Chester is a 10-year-old Boston Terrier who loves chasing squirrels and his nightly bedtime treat. He spends most of his time chewing on rope toys and sunbathing in the living room. One day, Chester’s family noticed his eye had a cloudy spot. They brought him in to see us at WVC, and Chester had gotten a scratch on the outer part of his eye. These are pretty common for dogs who have the adorable ‘bulgy eyes’, and can be very uncomfortable. We sent Chester home with eye drops to help heal the ulcer, and some pain medication to keep him comfortable.
At his recheck appointment a week later, there was little to no improvement. In fact, the eye looked angrier than it had before, and Chester wasn’t happy about his cone of shame keeping him from rubbing it further. Dr. Hayes sent him to Affiliated Veterinary Specialists to see a veterinary ophthalmologist for a second opinion (yes, those do exist!).
After several weeks of treatment, Chester’s family could tell he just wasn’t acting like himself. Despite the pain management with anti-inflammatory medications and other pain medications, Chester wasn’t very happy. Imagine a constant headache from an eyeball that just keeps swelling and getting more irritated. Chester was diagnosed with a degenerative eye disease, which meant his eye could improve with a specialized surgery, but it may reoccur and continue to cause him discomfort. Most of the vision had already gone from the eye in such a short time, and Chester’s family had to make a decision on how to move forward. Specialty surgery, or an enucleation procedure to remove the eye completely, as it would be a long-term condition to treat for Chester from now on.
Chester’s owners decided to have the source of pain removed. They were very worried about how he would feel with only one eye, and if he would be even more unhappy, but they knew he was already very uncomfortable and brought him in for surgery to remove the angry eyeball on a Wednesday morning.
Right away, Dr. Hayes gave Chester an injection of pain medication to help him relax and alleviate some of his pain as soon as possible. Chester fell asleep happily, probably dreaming of his favorite past times and what he might get for dinner that night (little did he know there was a special Peanut Butter treat waiting for him).
Surgery went smoothly and was a success. All of the technicians and Dr. Hayes were anxious for Chester to recover and see how he would do with half of his vision remaining, but no painful eyeball. Chester woke up pain-free and was kept on IV pain medications overnight to help his recovery go more smoothly.
The next morning, the technicians came in and found Chester, sitting upright with an expression of “where’s my breakfast?” on his face. Even without his second very expressive eye – Chester still had all the personality and spunk in his facial expression as he did before. After some of the drowsiness wore off, Chester was up and acting more like himself than he had in weeks. His tail was wagging (well, his nubbin of a tail), his eye was bright and alert, and he was very happy to eat whatever we gave him.
That night, he had a special run around the clinic with Danielle. He bounded and played like he loved to do most. We knew then that his pain was passing and he was not phased by his loss at all.
Chester’s owners picked him up the following day, and laughed and cheered as Chester ran over and started his acrobatic leaping they had missed so much. Chester is now back to his old routine with lots of playing and eating. We will be monitoring his other eye for the degenerative disease, but for now, he is just as normal as any other Boston Terrier around (as normal as any Boston can be!)
Pain can slow healing, so pain management during Chester’s surgical process as well as beforehand was very important and influential in his recovery. Don’t let your pet be painful. Surgery, ulcers, and inflammation all are painful things to deal with. Here at WVC, we make it a priority to treat not just the problem, but the pain that can come with it!