever spent on a dog was about 3,000 bucks for our dog, Isis.

She had cancer and we beat it twice, but she died three years later of acute hip dysplasia. By that time she was too elderly to go through any more surgeries. We had to let her go. ...One of the worst moments in our lives.

Linda Leszczuk said...

Dru - it is rather mind-boggling. And then you think of all the medical problems we still can't fix. Sigh. Glad this wasn't one of them. (Hopefully.)

Linda Leszczuk said...

Tauruspete - Wow, 18 1/2. He's really getting up there. There might be a cataract surgery for dogs but I'm willing to bet there's no discount.

Linda Leszczuk said...

Stacy - I know what you mean. We lost our Bisket over the Christmas holiday about 16 years ago. Found out two weeks before Christmas she was dying and had her put down on New Year's Eve. That was our worst Christmas ever. Then we lost our Sandy on Thanksgiving Day the following year. Tough year for holidays.

Do you have a dog now?

Thank you for the good thoughts for Brandi.

Linda Leszczuk said...

Maria - Oh Lord, that's all we need. Maybe I should get her a little doggie helmet.

That picture is not her best but she's a little off her stride right now. I'll have to post a better one when all this is over.

$3,000 is a lot of money but it's so hard to weigh cost against love. We would have gone the distance with our Bisket when she was diagnosed with lung cancer but the specialist said there was no hope.

So, did I tone down the gory details enough?

Maria Zannini said...

Ref: So, did I tone down the gory details enough?

I guess so. I kept my breakfast. :)

Ref: lung cancer
You were doing Bisket a kindness putting her down. Lung cancer is a horrible, painful disease.

I am so sorry you had to endure that.

My pup had mast cell tumors which were far more treatable.

Mason Canyon said...

Sounds like things are going in the right directions. You can't help but them. When it comes to our pets they are like our children (since we have no children) and we'd do any and everything we could for them. Wishing continued healing for Brandi.

Thoughts in Progress

Linda Leszczuk said...


Just so you know, Bisket didn't suffer at all. On the day we put her down, I took her for a long romp in the park. Her lungs were filled with tumors but she ran and played like a pup. She went into the vet with her tail wagging and licked everyone's hands and faces while he gave her the injection. Then she was gone.

Linda Leszczuk said...

Mason, thank you for the kind wishes. Yes, family members are family members - no matter how many legs they have.