April’s Story

April - blind dogHello all. A little background of my blind American Eskimo, April. April was born blind with detached retinas in October of 2016. A breeder gave her up to a local Rescue for American Eskimos because of her blindness. I fostered her when she was 5 months old and then adopted her after 2 months. She was such a little joy and cute as a button! I was very skeptical and fearful at first as I’ve never had a bling dog, but she was just so cute and happy and resilient. I couldn’t let her go…I had fallen in love!

You couldn’t tell too much by looking at her that she was blind. Her eyes were big and bright, but in the sunlight you could see the green haze behind her eyes. She learned to walk on a leash and go in and out the dog door and down the deck steps very quickly. I was amazed. She is now almost 4 years old.

Fast forward to 2018, she developed glaucoma in her left eye. The eye swelled and bulged almost overnight and I took her to my regular vet and then on to an ophthalmologist. She was given glaucoma drops and Rimadyl for pain. After about 2 weeks, I noticed the eye was looking better, but starting to get cloudy. Back at the vet they said she had developed Phthisis bulbi. Phthisis bulbi is the end-stage ocular response to injury or severe disease of the eye. The ophthalmologist says her right eye is non painful now. So all is okay in that eye…for now. Her right eye looks white and cloudy now because of a cataract.

Fast forward to now. 2 months ago, the same thing happened in her other eye. Back to the ophthalmologist and sure enough, glaucoma! I have been treating her with drops and giving her Rimadyl for over a month now to try to get the pressure down. It doesn’t seem to be working this time and now I had to make the decision to remove it. We have an appointment this Thursday for the procedure.

While April was already blind, there will be no concern about losing vision. But, of course I’m still worried sick! I think I’m making the best decision and I trust my Vet, but just seeing her without an eye is going to be a bit unsettling. I’m a doting dog mom as apparently we all are on this site.

I’ve read over the posts on this site and have been relieved by most of them. I’m sure she will be fine.

To all who are worried that their dog, who previously had sight, will no longer be happy? Don’t worry! Dogs are so resilient! April is proof to me that they can be just as happy with or without it. While she never had sight to begin with, she is playful and smart and learned everything my other sighted dogs did, and in record time. They adjust so much more easily than we do!

I will keep you updated on April’s eye removal surgery after this Thursday to tell you how it went. I’m nervous, but I’m sure she’ll be okay. Prayers and healing to all who are going through this with their furkids!

One thought on “April’s Story

  1. Reading everyone’s posts gives me hope. I have an almost 13 year old shih tzu that just went blind (a few weeks after we moved into a new home). I noticed some vision changes when he was 10 years old so I took him to see an ophthalmologist and was told he has Progressive Retinal Atrophy and that he would eventually go blind. I was devastated and heart broken! I took him to a different ophthalmologist to get a second opinion a few months afterward. I was told he wasn’t going blind and he doesn’t have progressive retinal atrophy. We continued with following up with this doctor every 3 months. Turns out the first doctor was correct. I just wonder if he’s depressed because prior to his vision loss he loved people watching. I’m constantly making sure he has no down time because I don’t want him to get bored. I heard some dogs get dementia after vision loss. It’s possible that it’s me that’s depressed over his vision loss more so then him. I just want him to be able to do what he loved doing.

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