My Little Lola


LolaIn April of 2014 my 9 year old Puggle was diagnosed with diabetes. By June she had developed cataracts in both eyes. Unfortunately, I was kicked out of the condo she had been living in her whole life in August (landlord sold it and the new buyer upped the rent astronomically) so I had to take her to a whole new environment. She adjusted surprisingly well and it only took her a few weeks to learn the ins and outs of her new home and she even enjoyed running around in her new backyard. It was hard at first but we both adjusted well to her not being able to see.

In late January of this year I noticed she seemed to be in pain. Sluggish, tail constantly down, refusing to jump on the couch or bed (which were her favorite places to sleep). I took her to her vet (my savior through everything, she is really the best) and she was diagnosed with glaucoma in her right eye. I was also told that day that her cataracts had become severe and she could no longer see light/shadows in either eye. Luckily, the drops have worked in lowering her pressures and she seems to be in less pain, but her eyes have deteriorated and her lens has cracked and we have now gone to see an opthamologist that my vet recommends highly. I told him about my concerns with removal of the eye (which I know will eventually be eyeS) but I also discussed cost of her care with him.

Now here is where it gets really hard for me. I am a single woman. I don’t understand how people afford all of this care for their dogs. What do you all do? I want to do anything to keep her pain free and ensure that she lives the longest, happiest life possible, but between the visits and the drops and the insulin, I just don’t know what to do. For 9 years I had no problems whatsoever with her health and these last 9 months have been a doozy. It is becoming overwhelming emotionally and financially.

We have to go back to the vet in a week and come up with a decision for treatment. I am leaning toward injections as far as cost and ease of recovery/less traumatizing for her (and me to be honest). I just don’t think I could deal with removing her eyes, any aspect of that procedure.

HOW IS ONE SUPPOSED TO MAKE THIS DECISION?! I feel so overwhelmed.

2 thoughts on “My Little Lola

  1. Our dog was in so much pain that we didn’t even think twice about removal. Although it was only one eye, he adjusted very well. Honestly I don’t think being partially blind has changed him in anyway. The vision specialist takes something called care credit. Its basically a credit card you open and we were given six months interest free

  2. I’m so sorry this is happening to your little critter – it’s heartbreaking to see them suffer and know your options are so limited. The first thing I would suggest is that you see if your regular vet can do the enucleation, rather than the eye specialist. My specialist wanted $2,000 to do it (everything’s more expensive in Los Angeles…), but my regular vet had done many of these surgeries and charged me $800 less (and my dog got better care, too).

    Second, do some Googling on the various treatment options. When I did that, I found the injections often don’t work, and sometimes have to be repeated. I decided I wasn’t putting the dog or myself through that and just bit the bullet over the enucleation. I know it seems scary, but your dog is already functionally blind, she will be out of pain, and you will get used to her “permanent winks.” But, of course, this is a personal decision; I just want to say that it worked out fine for my dog and eye removal is purely a cosmetic concern – one you will get used to, believe me! You might like to join the Yahoo group for blind dog owners, too; you can search the posts there for all kinds of procedures and people’s experience with them: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/blinddogs/conversations/messages

    My eye vet had access to a commercial payment program specifically for veterinary care through this outfit: http://www.carecredit.com/vetmed/ There are other companies offering similar products, so you might ask your eye and regular vets about this. Is there a veterinary school near you? If so, call them to see if the surgery can be done there. Vet students need to learn these procedures, but they will be done under expert veterinary guidance, and the cost is usually much lower than your vet or eye specialist will charge you.

    Finally, take a deep breath. This is distressing, worrying, and scary, but I promise you that once Lola is pain-free and her old self again, you will be able to relax and realize this wasn’t the end of the world, even if it seems like that now. Many of us have been down the road before you; you’re not alone and a bunch of us will be happy to hold your hand through the process.

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