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Guest DarkHorse

Eye Removal Experience?

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Guest DarkHorse

For those who don't know, Dexter has had a cataract for five or six years now, about half his life

 

That eye's time has finally come. We took him to a veterinary ophthalmologist back in May, and the vet said that although he was fine at the moment, his eye had more issues than just the cataract, and there wasn't really many options for retaining it. The main concern he had was the pressure in the eye, so we picked up some recommended saline drops to help with that.

 

Sadly, it doesn't seem to have helped. We've been noticing some signs of discomfort since September-ish, so we took him into the regular vet in mid-November. She prescribed some pain-killers and told us to keep an eye on things - and when the pain-killers worked, we knew it was definitely his eye. We brought him back and she had borrowed a pressure reader, so we were able to get confirmation of what we already knew.

 

When he was at the ophthalmologist in May, Dexter's eye pressure was at 12, well within normal ranges. On the 1st of December, it was 60! She gave us some glaucoma drops to try and get the pressure down, but agreed that surgery would be necessary. Luckily, the drops are working well so far. He's down to a pressure of ~8 as of last week. But the eye still needs to come out, as the vet doesn't think the drops will hold for long. So he's booked in for mid-January.

 

The vet's not overly worried about putting him under (at least, no more so than any other senior greyhound), but she does think the recovery will be a rough one. And we're not sure what to expect - none of our dogs have ever needed surgery once we took them home already fixed. We know that he will probably be dopey for about a day, and that he will likely be in pain, and we know that he's prone to licking at his IV site, but otherwise nothing.

 

So what should we be preparing for? Is there anything we should be getting ahead of time? Should we be preparing to keep him separated from the boys, and if so, for how long? The vet has recommended we use Metacam after the surgery as all of Dexter's blood values are good, and we have an ~2 week supply - should this be enough?

 

Obviously we'll be talking to our vet more about recovery recommendations, but we want to prepare as much as possible and make sure that we have everything set up and ready for him even before we take him in.

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Poor Dexter! :(

 

A big one will be the need to wear a cone. Although most of us manage to get away without ever using a cone for our dogs after surgery (opting instead for the muzzle), you're going to have to make Dexter suffer through one. He won't be able to lick the eye, but the most important thing is that he doesn't paw the incision, and the only way to prevent that is with the cone of shame. :(

 

I've never enucleated an eye on a greyhound, but I have done a dog and a cat. Neither had any significant concerns following the surgery. Pain control is very important, but really not any different than any other surgery.

 

I'm assuming with everything going on that he's no longer visual in this eye? If not that also minimizes some of the adjustment period. Still, he may see shadows and light changes on that side, so I would be careful when approaching him from that side (just making sure he knows you're there, and when you go to touch him you should try to approach from the side he can see so he's not startled.


Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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Somebody down the street from me had a dog that had both eyes removed for the same reason. They were replaced with prosthetic eyes. The dog remained very friendly and sweet and lived to a ripe, old age.


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Xavi the galgo and Allen the cat. Missing Iker the galgo ?-Feb.9/19, Treasure (USS Treasure) April 12/01-May 6/13, Phoenix (Hallo Top Son) Dec.14/99-June 4/11 and Loca (Reko Swahili) Oct.9/95 - June 1/09.

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I've only gone through this second hand with a friend's poodle. With the exception of their sending her home too early -- I think because it was a holiday weekend/I know that I hated that particular practice -- requiring multiple visits to the vet over the weekend, Ruby did really well. There are ongoing drops but the pirate poodle is a happy, happy girl and no longer has the pain of the bad eye.

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Guest DarkHorse

I'm assuming with everything going on that he's no longer visual in this eye? If not that also minimizes some of the adjustment period. Still, he may see shadows and light changes on that side, so I would be careful when approaching him from that side (just making sure he knows you're there, and when you go to touch him you should try to approach from the side he can see so he's not startled.

 

No vision at all as far as we're aware - the ophthalmologist thought he might be able to see the difference between really bright/not at all bright (like going from midday sun to a room with blinds drawn) but not much more than that. He's also always been very good about not seeing - both vets were surprised that he walks with his blind side out. We'll make sure that we approach him on the good side for sure, though!

 

Somebody down the street from me had a dog that had both eyes removed for the same reason. They were replaced with prosthetic eyes. The dog remained very friendly and sweet and lived to a ripe, old age.

 

We're not planning on a prosthetic, but glad to hear things went well for them! This is making me more hopeful.

 

I've only gone through this second hand with a friend's poodle. With the exception of their sending her home too early -- I think because it was a holiday weekend/I know that I hated that particular practice -- requiring multiple visits to the vet over the weekend, Ruby did really well. There are ongoing drops but the pirate poodle is a happy, happy girl and no longer has the pain of the bad eye.

 

I'm interested by the ongoing drops - how do they install them? We're doing 3x/day now, so even going down to 1x/day would be good because he hates them, but I can't imagine how one puts drops in a sewn shut eye.

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I'm interested by the ongoing drops - how do they install them? We're doing 3x/day now, so even going down to 1x/day would be good because he hates them, but I can't imagine how one puts drops in a sewn shut eye.

 

There won't be ongoing drops because there won't be an eye. We don't just sew the eyelids closed over the eyeball, it actually gets removed. In many cases the lack of tissue in the socket results in a sinking appearance (so instead of being flush with the face it becomes concave). There are certain techniques that help to minimize this, but as a general rule it's purely a cosmetic issue. I think perhaps the poodle as drops for the other eye? Or she didn't have an enucleation but a different procedure.


Kristie and the Apex Agility Greyhounds: Kili (ATChC AgMCh Lakilanni Where Eagles Fly RN IP MSCDC MTRDC ExS Bronze ExJ Bronze ) and Kenna (Lakilanni Kiss The Sky RN MADC MJDC AGDC AGEx AGExJ). Waiting at the Bridge: Retired racer Summit (Bbf Dropout) May 5, 2005-Jan 30, 2019

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We're not planning on a prosthetic

Very glad to hear this. I did it once and never again.

 

Without a prosthetic he should heal fairly quick. Sending many prayers


Diane & The Senior Gang

Burpdog Biscuits

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Guest DarkHorse

 

There won't be ongoing drops because there won't be an eye. We don't just sew the eyelids closed over the eyeball, it actually gets removed. In many cases the lack of tissue in the socket results in a sinking appearance (so instead of being flush with the face it becomes concave). There are certain techniques that help to minimize this, but as a general rule it's purely a cosmetic issue. I think perhaps the poodle as drops for the other eye? Or she didn't have an enucleation but a different procedure.

 

That's what I thought, but I wasn't sure if there was a need to hydrate the socket or something. I know they wouldn't leave the eye in, though, because that's really just making the problem more difficult to access, not getting rid of it.

 

We were offered the option to have the ophthalmologist do the surgery as it would be "prettier", but we'd rather stick with the vet we know well that has taken both cats through sedation processes. As long as they don't tear his entire face up, I'm not too worried about the cosmetics of it, just him being healthy and comfortable.

 

Very glad to hear this. I did it once and never again.

 

Without a prosthetic he should heal fairly quick. Sending many prayers

 

Thanks for the well wishes. We're hoping he will do well - the vet says he's in great shape for his age so the surgery should be less of an issue than the recovery part.

Edited by DarkHorse

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Why does your vet think he will have a rough go of it? Remember, Huston was 13 when he had his thyroid surgery (2 of them) and did very well. Key is a great surgeon

 

What did the opthamologist (sp) say about recovery? (since he does more of these)


Diane & The Senior Gang

Burpdog Biscuits

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No experience, just sending extra ear scritches to The Dex.


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Ellen, Milo, and Jeter

remembering Eve, Baz, Scout, Romie, and Nutmeg

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Hi!

 

All will be well! :) Our 13-yr-old, Sweetie, just had her left eyeball removed on October 15th. She had a teeny, tiny growth inside her eyeball that you could only see in a darkened room with the light just right. We and our regular vet had been just watching it for at least a couple of years. This spring, it started getting bigger, but still didn't seem to be bothering her. As it got larger, she must have been losing vision, and starting compensating for it. For example, she'd pause and tap the doorframes with her nose before going through. In late Sept, early Oct, it started looking "bulge-y" and soon after that, looked red, like it was full of blood. Took her to see the ophthalmologist, who--for a substantial fee--looked, measured pressures, and confirmed that it would need to come out and that my regular vet should do it because he'd be too expensive. :rolleyes:

 

SO...that happened. And he DID insert a prosthetic, silicone eyeball form so that it wouldn't take on a concave shape as it healed. Recovery was smooth, even though she HATED the cone. But as stated by others...it's mandatory. One rub or swipe at it could do damage. I mostly kept it on her except when all four of our houndies were napping AND I was in the room. Or if she was going outside by herself, just to give her a break.

