Sasha’s Story


SashaSasha is an Akita born in Sept of 2003. In Dec 2011 Sasha came in the house with what at first look like an injury to her right eye. Her 3rd eye lid was protecting it like crazy. It was obvious to us that she was in some kind of pain. We took her to an emergency clinic ran by Purdue University. We ended up seeing a specialist and found that she had an auto-immune disorder that is similar to VKH in humans. It had hit her so fast that it had detached her retina.

Within a few days she developed secondary glaucoma and was permanently blind in that eye. With medication we were able to put the disorder at bay and for a time saved the left eye from being affected. Her own doctor and Purdue were very confused about this situation.

006She was a little old to develop the disorder and it only attacked one eye; I guess both of these things made this a very rare situation. Good thing was we didn’t have to treat for glaucoma after a few weeks.

In April of this year (2013) a horrible case of glaucoma set in overnight and Sasha woke up completely blind without any warning to her or us. Needless to say we were a little shocked. Again the pressure was so bad she was in a great deal of pain.

We started treating the glaucoma with 3 different eye drops and after a few days she seemed better but of course still blind. She was doing well until a about a month she relapsed. We got it under control again for about a week and she relapsed again. We saw no other options but to have the eyes removed so we could remove her pain. At her age we were more worried about her quality of life; the eyes were worthless at this point. It was a very tough decision but I’m glad to say after about 3 weeks of surgery she is doing well and we seem to have or dog back; happy and playful self again.

3 thoughts on “Sasha’s Story

  1. Thanks for sharing your story Shelley and good to see that Sasha is out of pain.

    I assume the auto-immune disease you mentioned is SARDs?? It seems to be quite a common ailment unfortunately. Many people feel guilty that they didn’t see the signs in their dog and think they could have somehow averted it somehow but SARDs (like glaucoma) comes on so suddenly it’s just so hard to foresee it.

  2. I don’t remember the actual name of the auto-immune disorder but it wasn’t SARDS; I could remember that. It was some long latin name I think. 🙂 It attacks pigment tissue and in her case it was the pigment of the one eye. I didn’t even know there was pigment tissue there. She had lupus on her nose since she was 4 years old. We are learning that we are lucky; a lot of dogs lose pigment in their hair color and become all white. There are certain breeds prone to this disorder and Akitas are one of them. We were told it was a genetic disorder

  3. Hi Shelley! It’s good to hear that Sasha is doing much better now. Our Elly started off the same way. One Sunday night I looked at her and her left eye looked irritated and her third eyelid was up as well. I freaked out and thought she injured it or had gotten something in it. When I took her to our vet the next morning he found she had a corneal ulcer. A week later the third eyelid was down but she was acting differently and her eye was cloudy. Our vet believed it was glaucoma and referred us to a specialist who confirmed our vets possible diagnosis. Here we are two months later, dealing with glaucoma already starting in her right eye and her left eye being removed this past week. It really happens out of nowhere. It’s just awful. But it’s so great that they can bounce back and be happier than they were.

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