Rusty – Enucleation Yesterday


We have a 8.5 year old Brittany Spaniel named Rusty. We adopted him at 14 weeks old. Rusty was diagnosed with diabetes at age 3. We started insulin twice per day and he has done fairly well. Fast forward a few years and the cataracts started first in the right eye then the left. We went to an ophthalmologist per our vets instructions and he was started on inflammation drops for both eyes 3 years ago.

We noticed his right eye was very red and looking bulbous 2 weeks ago. Within 2 days got in to see opthamologist and it was determined that right eye had developed glaucoma and were told it’s very painful for animals.

We opted to do paracentesis (drain fluid from eye to alleviate pressure) and pressure dropped from 39 to 11. We then started 3 sets of eye drops every 8 hours. We went back to vet last week for a pressure check and it was back up to 49 in the right eye. They as well as opthamologist advised to have right eye removed.

So that’s where we are. The surgery was about 14 hours ago. We had our vet do the surgery as it was $2,000 less than the opthamologist quoted us.

It was so hard to see Rusty post surgery. The site is swollen and bruised. He sneezed a little bit ago and started bleeding from suture sight but it has stopped. He also has had mini nose bleeds from right nostril. Vet did not say anything about that happening but it’s all connected. I just spoke to emergency vet hospital and they said if bleeding stopped then he can wait til morning to see regular vet.

We went back and forth about having eye removed or euthanize. For us it’s about quality of life. We want to keep Rusty around as long as possible but we don’t want to be selfish. I know the first 48 hours following any surgery is the roughest. So far Rusty seems miserable. Pain meds are given every 12 hours right now and I’m counting the hours til I can administer again. So I pray we made the right decision. In a few days he should be feeling better I hope.

So each case is different. Only you can make the decision. Just keep quality of life in mind when making these important decisions for our fur babies.

2 thoughts on “Rusty – Enucleation Yesterday

  1. HI Shannon – How is Rusty doing now? My dog Ruby is having eye removed due to uncontrollable glaucoma next Friday and I am very worried about the after care and pain she will experience. Your story above summarize my exact fears. Did it get better after a couple of days?

  2. We had both of our 13 1/4 year old Great Pyrenees mix’s eyes removed 4 days ago. (His name is Hutch.) He has been completely blind from glaucoma for a couple of years. It had been managed by medication, but then he also got ulcers deep in both eyes. They could not be controlled in one eye, so we removed both to have it over with.

    I was terrified. He is a very old dog, especially for 88 pounds.

    But, he had no swelling, no leakage, and apparently no pain. (We went to an eye specialist, which may have provided better results?)

    He is frisky and very pissed off about the cone. He walks into things purposefully to try to break it off. He already shattered one.

    I did notice a slight nosebleed, which is why I came to this post (I’m waiting to hear back from the vet on that, but it appears to be normal).

    I would say, please don’t worry too much, especially if your dog is already completely blind. The pain meds worked well for him, and honestly, he seems more energetic than before the surgery. I assume he was masking his previous eye pain. I’m glad we did it, and I think Hutch is too.

    The cone is the biggest problem, but we have to live with it (for 13 more days!). Also, he can’t go down stairs (fluid pressure on the eyes). But honestly, it was not as bad as I feared at all and it seems to have really helped.

    Good luck to all of you blind dog owners out there! (And another tip, get your dog a buddy. We got Hutch a 6-year-old puggle when he was 8, and now she is his seeing eye dog and protector.)

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