Eye problems need attention today, not tomorrow.

Bugeyes_before_2_ I've posted on bug-eyed dogs in the past, and you may recall (or it may be intuitively obvious to you) that they are more susceptible to eye injuries than a dog whose eye is nice and protected back inside the socket (instead of bulging out of it).  This is a rather extreme example.  We did a little work on him to give him a less extreme conformation.

Boston face This is a generic Boston Terrier that I googled up for you. Still buggy-eyed, but not nearly so extreme.  Still more susceptible to eye injuries than the average dog.  Today we looked at a Boston Terrier dog who had been holding his left eye shut for THREE WEEKS.  "He just started to open it again yesterday."  I couldn't help myself.  I said, "Three weeks, huh?  What's your hurry, lady?"  This wasn't a good thing to say, as it could make the owner feel dumb, or feel bad.  Then where will you be on getting cooperation?  Nowhere, that's where.  But, as I said, I couldn't help myself.

It turns out that three or four months ago, he had his eye shut for two weeks and then "it got okay".  So, they figured two weeks was probably an acceptable, kind of normal phenomenon.  But when it went to three weeks, well… 

You need to understand: these are nice people and they love their dog and they are not stupid.  For some reason, something just didn't "click" here.  When things sunk in a little, they were very distressed and anxious to fix it. 

 I think of my own eye and how uncomfortable I am when anything gets wrong for even a second: an eyelash, a speck of dust, anything.  This dog had a superfical corneal ulcer.  He had apparently been suffering with this for three weeks.  "Hokey smokes, Bullwinkle!"

Fortunately, the ulcer remained superficial.  With a bug-eyed dog with poor tear film coverage, and reduced ability to fully blink his eye, the ulcer could easily have gone deep and perforated his cornea.  As it is, with very conservative treatment, I expect him to be fully healed (and a lot more comfortable) in just a few days.

I couldn't tell you how many times someone has come in with a squinting, red eye that has had a fox-tail weed awn in it for a week or more.  "I been putting Visine in it."

Man, if there is something wrong with that eye, let's get it looked at pronto.  Your eye is sensitive, and so is your pet's eye.

3 thoughts on “Eye problems need attention today, not tomorrow.

  1. Steven Moffet says:

    You would seem to have horrible interpersonal skills. This is often attributed to vets in cliche, and you quickly and easily display the reason with your breezy lack of hesitation in relating how you berate your clients.
    This may be hard to imagine – but getting a dog who is squinting to the vet (with the accompanying large bill) often becomes a lower priority compared with the expense and difficulty of caring for human family members.

    Next time someone comes to you with a problem, instead of handing them snark along with their 400.00 bill – please consider that the world does not revolve around your practice and you don’t know squat about the extenuating circumstances in the lives of people who come to you for help.

  2. Doc says:

    Hello, Steven,

    The client’s bill, including medicine to go home, was under $60.00.

    I realize that people have pressing obligations in their lives, and that the dog often must take a lower priority.

    I was not bragging about my lack of tact. I am ashamed of it. The point was how much the dog’s condition spoke to me, to make me blurt out something so insensitive.

    Try putting something in your own eye, and see if you don’t think three weeks is a bit long to wait on it.

    The point is to take an eye problem seriously sooner rather than later. Not only will there be more pain for the patient, but the eye may become unsalvageable. This would require removal of the globe. Not a $400 item in our practice, but a significantly larger undertaking than early treatment of the injury.

    When people are willing to be straight with me, I am willing to work with them on finances. However, my job is to be here and be available and be ready and equipped to help the pet.

    My job is not to be a lending agency.

    I have to pay my people and my bills, even if I didn’t pay myself. My practice is in a small town, low-income area. The overhead, not including any compensation for myself, is over $33K.

    Owning a pet is a privilege which entails responsibilities. This is a fact of life, not my choice. My responsibility is to do my best to care for the pet. The owner’s responsibility is to pay for it.

    I am sorry that reading my blog has reinforced some embittering experience in your life.

    I hope that things go better for you in the future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *