Lola is my beautiful brindle 6 year old Bull Mastiff. This all started the end of August when my son went to go feed Lola her dinner. He came in and said her left eye was swollen shut. I went and got her and put a warm compress on it. I thought maybe she scratched it and had a little infection. Through the evening I cleaned it, but it would continue to get “gooey.” She was squeezing it shut.
The next morning her eye was open and completely gray. I called her vet and they told me to bring her in. The minute the vet walked in and saw her he looked at me and said “this isn’t good.”
Lola is a very sensitive dog, she hates having her temperature taken, her ears cleaned and her eyes touched. In order for him to check her eye he had to sedate her.
When he brought her out he sat down and told us that she has Glaucoma, and he is sending us to see an Ophthalmologist for Animals. We got an appointment that day and headed over there.
My first reaction was “ok, we will get through this, I’m sure they have medications to treat it.” We went to the Ophthalmologist and they took Lola immediately and started treatment. That day was horrible. The Dr. explained what was happening, Lola’s pressure in her left eye was at 77 mmHg. (Normal pressure is 10-20 mmHg.) The Dr could not get her pressures to go down.
We decided the best thing for Lola was to take her eye out. It was the only way to get her out of pain. So her left eye had an enucleation with an orbital prosthetic. Basically they took her eyeball out, and put a marble type prothesis in the socket, and sowed it shut.
The day of her surgery they called me to come pick her up. She was so confused, scared, and upset. The minute we got their she started to calm down. We took her home. It took her awhile to settle in, she was completely helpless in the way her body was reacting to the medications and the fact that her eye was no longer there. I didn’t leave her side for the next few days. It was heartbreaking to look at her.
In September we had to put our Puggles to sleep. They were old, had cancer, tumors and were no longer eating. So now Lola has lost an eye, and her 2 life long buddies.
I gave her drops of Dorzolamide Hydrochloride every morning and every night, I also gave her cod liver oil. She hated the eye drops! She never once made it easy for me to get those drops in her eye, but I managed to do it. We went once a month for pressure checks on her right eye. Her pressures were usually 17-19 mmHg.
On December 27, 2013, we went for our monthly pressure check and her eye was the best it’s been, it was at 15mmHg. I left there so excited, like all the hard work is paying off! On December 31 we were having a New Year’s Eve Party at our house. At 5:00pm my son fed Lola, she walked down the 2 steps off the deck, ate her dinner, and came back inside. At 7:00pm I let her outside, she got to the 2 steps and fell down them. I looked at her eye and it had a weird “glow” to it. I immediately panicked. My dog was completely blind! She couldn’t even walk to my bedroom without running into everything. It was devastating! I had 40 people at my house and couldn’t get a hold of her Dr. I was so upset, I couldn’t stop crying.
I sat in my bedroom with her the entire night. My fears had come true and now I knew we had a long road ahead of us. She wouldn’t eat, drink or walk anywhere. It was so sad. The thought of her having no eyes was difficult for me. That’s why this time we decided to try and keep the eye.
We went to her Ophthalmologist on January 2. Her pressure was at 71! They gave her an IV of Mannitol. We stayed with her for 3 hours while they tried everything to get her comfortable, when we left her pressure went down to 45. The next day we went back and her pressures back up to 81! We were sent home with 3 different eye drops to give her, some pain killers and some anti-inflammatories. The Dr said to see how she does, see if any vision comes back and we will re-group the next week.
Her vision didn’t come back and her pressure was up again.
On January 9, 2013, the Dr sedated Lola, my son and I sat with her while the sedation kicked in. She is 113 pounds so it takes a lot of medication and lots of time, she tries her hardest to stay awake. We left the room and the Dr injected a medication called Cidofovir into the vitreous cavity of her eye. It destroys the fluid production. The pressure will be down, which means the pain should be gone, she will be 100% blind but will hopefully keep her eyeball in.
The next week she needed another injection of the Cidofovir. Usually it takes 2 treatments to work. After the 2nd treatment she has a 90% possibility that it will work.
We continue to go check her pressure once a week, they continue to drop.
This has been one of the most difficult things I’ve gone through. To see a healthy, happy dog suddenly loose her vision is heartbreaking. She is slowly getting back to normal. She has never snapped at anyone, even when her pain levels were the highest. She continues to get better every day. She is such a big part of our life, we love her so much!
When life gets tough our dogs are there for us whether they can see us or not.