Boy did we sure get a ton of information from the vet ... who turned out to be a very pleasant guy. :) Natsumi is 100% blind in her left eye where she has hyper mature secondary glaucoma. (Don't ya love stringing new phrases together like that so you can act all smarty pants? haha) However, it turns out she can see some light/dark/shadows in her right eye. This eye has a cataract which is starting to collapse and how it actually collapses and the eye reacts determines how her vision will be affected. It's due to the juvenile cataracts that she has developed secondary glaucoma. We were prescribed with some prednisone drops to see if we can stop any further damage to her right eye - one drop twice a day. After a couple of weeks, he needs to take another look and determine if the drops are helping, hurting or not making a difference. At that point, then we'll decide what the best course of action is. The vet also did a pressure test to see if she's having any discomfort, or as he put it "walking around with a headache" due to her glaucoma. It turns out, her pressure levels have not reached the pivotal 40 degree mark. Her worst eye is at 35 and there's no telling how much it will or won't progress. After she hits 40, then her eye will need to be removed. He even suggested a prosthetic eye! I had never heard of that and all of the dogs I have seen without eyes had their eye sockets simply sewn up.
Waiting Room Jitters
He did not feel this diagnosis made her unadoptable. As he put it, she's been living with this for a long time and is managing quite well right now. Now I just need to find her perfect match for someone who will adopt her, "eye warts and all" as it seems.
One thing I was so proud of, she was perfectly well behaved. He actually touched her eyeballs with an instrument to determine the amount of pressure and she did not snap, she didn't growl, she just patiently sat on the exam table while he poked and prodded at her.
One of the scary things about all of this is I know how much her treatment is going to cost our group. Due to the economy, a lot of rescues are having a very hard time. We do what we can to solicit donations and raise funds, but historically we've relied on big grants from corporations and such. Year to date, we have literally received 50% less in donations than we did last year at this time. Our group is fairly small and 100% volunteer - no paid staff members. All the money we get from our adoptions goes back in to pay for the vet bills of other dogs. In a perfect world, all of our dogs would only need to be neutered/spayed, vaccinated, or receive the occasional dental. But in reality we end up with dogs that have minor illnesses like Saburo's URI or major illnesses like parvo or heartworm treatment. I am hoping that Natsumi's treatment is very inexpensive and that our group can afford it. If we can't ... we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.
Poster Showing The Eye of a Dog
If you can't adopt a dog right now, you can always go to our petfinder page and choose a dog to "sponsor". Natsumi could use a lot of sponsors right now. http://www.olderbetter.petfinder.org