Tori is the youngest of my three Chihuahua and he is a 12yo male. He is the heart and soul of our family. He is the glue that binds and the constant energy needed at times to get everyone moving or doing some activity. I also never owned a dog that loved me as much as Tori has shown me.
Two years ago I noticed his eyes seemed to appear glazed or a light grey color in his pupils. Upon examination by our Vet, he confirmed Tori had Cataracts or Glaucoma conditions. I was advised to see the Doctors at UC Davis Teaching Veterinary Hospital. Appointments were made and test results confirmed Tori had Glaucoma. I also noticed that he would rub his eyes frequently and his left eye was starting to bulge outward. Normal eye pressure for him is around 10-14 psi. Tori’s readings were 60 plus! This extreme pressure was causing him incredible pain. Dr. Sabbag immediately put him on pain medication for comfort and helped Tori right away. I felt so guilty not seeing the signs of his pain and discomfort. We scheduled surgery for his eye removal right away. His right eye was not causing him any problems and his test readings were within limits. BUT I was advised that the Glaucoma disease will soon infect his other eye with the outcome being the same. In less than four months after his left eye removal, his right eye became bad. He had his other eye removed.
Tori was confused and didn’t understand why the lights were turned off in the house or thought it was night time. This is what he thought was happening. It was sad and painful for me to watch him run desperately through the house at full speed and run into objects hurting his head and himself. I had to protect him from hurting himself any further. I changed all the steps in the house into ramps. I kept a clear lane for him to navigate from rooms he was familiar. I crawled on my belly to “SEE” the dangers or objects that would hurt him. I cushioned all sharp corners and removed furniture statues tables and anything with sharp edges. After running into objects and hurting himself so often, he finally learned that he needed to slow down. This took awhile for him to realize but now he takes his time and has learned to gently bump into an object and move away. I cannot say how often I cried watching him try to live life over in a way he never knew.
The other two dogs did not give him any sympathy over his situation. Which was good in trying to keep normalcy in the family. I read a book called HOW TO LIVE WITH A BLIND DOG. You are given guidelines but each situation is so different that each owner much adapt to their own living conditions. The one thing that is very important and applies to all dogs and owners is that you must become their eyes whenever they are outside. Keeping them on leases of course and to hold them several times throughout the day and give them your love. Most of us understand the power of the love you give and receive from our beloved companions.
Hopefully someday they will find a cure for this dreadful disease in all animals. I wish all pet owners facing this same crisis the best outcome as can be expected. There is hope for happiness and a fulfilling life for you and your faithful mate. It has been almost two years and Tori’s playful personality has returned in a altered way but I can say he is happy again and out of pain.
To all the doctors and staff that gave my Tori the best of care possible, thank you all for caring and giving of your time services and compassion. Our story is just one of so many but all of us who have endured these events feel the same way. We can never repay our service providers for giving us back our beloved pets.
I will be forever grateful and will do what I can to help others through this trying time of our lives
Respectfully Submitted, Rex Hirahara, Tori, Hoppi, Cricket, Harley the Parrot and our Two parakeets.