Its a couple of months since I was on here, and I just wanted to update you on Bailey’s eye operation, and hopefully help reassure Craig regarding his little spaniel. I really hope she is doing better now.
We went ahead with having Bailey’s remaining, right eye removed on Dec 11th 2014, and our lovely local, regular vet performed the surgery, your advice was exactly right! She was brilliant, I was a wreck and had a last minute panic that maybe we shouldn’t put him through surgery, but she reassured us and made the whole ordeal as stress free as possible, for Bailey and for us.
He is doing amazingly now, he is so happy, it was definitely the right thing to do, but it has been a slow process.
The first 3 days following his surgery were a sad time, he was very unhappy and I felt terrible for him. The first night was distressing because the swelling was so much worse than when he had his first eye removed, and we were worried it wasn’t normal. We now know it was probably due to the fact he is so much older. By day 4 he was eating a little better and his tail started to wag again occasionally, but it was often tucked under him, which he only does when he is really scared. We noticed blood in his right nostril, and it was thanks to this website that i knew it can be normal. By day 6 though, just as he was finishing his antibiotics, there was a nasty green discharge with blood coming from the nostril. The vet was baffled, and gave us another 2 weeks of antibiotics. It got much worse for several days, he was so blocked up, so I was steaming him in the bathroom, which helped alot. He lost his appetite during this time, except for his favourite treats and chicken, so we gave him lots of those! Almost 3 weeks after the op, his right nostril was finally clearing up and he began to eat small meals throughout the day. The vet thinks there must have been a nasty infection behind the eye for some time, because she has never known this to happen before.
Bailey was still very frightened of most noises, and he was so lost, even just getting off the sofa to find his water bowl was an ordeal. And if his food or water bowl moved or made a noise, he wouldn’t go near them again, so everything is now non- slip and plastic. It’s made us realise that even though that eye had been severely damaged, he must have been able to see more than any of us had believed was possible.
Before the operation, we bought some foam camping mats to cover up anything Bailey might bump into, they were very cheap but are brilliant, we still use them because he is still adjusting to finding his way around. They have prevented him from hurting himself but also help him work out where he is. One huge advantage is I have Bailey with me all the time, my job is caring for older dogs, and the lovely regular dogs that visit have helped Baileys confidence so much, they seem to know he needs thier help. I tell Bailey everything which is about to happen, via routine, and words he has always known. This makes my friends laugh, but Bailey is definately getting much more confident and now knows when something is about to happen. He wears a harness at all times outside, he won’t even walk forward if he isn’t attached to us. He has learned when we are approaching a step, to ‘step up’ or ‘step down’ and when he is at the car and needs to ‘jump up’. The main thing he needs is plenty of time to process each next thing that is happening, just walking up the garden takes some time, but he is getting braver each day.
It’s about 7 weeks since his operation, and its only the last 2 weeks that Bailey has really been getting around the house with confidence and properly enjoying his food and his little walks. He is playful and cheeky again, even doing tricks that he hasn’t done for years! Most importantly, our boy is pain free.
We so hope Craig and his family are noticing an improvement in their little dog, its a huge change for our animals to cope with. It makes us wonder if perhaps the reason she can’t use her scent to help find her way, may be due to an infection which isn’t obvious like Baileys was?
Although Bailey had to fight an infection after his op, our vet is convinced that the infection was already present, and if we hadn’t gone through with removing the eye, he could have become seriously poorly and things could have been very much worse. (Interestingly, before the op Bailey would wake at least twice in the night to be let outside to pee, which we assumed was his age. But for over a month now he sleeps all night). So those few horrid weeks are in the past, and we can treasure more precious time with our happy, healthy doggie