(Warning: this post has some icky eyeball pictures. Those with Ommetaphobia may want to skip this one.)
I’ve worked three days in the past two weeks. Thanks, polar vortex!
The timing of being home so much turned out to be great. As anyone who follows me on social media knows, one of our dogs suddenly went blind last month. For a handful of days, the sides of Edward’s eyes just looked irritated and red. Not the biggest deal–dogs always have all kinds of strange things going on, especially old dogs. Maybe it’s allergies, I said. Maybe he’s allergic to dogs.
As the redness got worse, we took him to the vet. They did a funky little test on him that basically turned his tears neon green, then they examined his eyes with some kind of special light/tool. Nothing odd showed up, so they sent us home with an ointment. We repeated this process two more times as his eyes became increasingly weird. They went from red, to milky/cloudy, to ZOMBIE EYEBALLS.
It was clear that he was totally blind in one eye and the other was about to call it quits, too. Our vet told us she’d never seen anything like this, which is always super fun to hear, and referred us to a veterinary ophthalmologist. There, the incredibly kind and smart doctor informed us that Edward has a VERY rare disease, something he sees maybe once a year and something that there’s no way our regular vet would know to diagnose. Essentially, there’s a glitch in Edward’s immune system telling it to fight an infection when there is none. As a result (somehow), his corneas became completely inflamed and his eyes were clouded with white blood cells. “He’ll be fine,” the vet calmly told us. “A few weeks of medicine and he should be back to seeing just fine.”
We about fell over. Edward and Billy turn 15 next month. We had accepted that Edward was now blind and just really wanted an answer for why he had zombie eyeballs. It was a better diagnosis than we expected. They took him in back for a cortisone shot near his eye, gave him lots of treats, admired what a handsome man he is, and sent us on our way with some prescriptions.
He already seems to be doing a bit better. Today, his eyes tracked me setting down his food dish, where before I had to set the dish down and then move him to it, pushing his head down into the bowl so he could find his food. I always assume the worst. In everything. All the time. But even I think the doctor is right—Edward will see again.
Here at The MacGregor Home for Elderly Dachshunds, we know we will have our hands full as our pack continues to age. The fact that both Edward and Billy will turn 15 next month is amazing. Billy spent much of the past few years battling stomach problems and seeming like he was about to die, but then suddenly seemed to decide, NOPE, I SHALL LIVE. It’s now like he’s aging backwards. He’s down to 8 pounds (from 12 pounds just this past August), playful as heck, and as fierce as ever. Edward can’t hear, can currently hardly see, and has a history of seizures. And Oscar… well, he’s an adorable little disaster. He has no teeth, has basically recovered from last spring’s paralysis, has a heart murmur, and has been through some shit in his life. We have baby gates blocking all rooms without doors. I have a subscription order for potty pads. Two of the three dogs need prescription food. We have dog diapers, dog strollers, and use our steam cleaner a lot. A LOT. I cry over them and swear at them and desperately love them. I don’t know what I will do when they break our DOGS LIVE FOREVER pact. But for now, I’m just grateful that Edward seems to be rebounding from this setback.
For your viewing pleasure, dachshunds being adorable:
They’re not going to know what to do if I have to work a full week next week. Bring on more snow!
(Also, hi, I have not written a new blog in ages. Blame winter despair. Blame the fact that I spent half of December and much of January battling and bouncing back from influenza. Blame whatever. You can always find me blogging away over at Teen Librarian Toolbox. Or flooding my Twitter with dog pictures. And hey, I even updated the EVENTS page of this blog, so if you want, you can come listen to me speak at TEEN LIT CON in April.)