Monday, May 7, 2012

The Most Important Problem I Can't Fix

One of my strengths, and part of what I like to feature on GIY, is creative problem solving. I can usually find a solution to most problems. But when I can't find a way to fix something, I get frustrated. When that "something" is my pet, the frustration is compounded and intensified with worry.

I've been remiss in posting lately because I've been caring for (and worrying about) my dog Bean Sidhe.  On Saturday morning two weeks ago, I saw her pawing at her right eye. This put me into a slight panic because (1) a year ago, she needed surgery for an ulcer on her left eye and (2) she is deaf, and the thought of her losing her eyesight terrifies me. Within an hour, we were at the emergency vet clinic.

(An aside for pet owners: If your pet had an emergency, do you know where you'd go? I urge you to find out in advance where your nearest emergency pet clinic is and keep that information handy.)

The vet applied a drop of topical anesthetic and then used fluorescein stain to check for corneal damage. Bean Sidhe's entire eye stained green, indicating a very large eye ulcer. :(  The vet recommended an aggressive course of treatment: two types of antibiotic drops, atropine drops and Remend drops, plus an oral pain medication. All weekend, I put drops in Bean Sidhe's eye every two hours. Her patience and my new alarm clock were thoroughly tested.
looking like a Borg dog with the cyber eye

On Monday, we went to an every-six-hours routine. I had to get up in the middle of the night and I had to drive home from work in the middle of the day (38 miles round-trip). Despite the aggressive treatment, Bean Sidhe's eye wasn't healing well. The following Monday, she had surgery to remove the nonhealing tissue (superficial keratectomy). Conveniently, dogs have a third eyelid which can be pulled over the eye to protect it while it heals. The eyelid is held in place with a stitch, which in turn is held in place with a button. That's right, a button like you'd find on a shirt.
creepy button eye

"Hey! Get this thing off me!"
Poor Bean Sidhe. The collar itself didn't bother her much, but the limited vision combined with her deafness made her insecure. She wanted to be with me ALL the time.

Several more days of waking up in the middle of the night and driving home mid-day, and it was back to the vet on Friday for the stitch to come out. To my great disappointment, staining showed that the eye had only partially healed. :(  She's still in the E collar and her eye is still bothering her. I'm exhausted, frustrated and worried. I see that she hurts, and I wish more than anything that I could make it better.
we are very grateful for opioid painkillers

27 comments:

  1. That's so very sad, and looks painful. :c At least with that button and such. I know the frustrating feeling, my dear dog fell ill last autumn and it was awful not to be able to help her more.
    Hopefully Bean Sidhe will recover eventually, even if the process seemed slow now. Must be insecure indeed not to hear or see properly. I wish everything goes well for you two!

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    1. Thank you. The surgery she had carries a nearly 100% success rate, so hopefully it's just a matter of time before she recovers. Healing is slower at her age (14).

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  2. I'm so sorry for your dog. I can only try to imagine how painful this is for her. I hope the cure will work soon. Hugs to you both.

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    1. Thank you. I'm grateful that she can take painkillers.

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  3. Oh, I'm so sorry for Bean Sidhe! :( I know how terrible it is when one's beloved pet is sick! My little dog, Ester, had a very rare and serious defect in her liver when she was a puppy and it was a very slim chance that she would survive. Thankfully, the vets did an amazing job and she's now almost fully healed, only deaf since her hearing didn't develop normally due to the liver defect.

    I really hope that your dog will recover soon!

    Hugs from Sweden!
    /Madam Noire

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    1. Sounds like Ester is a success story indeed! :) It's wonderful what good veterinary care (and owner love!) can do.

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  4. Oh my goodness, poor little sweet thing and momma! Despite all the pain and worry, she still is utterly adorable (cone or no cone!) and I hope she heals quickly. Stay strong Bane and Bean Sidhe, she's lucky to have such an awesome momma!

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    1. Thank you. She is adorable, isn't she? ;) I'm lucky, too; I couldn't ask for a better pet.

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  5. I'm so sorry!! I have no idea what I would do if any of my babies had this going on :( I hope Bean Sidhe heals up fast!! Good luck Bean's mom as well, I know this is hard <3

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  6. Really, quite sorry to hear about your little one. I can completely empathize with the nerve wracking situation; my wife and I were on a trip two years back and my dog ended up at the vet while in the care of my in-laws. She passed while I was three states away. At least you can be there for Bean Sidhe through this ordeal. Positive vibes for a quicker recovery.

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    1. How awful for you! I am very thankful I can be here to take care of Bean Sidhe. We've been together 14 years; she is my family.

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  7. Oh, poor thing, I hope she makes a full and speedy recovery.

    My mum had a poodle that was completely deaf and blind in one eye (Mum never knew the exact cause because she was a rescue dog) that lived to a ripe old age. I guess a dog's ability to 'see' with their noses comes in pretty handy!

    You're doing an absolutely fantastic job looking after Bean Sidhe. She's lucky to have you.

    Please keep us updated with her progress!

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    1. Thank you. Dogs adapt remarkably well. And yes, their ability to "see" with their noses is handy. Bean Sidhe can no longer hear me opening the peanut butter jar, but it only takes a few seconds for the scent to bring her to the kitchen. :)

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  8. Poor little thing! I'm so sorry. :(

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  9. So sorry to hear this. I wish her a full and speedy recovery.

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    1. Thank you for the good wishes.

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  10. Oh dear. My Trixie had eye issues- not fun. Not fun at at all.
    Did they seriously sew a button to your dog's eyelid? What is this, Coraline?

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    1. Bean Sidhe has bulgy eyes, so in a way, I guess we're lucky that she went 13 years without any eye problems.
      Yep, a button. Fortunately, there was no Other Mother involvement.

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    2. You know what's weird? Standard poodles have the opposite problem- eyes set too far into their heads. Causes them to be prone to infections. Bulgy's no good, deep's no good.... looks like we can't win!

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  11. poor little Bean! Sending good vibes your way and hoping for a speady recovery!

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  12. I hope she feels better soon. And get some rest, you must be exhausted.

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    1. Thank you. I have to attend Board of Directors meeting tomorrow and Friday. :/ After that, I hope I can get some rest. I am exhausted indeed.

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  13. Poor Bean Sidhe I hope she gets better soon :(

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