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dogboy's worst fear: a one-eyed Monster

my pup is the Intensive Care Unit @ Cornell Univ Animal Hospital

     
2:01 pm on Sep 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Monster, the largest of Runt's 6 pups and pick of the litter, is in ICU at Cornell... his eye got punctured and he may lose it.

We were all playing down at the kennel when Monster came to me holding his eye shut... the 9 pups had been playing on a sand hill so I thought he may have gotten sand in it.... I couldn't see anything so I was concerned but thought it would flush itself out. The next morning (2 days ago) it was worse, so I got an emergency appointment at the vet. Apparently his eye got punctured by something very small, like a thorn or some type of plant matter (because he had a fungal infection on his cornea that clouded his brown eye milky blue.) We started him on anti-inflammatories and antibiotics and tried that for 24hrs.

When I went back yesterday, it had gotten worse which meant a decision had to be made if I wanted to take him to a specialist. I said absolutely. They asked if I could leave straight from their office because their was an Ophthalmologist at Cornell Univ Animal Hospital that could see him immediately... so Monster and I hit the interstate @ 90 mph in the dog truck for a 5 hour drive up to New York (I'm in PA for the summer to see family.) I got him there by about 5:30 pm and the vet was ready for us.

Basically we are looking at (and for) multiple infections in multiple parts of the eye. The outer eye isn't too good but from what I gathered, it all depends on the inner eye.... if that gets infected, its all over, they remove it. If they can get the outer eye under control and everything looks good, I can get him back on Monday or Tuesday.... then weekly checkups for 4 weeks up in NY. It is very possible that the inner eye could slowly get infected and the eye would still have to be removed, say, after 3 weeks even if it started looking better. So essentially we need to get the outer infection under control and then see if they they can see if the cornea needs surgery and if the lens got damaged and needs surgery as well.... that is if it looks like the inner eye has no infection.

So at this point I still don't really understand what is going on... they wont make any predictions either.... not even give me odds on losing the eye... we take it day by day for 4 weeks in the best case scenario.... if we know anything sooner, it will be because it is bad news.

...and obviously, this unfortunately may affect me seeing all of you in London

2:04 pm on Sept 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I wish you all the best. Sounds like Monster is a real trooper.
2:06 pm on Sept 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I'm sorry for your accident, and can uderstand you're going through a stressfull time. But, my best friends cat had a bad flu infection in an eye as a kitten, and the eye was uselss and removed. He's been the healthiest cat ever, got used to lack of 3d vision within a month or two (before which it did te funiest bump into doors and walls).

Animals are incredibly resiliant, and I believe that a puppy, jsut liek a ckitten (who depends even more on vision) can easily compensate, and after a few months you will never know anything is missing.

Hope it will turn out alright though, and good luck.

SN

2:38 pm on Sept 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

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thanks folks:) yeah, I used to run a one eyed dog named Cyclops (lost his eye in a puppy fight) but we ran in him wheel (closest to the sled) with his good eye on the outside.... outstanding dog. But Monster is just screaming 'leader' to me like I have never seen before.... and things like depth perception at 20+mph over mountainous wild country are pretty critical... if he was just a pet dog, I would only be concerned about his pain and well being... but in this case, in addition, I was expecting this little dog to lead me into the winners circle
2:44 pm on Sept 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Damn!

I HATE to hear about dogs in pain. Hope he pulls through with a good recovery, sounds like he'd enjoy being out front...

Nick

3:05 pm on Sept 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Oh, he's a sled dog. That does make it harder to cope with a possible loss...
I'm sorry. I really hope he makes it!
If it's any consolation, I have a friend who's a vet student at Cornell, and it was about ten times harder for her to get into vet school than it would've been to get into med school. Cornell vets are top of the line and it's a very rigorous program. It took her three years of applying to finally get in. She would've been in Harvard Medical School easier than Cornell's vet program.
So, whatever happens, at least you know he's gotten the best care possible.
3:07 pm on Sept 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Good luck. I'm sure your dog is in good hands.
3:35 pm on Sept 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

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yeah, Cornell is about the best there is.... great vets, great facility.... pretty big bills too:) $1k just to keep him there the weekend, if he needs surgery, another 1k. But, like you said, he is in the best possible hands.... I can't do more to save him. When it comes to dogs and racing, I don't screw around... I can live with losing only if I did everything I could to win, then I can walk away knowing I didnt hold back... but if there was something I *could* have done, and lost, I never forgive myself.
4:04 pm on Sept 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

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In another life I used to be a vet - well, I still am I suppose, just don't earn my living that way anymore. I dealt with quite a few cases like this, and, for what it is worth here are my thoughts.

First, he is REALLY in the right place. Well done on speeding him up there so quickly, Cornell are the best.

Secondly, while it is really very difficult to comment without actually seeing him of course, I would say his chances are pretty good. Age for one thing is hugely on his side. More times than I can remember I have seen pups recover without permanent damage from eye injuries that would definitely have been a disaster in an older dog.

Also we vets have a bit of a tendancy to outline all the bad things that might happen, because they might, and if we have not informed people about them then they are not making informed choices about what to do. So mentioning all the bad stuff does not necessarily mean it is that likely - just that it might happen. Mostly it doesn't.

On animals losing eyes in general, the one that most sticks in my mind is a Doberman who got a tumor on his left eye and had to have it removed. Then a year later got the same thing with the right eye and had that removed also. He was just amazing. He would run headlong up a field and stop dead inches from a tree - just as you thought he would surely collide with it. He lived happily for about 5 years and dies a very old Dobie. Great dog.

I know your case is very different. I hope he does well, but I think you can be happy at least that you did absolutely everything possible to ensure he would.

