Warning: There is a gross "before" picture at the bottom of this post.
Some time ago, in my discussion of bug-eyed dogs, I touched on proptosis globus. This means that the eyeball has been popped out of the socket. Since the bug-eyed dog has a shallow socket and a big eyeball, it doesn’t take much force to do the deed. A slap to the head, a rough grab of the neck scruff, a scary movie … (I made up that last one.)
This guy looks like he’s more than half-way there, and it’s just an average day for him (we fixed this guy later, by the way). One good thing is that if you can catch it right away, these eyes can often be saved.
For an animal with a normal eyeball-socket relationship, it takes a much greater trauma, and is a rare injury. If there’s enough force to pop that eyeball out, the rest of the head will probably have a lot of other problems… like a skull fracture, and it’s unlikely you could just pop it back in. That’s why I was really surprised to see this kitten with a proptosed eye with no other major injuries (the gross picture is at the bottom). Apparently a big dog grabbed his head and squeezed. The eyeball was unsalvageable, so we just had to remove it so the little kid wouldn’t be in pain (plus we gave pain medicine, of course).
So, here we are after surgery. You have to remove the tear-producing glands, and the third eyelid (with its tear-producing gland) or the thing will open up later and ooze. You trim off the edge of the eyelids and sew it all together, nice and neat. Doesn’t it look nice and neat? It doesn’t? Well, it will when the hair grows back. Fortunately, the socket doesn’t sink in and need a glass eye.
Here’s what it looks like when the sutures come out. The hair hasn’t all grown back yet, but you can see that it looks pretty good already. When it’s soft and furry, she’ll just look like she’s giving you a sly wink.