There’s been lots of excitement and adjusting to new routines here in the house since the arrival of Rocky and Bella. One of the biggest adjustments for Rocky however had nothing to do with the new environment, but with an overdue medical issue that needed to be addressed urgently.
The Diagnosis: Glaucoma
Rocky was diagnosed with Glaucoma a few weeks before he came, and though he was receiving medication for it his eye had been damaged badly enough that his eye would have to be surgically removed. This was a condition that I knew nothing about, so I had to do some research on it quickly!
For a more complete understanding of Glaucoma in dogs you can click on this, but I’ll try to give a short explanation here as well. In a nutshell, Glaucoma is when the eye is unable to drain fluids as normal which leads to massive pressure building up within the eye and causing permanent damage to the eye itself. This can happen very suddenly, and though medication can treat and slow the symptoms, 9 out of 10 times the eye will eventually have to be removed. This also causes great pain and discomfort for the dog so it is something that must receive medical intervention as soon as it is suspected and identified.
The Treatment: Eye Removal
With the pain and pressure slowly building in Rocky’s eye the only option was to have his eye removed. And seeing as “sooner” had already come and gone, we were now already at the “later” stage and he was whisked off to the Vet on the second day after his arrival at the house.
As we already knew the prognosis and that this was overdue we didn’t even have time to sit and worry about whether we were making the right decision, all we needed to know was that he was in pain, which made it a simple decision. We weren’t however sure of how well he would adjust after, what possible complications there may be etc, so we were a bit nervous.
After dropping Rocky off at the Vet after an evening of fasting we were told that he would be operated on that morning, and that he would be able to come home that evening. The Vet called to tell us that the operation had gone well and that there were no complications – a great relief! When we collected him later we expected him to be a bit grumpy, but he was very happy, though a bit groggy and “drunk” from the anesthetic that was still in his system. He slept like a baby for the next 2 days – though to be honest, I don’t think that had anything to do with the operation because that’s pretty normal for him anyway.
Rocky was healing beautifully! The area that was stitched looked a bit raw, but there was no swelling, bruising or pain for him. The wound never bothered him, so luckily we also managed to go through the entire healing process without needing a cone – hooray!
Ten days after the surgery we took Rocky back to the Vet to have the stitches removed. The Vet was very impressed with how well Rocky had healed. The only thing he was sure to make us understand was that we would need to watch Rocky’s other eye carefully as in many cases a dog will develop Glaucoma in the other eye as well. Fingers crossed this doesn’t happen!
The Recovery: Life as a One-Eyed Dog
We were so pleased at how well Rocky recovered, but I must admit that for the first few days it was very strange to look at him. I had seen many pictures of dogs with eyes removed on the internet, but to see it in real life is still a bit disconcerting to be honest. The stitches made it look worse, but now that they are out and his fur is growing over the area we hardly even notice it.
One forgets that it’s us vain humans who place so much value on having “normally” functioning bodies that fit the accepted look. Rocky couldn’t care less about how he looks, and neither could we!
The one question everyone asks is whether he is ok, and if he walks into things. The answer is of course ‘No, he doesn’t walk into things!’. Dogs take disability in their stride, with no time for self-pity or refusal to adapt. In fact, I would say Rocky is even more energetic and lively after the eye removal – probably because all that pain and discomfort is gone. Rocky had also already adjusted to life with only one eye due to the cloudiness and pressure before the operation so he pretty much already knew how to get around.
Rocky’s Effectiveness Summary:
Issue Addressed: Glaucoma
Tool(s) Used: Veterinary Care, Eye Removal
Cost: Medium to High, depending on your Vet fees
Ease of Implementation: Moderate. We followed all the Vet’s instructions meticulously and Rocky proved that he truly is a Rockstar by healing and adjusting to one-eyed life beautifully!
Rocky’s Effectiveness Rating: 5/5. With the removal of his eye Rocky has been happier than ever, and hasn’t really even been too concerned that through the entire thing he had been uprooted and been moved to a new home. I would call that the most effective outcome one could hope for!
Note: When I was looking for information I stumbled across a blog called “The One-Eyed Dog” where people can post about their own experiences and concerns. Go check it out if you’re curious or are going through eye removal with your own dog.