Hello everyone – we are Loren & Neil from the UK but now Australian citizens living in Perth, West Australia, and we are just starting a new chapter in our lives with our 2 adopted Jack Russells Eddie (9-ish) & Elsie (5-ish).
This year Ed began to suffer a bit with arthritis – we had him at the vets a few times but after a while it was apparent he needed something doing so he had a cruciate (think that’s right!) op on his knee. They really shaved quite a lot of his fur off but that revealed a lump we hadn’t noticed before. We had it tested and it was cancerous! Oh I cried for a day – we had his blood tested and it seemed confined just to the lump so we made the decision to have it removed and give him as good a chance as possible. So in the space of 3 weeks he had 2 major ops on one leg.
Part of his recovery was to keep him confined for about 8 weeks which was hard on Ed and especially Elsie who didn’t understand what all the changes were about.
Ed recovered extremely well – in fact he has bounced back and is now like a puppy charging around!! Not bad to say he is about 9.5 or 10.
Elsie on the other hand went very downhill – she seemed depressed and sad and nothing would cheer her up. I began to think something was wrong with her – she had become food obsessed (very unlike Els) and I suspected diabetes so we had her blood tested and thankfully that came back clear and normal.
She still wouldn’t perk up so I took her back and had her urine tested – to check she didn’t have a UTD but that came back clear.
I then was getting paranoid and took her back again and insisted they gave her a full check but nothing was found. I was becoming the paranoid dog owner but I knew something was bothering my little girl.
I then noticed odd things and started watching her closely, I thought she seemed a bit distant at times and clumsier than normal and it dawned on me after watching Neil training them in the back yard that Elsie couldn’t see very well.
We got referred to a specialist who I saw on Monday (12.08.13) and Elsie has SARD’s which you’ve probably heard of but just in case you haven’t its Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration – basically the vet confirmed that her right retina has detached leaving her blind in that eye already and her left is very nearly detached.. so our beautiful little darling Elsie will very soon be completely blind.
I was heartbroken and cried when he told me – even though I kind of knew her vision had deteriorated as she had got much worse over the last week. He said once it starts it happens quite quickly – they don’t know what causes it and there’s no cure but all the previous symptoms she had are linked with the condition.
I was upset that we had been back and forth and not found it before but he again reassured me that if I had seen him when it first started it would not change where we are today – the outcome would be the same – we’d have just known earlier.
He said that we will be more upset about it than Elsie will and she will adjust and he assured me that in a few months she will be running around quite happily. I pray this is the case and she has many happy years ahead of her yet.
So there it is – we are both devastated beyond words but completely determined to get her (and us!) through this and smiling at the other side.
We are walking her with a harness now instead of the lead and she knows new commands ‘step up’ ‘step down’ for getting on and off pavements etc. – it’s a learning curve for us all, but we will keep you posted of our journey!
Any help or advice that you can share will be greatly received.
Loren, Neil, Eddie & Elsie. X