Advice for an old sick dog

I have a 12 1/2 year old miniature schnauzer who was diagnosed almost a year ago with severe pancreatitis and diabetes. He also has a grade 3 heart murmur and abnormal liver enzymes, which have been worsening for several years.

We have provided the best care we can, but his diabetes was very difficult to get under control, and about 6 months ago he developed cataracts virtually overnight, causing both lens’ to rupture into the body of his eyes. He was not deemed a candidate for surgery and has been blind ever since.

He has adapted fairly well to the blindness, and finds his way around most of the time, only occasionally getting lost and barking for help.

Recently he developed a new infection in one eye, with fungal growth that is eroding his cornea. Aggressive medication has not helped at all, and he is unable to grow the new blood vessels that would be required for healing.

Enucleation surgery seems to be the only remaining option, but with his health it is hard to decide whether we should take this step. The only other option would be to let him go. We don’t want him to suffer and he is clearly in pain. Has anyone else been through something similar? His liver enzymes are the biggest barrier to surgery because of the anesthesia risk. We are struggling to make a decision. Other perspectives would be appreciated.

One thought on “Advice for an old sick dog

  1. You are stuck between a rock and a hard place. I had this issue when deciding whether to get laser surgery for my dog. It was a risk as she wouldn’t necessarily get her sight back and it was going to cost a few thousand dollars which I had to struggle to get at the time. It was a tough choice but I went with the surgery. It didn’t actually help. She didn’t get her sight back but she did get to keep the other eye even though she was blind in it.

    It’s a tough decision. You really aren’t going to know what the future holds, so I think you just have to go with your gut on this.

    And by the way, if you have a Facebook account that you leave your message on our Facebook page at the link below. You will get more responses there.

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