Making a decision for my blind Maggie Belle

maggie belle - blind dogMaggie Belle is an 11-year-old miniature dachshund with beautiful piebald markings. She was diagnosed with glaucoma about 2 years ago. With the help and advice of our vet, we have been managing eye pressure with medication – 3 different drops – 3 times a day. Maggie Belle has not shown any behavior that would lead me to believe she is or ever has been in pain.

I knew Maggie Belle had lost the sight in one eye and about 2-3 months ago, I realized that she was completely blind. We saw the vet yesterday for Maggie Belle’s annual checkup. She concurred that Maggie Belle is blind and suggested I start thinking about removing her eyes which would mean no chance of pain from increased eye pressure and no more eye drops. Meanwhile, the eye pressure remains normal due to the medications.

So, that is the dilemma. Continue the drops or choose surgery to remove both eyes. When I look in those sweet eyes, I am so conflicted about the surgery.

8 thoughts on “Making a decision for my blind Maggie Belle

  1. I know this feeling exactly. It’s the dilemma of knowing whether to keep with the drops or take the eye/s out but you will know when it is the right time.

    One thing I will say however, that many on this site have said that after the operation, their dogs have perked up and seem so much happier. They didn’t realize that their dog was in pain. Dogs are pretty stoic and will show their pain in other ways – sleeping more, licking their paws, not wanting to play etc.

    1. Thank you for your thoughts and insight. Maggie Belle had surgery yesterday and all went well. One issue I hope you can respond to – before the surgery I assumed Maggie Belle was completely bliind and the vet confirmed this. However, she navigated around the house beautifully and managed so well. I thought the transition would be easy. But, Maggie Belle is hesitant to walk or move around at all. Do you think this will change? I know it is early in the healing process but I am disturbed by the dramatic change in her mobility and confidence.

    2. Maggie Belle’s surgery to remove both eyes was 3 weeks ago today. The surgery went smoothly and I can tell she is no longer in pain and that is a relief.
      She is having an adjustment to living in a blind world. Obviously, she was seeing more than I thought she was able to see before the surgery. We are making slow but steady progress in getting around the house. She loves her walks outside where there are no walls or furniture.
      I think what worries me the most is how needy she seems to be – quite different from her pre-surgery behavior. She gets most anxious if I have to leave her – panting and shaking. She avoids her comfy padded kennel that she used to adore. Do you think these behavioral issues will improve as she adjusts to this new sightless world?

  2. Hi. My dog had her eyes removed one at a time due to glaucoma about a year apart. We did her first eye bc it eventually started bulging and looked so painful.
    It made such a difference that when she lost sight in the other one, there was no question and we removed it immediately. The drops will be less effective over time and they’re SO much work (I was doing every 4 hrs at the end). You will be amazed how much happier she is when the eyes are out and you will realize how much pain she was in.

  3. Thank you for your thoughts and insight. Maggie Belle is scheduled for surgery on October 27. Both eyes will be removed. We saw the vet yesterday and the pressure in one eye was very high. The drops just aren’t working any more. I am resigned but encouraged when I hear the stories you have shared about a better life for Maggie Belle after the surgery. I am grateful to have this forum in which to share fears and successes.

  4. Hi I understand the hard choice, I have a Rescue Jack Russel who came with only one eye and no history, we’ve managed high pressure in his eye for about a year and the other week glaucoma has set in and his is completely blind, he had been managing but he is clearly not himself, so I feel he is in pain, im going to try and make the choice to get it removed, if there’s no way of rescuing his sight then it seems daft to have him uncomfortable, I hope she’s picked up since the surgery

  5. Has anyone’s vet recommended laser surgery before removing the eye? My elderly terrier cross Reggie had one eye removed last December due to glaucoma and now the remaining eye has very unstable glaucoma which drops 4 times a day are not managing to stabilise. My vet has suggested laser surgery first as he thinks it might give him some sight back but if it doesn’t work, Reggie will ultimately need the eye removed and I’m so worried about him potentially having general anaesthetics twice in a short space of time.

    1. I went through the exact same scenario. If you get him in early enough there is the potential to save the sight. For my girl, it was too late. She still went blind. However, she was able to keep the eye and she no longer needed drops.

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