 

The lab results were that she had a ciliary body adenoma--a benign neoplasm. Whew. I cried when the doc called with those results because I'd convinced myself it was some horrible cancer that was in her brain and going to be a death sentence. :huh Anyway...that had caused secondary glaucoma which was blocking proper lymph drainage. There were also changes to the optic nerve head because of the swelling, etc.

 

Diane...I'd be interested in hearing your story about the prosthesis...because...the one trouble she has had might be related to that. Last week, she had a little drainage from the inside corner of the incision, and I thought it might be just like the regular stuff, if there was still a tear duct there. But then one evening it looked a little bit swollen (like the size of a pencil eraser, right there at the corner); but then the next morning, it wasn't swollen, but I'd already made an appointment. Well, sometime on the way to the vet that morning, it started oozing some blood. SO, both the regular vet and surgeon looked at it, decided to put her on antibiotics for two weeks and watch it. Which we're in the middle of now. It hasn't drained at all anymore, or looked swollen. But they said that if it doesn't stay good, they may need to go back in and check the prosthetic.

 

I haven't been on GreyTalk much in a long, long time...I don't remember how to post pictures. Are you on Facebook? There are a few there. My user name there is Lisa Collins Blechle--send me a friend request if you'd like, but most of my pics are Public. It was pretty jarring to see her when she first came out of surgery, but we got used to it, and now she's just our same ol' sassy, demented, self...our one-eyed wonder dog! ;)


Lisa
...sharing the journey with my best friend, Kevin, and our four greyhounds:
Littermates Sweetie* & Spicy (Possible Betsy, Possible Edna),

Moody* (Jr's Moody Man), and Dragon (Kiowa Dragonfire)

*Gone to wait for us at the Rainbow Bridge

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Guest DarkHorse

Why does your vet think he will have a rough go of it? Remember, Huston was 13 when he had his thyroid surgery (2 of them) and did very well. Key is a great surgeon

 

What did the opthamologist (sp) say about recovery? (since he does more of these)

He's always been rough on himself with injuries - likes to lick and rub at anything that's healing because it's itchy. Plus Cole and KB are both still pretty rambunctious and aren't completely settled in or reliable in some of their training. I think the vet's a little worried they'll beat him up a bit, whether intentionally or not.

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We had a dog lose an eye. They just stitched up the "hole," and he was just fine.

 

My father also lost an eye. He had a fake eye, but he also had Alzheimer's, so after a while my mother couldn't deal with the fake eye any more as he was significantly larger than her, and he would not cooperate. And then he refused to wear his "pirate patch" so we had to look at him with a really gross hole in his head...he was in severe pain before they removed the eye, and was OK afterwards although he did not remember giving my mother permission to have the surgery done and it was heartbreaking when he asked us why his eye was gone.



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Susan,  Hamish,  Mister Bigglesworth and Nikita Stanislav. Missing Ming, George, and Buck

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I'm interested by the ongoing drops - how do they install them? We're doing 3x/day now, so even going down to 1x/day would be good because he hates them, but I can't imagine how one puts drops in a sewn shut eye.

 

The ongoing drops are to the good eye that is left, as far as I know but I will ask her person today and get back to you. I think it is twice a day from what I recall as it goes with her feeding schedule.

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Ziggy has been without his eye for about 4 years. He also had glaucoma. We tried all kinds of drops. They would work for a while and then not so much. He was in so much pain that we had the eye removed. We had also taken him to an ophthalmologist who would do it for about $950 but our local vet did it for $500 without a fake eye. We didn't think he could see but after the surgery he ran into lots of things. We assume that he could see shadows and dark and light because this adjustment was the worst. It took him about a month to adjust to this and then he became the old Ziggy.

 

He had become crotchety and the vet said that it was because the glaucoma pain made it feel like he had a constant migraine. Now he is so much fun again! He plays all the time now and he is almost 13!

 

The only bad thing now is that he is absolutely scared to death of the television set! He has no depth vision so you have to be sure that children do not go at him on that side because it startles him so much.

 

It is not a terrible recovery. They do need to wear the cone of shame. He hated to walk at night because the wind freaked him out at night because of the movement.

 

Feel free to pm me if you want to talk. But be assured, all will be fine!

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