I must say, that though I was a champeen speller in 1967, I’m not even sure that Bug-Eyed is a word. Maybe a superfluous apostrophe would help it out: Bug-eye’d? …Nah.
I talked a bit about Bug-eyed dogs in a previous post. I addressed some of the hazards of the condition, and how to recognize an emergency situation. I didn’t address how to fix these guys, though.
Here we have the "before" picture on this great little Pug, aptly named "Bugsy". Bugsy is two and a half years old. A normal dog shows very little sclera (the whites of his eyes, as in "Don’t shoot until you see the whites of their eyes, boys.") You mostly see his iris and pupil. If you look closely (and do look closely), you can see that the whites (or should I say reds?) of Bugsy’s eyes are clearly visible all the way around. His eyes stick way out of the eyelids. I reckon they stick out of the sockets a bit, too, but it’s his inability to fully close his eyes and blink that’s giving him a fit. His corneas stay too dry, and his body has protected them by growing a thick layer of brown, pigmented tissue on them. It’s sort of like growing a callus on the front of your eyes. Aside from the discomfort of having your eyes hung out in the breeze, he can’t see much through that "callus" on his cornea.
We performed a canthoplasty on Bugsy. This means that we surgically closed up part of his eyelid opening to make a smaller hole, This keeps most of his eye covered and moist. He can blink now.
Yes, it is the same dog, and he still looks like a Pug (though maybe not an extreme Pug). He is much more comfortable now, and much less vulnerable to eye injury. He still can’t see much, though, as his corneas remain covered with pigment. Now that he has a more normal environment for his eyeball, we have a good chance of dissipating that pigment with cyclosporine topical treatment. If not, he may have to go to the ophthalmologist for a superficial keratectomy (sort of like peeling the orange, only much more delicate). We are sure hoping the medicine will work without more surgery.