Monday, May 6, 2013

Crying Blood?

A call came in the the other day for an emergency appointment request. The receptionist who took the call put the caller on hold and came to find me in appointments. She was especially concerned because the callers complaint was "beagle bleeding from the eye."

"Yep," I agreed, "better fit them in."

A few minutes later a little shy beagle came into the front reception area. She was very easily identified. She had an enormous right eye that she painfully tried to keep closed. But her eye was so enormous that she couldn't close her eyelids around it. Every time she tried to blink a blood filled tear rolled out. I saw her immediately.

Her name was Daisy. I had seen her months ago for the same painful eye problem. We had tried to do her enucleation (removal of the eye) then, but her teeth were so decayed that they needed to be resolved before I could remove her eye. The emergency dental was done in place of the chronic eye illness. She recovered well and was scheduled to return a few weeks later for her eye resolution surgery.

But time had slipped away from everyone and here she was back again for her original complaint.

Daisy had glaucoma. Glaucoma is when the fluid in the eye is not processed and recycled correctly. The eye is a dynamic structure that keeps its globoid shape by adding and removing fluid. When the eye can't remove the fluid  it gets stuck inside the eye. When the fluid being added continues to be added in spite of any relief to remove it the inner eye pressure increases. There are many reasons for this but all end in eventual progressive optic nerve damage. If caught early enough and if treated successfully the eye can remain visual. The disease may affect one or both eyes. To treat glaucoma we first need to identify the cause. From there we decide between surgery or medical treatment.

Surgery is done to either relieve the plugged recycling system, or decrease the fluid production. Alternatively, the eye can sometimes be managed with ocular medications. For those dogs like Daisy where the damage has been chronic the eye becomes nonfunctional. Daisy could not see out of her right eye and it was always hurting her. It was an easy decision for her family to remove her painful eye.

Daisy at her appointment.

Immediately post-op.

Two weeks post-op.

Daisy came to visit today. She, for the first time that I have ever seen her, came into the office wagging her tail. She is pain free and much happier without her old, sick, didn't-work-anyway eye.

For more information on glaucoma in dogs see:

1 comment:

  1. I had a beagle that had the exact same problem a few years back. I also thought it was blood coming out of its eye until I took her to my vet in Edmonton and he explained to me what the real problem was.