4:25 pm on Sept 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Hope he recovers. He'll be in my thoughts over the next couple of weeks.

..... Shane

6:09 pm on Sept 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Ooh, ouch. Best wishes, I hope he pulls through quick!
5:24 pm on Sept 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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“cautiously optimistic” were they keywords I heard on this mornings vmail I got from the vet after getting back from running the big dogs. Yesterday it had gotten worse but she said that was to be expected in that it was either the eye trying to fix itself... or it was in fact actually getting worse... and we wouldn’t know which one until this morning... so today there was some improvement, which means whatever they are doing is working... but they said he should stay with them in intensive care until wed or thursday... which I think is a positive thing.

Apparently it really is *intensive* in the ICU... they are giving him drops every hour, he is getting shots in the tissue around/in the eye so that it slowly leaks out all day into the eye, he is on something like 5 or 6 antibiotics until they get a culture confirmed off a scraping they did the night he got admitted... so it sounds like they are all over it ...and calling me 2x a day with updates, which helps me out some too. I definitely understand why people hold Cornell in such high regard... they seem exceptionally capable.

5:48 pm on Sept 6, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I truly which your puppy all the best.

>I definitely understand why people hold Cornell in such high regard... they seem exceptionally capable.

That sounds like a good chance!

8:19 am on Sept 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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dogboy - Sorry to hear about this. I've followed your races vicariously for years, and I know how much you care about your dogs. Best of luck...
Bob
9:01 am on Sept 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Stay cool DB, good luck. Hope things work out.
1:09 pm on Sept 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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thanks folks:)

this morning's update wasnt much of an update... things appear to be holding steady pretty much. Some of the damaged tissue seems to be getting softer and might start coming off, which is part of a healing process. In addition, some of the tissue around the damaged tissue seems a little less inflamed and appears that it might be starting to grow back to replace what is going to come off, which again means we might be over the hump. But still no word on a deep inner eye infection. Results of the culture from their scraping should be in tomorrow which may allow them to focus their efforts.

8:44 pm on Sept 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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My four pooches and I are crossing our paws/fingers for your little guy.
11:12 pm on Sept 7, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Well, if he pulls through everything OK, then you'll have to worry about him being a spoiled brat from all the attention they're giving him! hehehe. Keeping my fingers crossed.
8:49 am on Sept 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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when I was younger I used to run from Lyons Point just north of Malibu up to Point Magu, on the sand when I could... I hate the cold, but will stand in for the guy till he gets better if you really need... ;)

hope he makes it buddy.

4:42 pm on Sept 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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ok.... I was running dogs again when they called so the message I got was relayed.... but he is doing much better they say! To the point that they may release him tomorrow or Weds.... still no word on an inner eye infection so things look pretty positive {knock on wood} for the first time.

netcommr, you might want to rethink that... Remember... they eat raw meat and run barefoot and naked in the snow...right now we are out the door @ 5:15am and running hills @ 6am on a ridgeline in the backwoods of PA to toughen them up.... might make your little beach jaunts look like a walk in the park:) But I might have a harness that will fit, and if you turn out decent, I'll let you ride in the cab on the way home:)

...again, thanks for the replies and stickies folks... lots of positive energy helps the healing process:)

5:06 pm on Sept 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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he is doing much better...

YAY! :)
5:07 pm on Sept 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Good News!

Nick

6:04 pm on Sept 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I'm so glad to hear it.

My baby sister just started at Cornell as an undergrad. She was so excited to get in, and immediately went out and bought a whole bunch of Cornell merchandise. I'm glad to hear they're living up to their reputation, though much of the credit probably goes to the dog.
I'll keep my fingers crossed for him and you. :D

10:18 am on Sept 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

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out the door @ 5:15am
sorry bud, no can do. I sleep till noon... ;)

glad to hear they may release him.

1:29 am on Sept 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

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well, 10 days later and close to $2000 lighter, I'm writing to let you all know that my little Monster is back, and while the other pups may make fun of him for wearing his silly little lampshade around his head, none of them have reason to call him 'Cyclops' :) It's not really over yet but it doesn't look like there is an inner eye infection.... in fact they think all the damage was done to the cornea and that will lots of medication and time, he will fully recover.

The bad news (besides the bill) is that I think he will need me to medicate him all next week... so London appears out. It's really too much to ask anyone to medicate him for me... you have to hold him still and put 4 different ointments into his eye, 4X a day, plus 2 pills, 2X a day... and it's not as easy as it sounds:) There is an outside chance that either he won't need anymore by Wed, or that I could give him back to a local vet here, but it sounds like I'm grounded. If there's a way I'll try to come, but if not, take my water and go on without me.

1:35 am on Sept 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Oh man, there's nothing worse than when your child or pet is hurt or sick. Such a helpless feeling. So glad to hear he is doing much better and all fingers are crossed for a full recovery! :)

Sorry you may nor be able to make it to London ... but sometimes we have to forgo things like that for the ones we love!

All the best,
Liane

3:41 pm on Sept 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Sounds like mainly good news.

Hope the recovery continues!

..... Shane

3:55 pm on Sept 15, 2003 (gmt 0)

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oh dogboy! i'm so glad he's going to be ok!

if i was closer, i would definately volunteer to medicate for you! (even though i know what a royal PITA it is- but i'm used to wrestling a 130 lb rottweiler...:) i know, when it's your baby, it's hard to trust anyone else anyway...

2:47 pm on Oct 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Any new news on Monster dog?
3:09 pm on Oct 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

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he's all "set":) [bad pun intended]

...now a 2 eyed Monster

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