Archive for December 2012

Cera’s Eye Surgery- The Best Laid Plans   3 comments

First of all… if anyone wants to donate here is the link :   http://www.gofundme.com/10jch8

So it has been a while since I updated on Cera’s condition. Mostly because I was confused and we weren’t sure where we were heading next.

We received about a fourth of what we needed for the surgery and a fifth of what we needed to take care of her good eye overall. Which is amazing!

We were optimistic and called to schedule the surgery. That was when we received the first bit of confusing news. The technician told me that the surgery had 70% chance of curing the glaucoma, which we knew. What we didn’t know is that it might not save her sight, in fact, it might cause her to lose her sight.

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During the surgery they go in and laser up the flows and drainage on the eye to prevent them from getting closed and causing the eye to swell. This is how she lost sight in her right eye… the swelling caused the nerve to pop and damage the eye and sight was lost. The surgery delicately burns those open so that it will always flow. However, it takes about a week for the canals to heal and the surgery to start working. During that week her eye may swell and the nerve damage can cause blindness. If we can get through the week without that excessive swelling and the surgery cured the glaucoma she is fine and so is her sight. But there is a chance that the glaucoma could be cured but her sight would have been lost because of the surgery.

If we do nothing she will lose her sight anyway. But to pay $3,500 so the eye looks good but doesn’t work seems like a bad idea.

The center could not give us any indication of her odds. They said they don’t know, but that having blue eyes could put her at a disadvantage.

Steve and I talked about this over and over.

Our options at this point were:

A. Pay the 3500 to try to save the sight of the left eye. We would hope that she falls in the 70% for it to cure the glaucoma AND the unknown odds that her sight is also saved. Later we would have to still remove the right eye, which is sightless ($1000).

B. Keep her on medication, which is running about 100 a month on average, until it starts to fail and then have both eyes removed when she goes blind ($2000).

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We were discussing it. I read about how blind dogs did fine. I heard from people about how their dogs did all right blind. We had a blind dog briefly and he did all right. But I kept thinking of how Cera loves to chase squirrels, not that she is the most active dog but she does love this. How she watches me closely when I cook. I just wondered…. she is already a fairly inactive dog and most of the things that make her active involve her sight.

While we were discussing it and waiting and praying I took lots of pictures. Particularly of her and Lydia. Or Baxter and Lydia (by the way he is still doing great! We are excited we’ve had this much time with him!) or the two of them together.

We discussed how if we did not do the surgery we would contact those generous enough to donate to ask them if they were ok if we used the money for the eye removal surgery and if not we could return it or donate it to an animal group.

Over Thanksgiving we ran out of one of her meds (it has a false bottom so it’s hard to tell when it’s getting low). I thought we could go the day after Thanksgiving for more but they were closed and we had to wait till Monday.

Over that weekend she went blind. She could not see from either eye.

She slunk along the walls. She laid against my legs. She jumped at every noise. She was clearly depressed.

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Beyond that she got around ok. She didn’t follow me from room to room like normal. But she did follow me. She made it in and out of the house for potties. She dealt with the toddler that could decide to bestow kisses or hugs at any minute.

Steve and I didn’t really talk about it. Part of me felt relieved that the decision was taken from us. Part of me was depressed with her.

On Monday,when I refilled her medication, her sight came back.

I took her to her ophthalmologist, he called the weekend an “episode”. He said that the next one would likely be permanent. Surprisingly, there was no real nerve damage from the episode and she was still an excellent candidate for the surgery.

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I talked to him about our concerns. About putting her through the surgery without knowing the odds. Steve had pointed out it was like putting $3,500 (that we don’t have) into a slot machine, we don’t know the odds and it’s all on one spin. I also spoke to him about her depression.

The doctor understood. He said the depression usually passed for dogs, they learned to adjust and they went back to normal, for the most part.

As to the odds of it saving her sight, he said that they can’t give odds because each dog reacts differently and they don’t want patients upset with them if it doesn’t work. Which I understand but knowing some sort of percentage would really help with a decision. He said in the last year or two he had sent three dogs to them for the same surgery. He said two of them had full sight afterwards and one had obstructed vision, but had obstructed vision before the surgery so it wasn’t really due to the surgery.

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Well, that story made me feel better.

Steve and I talked about it again. He said that her depression had made him depressed. We both felt that we had failed her by not giving her a chance to fight it. She has overcome so much in her life that maybe this was one more thing that she could do…. beat the odds again.

So we have decided to go ahead with the surgery. As of now, it is scheduled for next Wednesday, December 19th. I will have to have her at Ft. Myers at 8 am and I will bring her back to our vet for observation that afternoon.

I am praying that if this is a bad idea something will stop us. We still have to do her blood work and other things to prepare for it and make sure she is a candidate.

I’m nervous. I’m questioning my decision. I’m hoping she will be fine.

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She is my fuzzy baby.

Unfortunately money is still an issue.

I’m reposting the link to the donation site if anyone wants to help us.

If you can’t help financially we understand. Please repost or just pray for us.

Pray that the doctor does a quick job so that her chances of swelling are slim. Pray that her swelling is low and her results are good.

  • http://www.gofundme.com/10jch8

And even though this post is about Cera, here is one of my favorite pictures of Baxter. He is sleeping in front of Lydia’s bed… you can see her in the background 🙂
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Posted December 12, 2012 by etainl in Pets, Sickness & Health