I have 3 dogs and I foster for a rescue I am involved in. During our event this past October I was helping to care for our puppies at vet getting them ready for the adoption event and came across a little shih tzu just huddled in a ball in a crate. I asked about him and was told that he had been surrendered to a kill shelter with the person saying he was found in a neighborhood and had been wandering out side for 2 weeks. That particular shelter is a 3 day kill shelter. The person who did the intake was so upset to see him – he was almost catatonic, with his hair knotted over his eyes and his nails grown into the pads of his feet so he couldn’t walk at all.
They named him Gizmo and on the “down low” they ushered him to a vet because he would have had to be put down that day, if they took him in.
The vet staff and the vet carefully cut back around his eyes and they actually thought he was dead, he didn’t move and his eyes were locked open. It turns out that his eyes had been stuck in an open position for quite some time and this caused ulcerations in both eyes.
He was put on 4 different drops fro an eye specialist.
Gizmo is about 8-9 years old. I couldn’t stand to see him there and we decided to foster him, I have a mix of different dogs – but i have an affinity to Shih Tzus or Shih tzu mixes because I had one or the other throught out my entire life. 9 years ago when my last shih tzu passed I wasn’t able to bring myself to get another one.
So I held him that night and instantly feel in love with him. Having 3 other dogs was my only concern otherwise I would have adopted him on the spot. I wasn’t sure how he would take to the chaos in our home.
Within 24 hours he mapped the hole house, I got bells for my other dogs so it would help Giz to know someone was coming near him and what direction.
It amazing to watch him learn to get around. His personality started coming out and within days it was clear that everyone was getting along and happy and there was no way I would be able to send him to anyone else’s home bc he was already home.
There are many moments of levity – watching him circle the dining room table 2x before going into the kitchen…he thinks our home is much bigger than it is.. 🙂 being greeted at the kitchen gate with all the dogs excited and barking and Giz is right in there just sometimes facing the wrong way…:)
He is my shadow, he follows me everywhere and if I hop in the shower or go in another area he will make his way to the gate and whine to let me know I left him behind in another room and he isn’t pleased with that 🙂
My biggest concern for him is having his eyes injured with twigs or any particle or just having trauma to the eyes. He can only blink in the left eye but he cant keep it closed – he sleeps with his eyes open.
I just feel like his eyes are unprotected. I bought him doggles and they actually worked pretty good – he had a little more pep with them one except for 2 issues: they are tinted and bc he can see shadow in the left eye but nothing in the right, the doggles obstructed the shadow and although he walked confidently with them on, he walked into the wall 2x… I would have bought a clear pair but…..after about 20 minutes he burrowed his head into a blanket and the doggles shifted. I took them off immediately afraid they would cause trauma.
In the last visit to the specialist she said that we might want to consider removing the right eye since its not causing him pain the concern is the lack of protection opens him up to trauma or infection and that would be the cause of pain for him.
My heart breaks for my little guy – he had a tough life… and aside from the normal concerns i would have I also am not ready for him to be away from us overnight – silly as it sounds i don’t want him to think i’m leaving him….
Does anyone think that its premature to remove the eye now? That I should wait until its no longer an option – in reality is it possible for him to live the next 10 years without every causing trauma or getting an infection?
Throughout my life as my dogs aged some have had cataracts and lost vision. The difference with Giz is he came here unable to see so everything is “new” and has to adapt to that..and he cant blink which wasn’t an issue with my other dogs in the past.
Thank you in advance for your input.. I’ll post a photo of him before and then now..