This is the joy and the challenge of rescuing street dogs: you don’t know what you are getting into until you are already in it. In September/October of 2012, when we were introduced to Number Two, she was still a pup and her eyes looked good. They still looked pretty good this fall when she came back to the block. But when we spotted her in January, she was squinting and her face was stained from her tears. When we finally caught her, her eyes looked pretty bad.
Squinty eyes are often a sign of distemper in an unvaccinated dog, so we were very concerned that she might have distemper. Thanks goodness she did not. As we began the process of rehabilitating her, we watched her eyes closely. As we worked to get her to allow us to touch her, this also prepared her for an eye exam.
Basically, her eye lid rolls in and her eyelashes are irritating her eye. She can thank her Shar pei mix grandpa for this genetic gift. The good news is that this condition is correctable through surgery.
We decided we wanted to fix Two’s eyes before she went to school. Dr May successfully performed the surgery on Thursday afternoon. You can’t really see it in this blurry picture, it was taken shortly after surgery, but Two is not squinting! No more tears for Two.
After a little recovery time this weekend, Two will be off to school next week.
Just to keep us on our toes, it looks like one of the puppies is going to have Entropion too. A puppy must be at least 8 months old to be assessed and to have surgery. Basically, they must grow into the eyes before any decision can be made. We have engaged a doggie ophthalmologist and we will keep an eye on the puppy (get it – keep an eye on the puppy). We are applying for a medical grant for the inevitable surgery (thanks Susie D for the info on the grant) – we’ll see how that goes. It can’t hurt to ask (apply), right?
Training, surgeries, it is all part of our commitment to do what it takes to help our rescues. We never know when we pick up a dog how long will it take or how much will it cost, but we do know the outcome we are looking for: a healthy dog placed into a loving forever home as a valued family member. We couldn’t do it without our partners, like Dr May and Dr Perkins, and without your support – thank you!