Archive for the ‘Eyes’ Category

Eight is Great

June 1, 2014

UntitledToday we made the trek north for Sissy’s quarterly eye exam with Vision Vet.  I am very happy to report that her pressure was 8, which is low, but low is good for Glaucoma Girl.  Gretchen even almost traveled well; she did pant a lot and stood for the duration of both 2 1/2 hour rides, but she didn’t pace whine, or try to leap into the front seat and/or my lap.  Victory!!

Vision Vet and I have agreed that we’re going to call this ending a rough month for both of us on a high note, and we’re discussing how to just skip May next year.  Yeah, some of my favorite people have birthdays in this month, but otherwise, I don’t have much nice to say about it this year.  However, another good eye exam is ALWAYS worth celebrating!

Sorry for the very brief post, but we still have no internet per se, and my poor iPhone hotspot is only so strong.


Specially-Abled Day

May 4, 2014

2010logoWe missed it, but thanks to Facebook, at least we now know it exists.  May 3rd was National Specially-Abled Pets Day, a day to celebrate those pets that set a good example for us and face their challenges with a smile.

March 2012 006

Of course, our own visually impaired DIVA is our favorite specially-abled, lead by unflappable example around these parts.  I’m not sure I give her enough credit for being a benevolent alpha, my best personal trainer, a sweetheart, a comedienne, and just an all-around good girl.  This picture is worth more than a thousand words; she is my inspiration and indeed, our Princess of Joy, even after being bitten by a neighbor-dog.

(She’s fine, by the way.  We did three glorious miles on Saturday, and five today on our new, safe route, that is also building Gretchen’s riding tolerance.)



March 21, 2014

Sissy DIVA here.  No new photos, because Dadaw was my attendant today.  It was routine eye check, annual stuffs and the most galling of gland issues.  Even for a gal as unflappable and immodest as I… it was intrusive.

Mama says I have to tell you that my eye pressure was 15.  Yeah, that’s on the high side of normal, but I was STRESSED OUT, because the first thing those people did was express my glands.  If you don’t know of what I speak, wade back through some of the early food allergy posts.  It’s rude and uncomfortable, but the sweet relief that follows is worth it.  Plus, all of that scooting has resulted in … road rash on a most delicate rear part and Dadaw came home with a spray to fix that too.  Luckily, despite my high maintenance approach to life, I am unbelievably tolerant of all of this bunk.

56bbc494-721a-45a2-97b0-9eaa9e06b63bDadaw also broke all the rules and let me walk myself to his truck, and only hooked a leash into what Mama calls my “tag collar” at the vet’s.  See… throat pressure increases eye pressure, so Mama and the vet reminded Dadaw of that little factoid.  Mama also reminded Dadaw that I can’t get my much-needed eye drops if I’m on a walkabout.  Uptight ol’ hag, that one…

And can you let Mama – nah, skip her and head straight for Dadaw – know if you find a purdy 1″ purple collar?  Mine is worse for wear and is frankly a bit of an embarrassment in public.  It looks as fuzzy and picked over in person as it does in Mama’s blurry photo.

I sure hope your days was better than mine.  Mama’s must not have been; she keeps talking about being so busy at work, but all I know is she can’t get herself home on time so we’re lucky it’s staying light longer.  Gg’s day was even worse to hear her tell it, because Dadaw left her at home alone while we went out.  The BABY doesn’t do alone.  That one needs to buck up.


Three Years Later

February 9, 2014

Today marked Sissy’s three-year check-up, post eye-removal.   Vision Vet and I now greet with hugs, Sissy hangs out with the staff when I need to “rest” (after our 2+ hour commute), but we’re all counting our blessings and staying vigilant so that the right eye has every chance to stay the course.


Why no, DIVA doesn’t sit in the floor.  Vision Vet actually insists Sis is doing her a favor by sitting in the chair, so Sissy’s DIVA tendencies are reinforced.  Oh – and her eye pressure is a stellar 8.  (Anything under 15 is Sissy’s ideal.  Normal is anything under 20-25.)

The yellow medicine is going back to the supplier for testing and identification.   We have a new prescription for the emergency eye drop, so when the stuff in the fridge expires, it can be replaced, or if we do have to make an emergency run to save the right eye, we can stop at any pharmacy along the way and get more drops.

The Gentle Leader was approved (jugular pressure increases eye pressure), and in fact, Vision Vet believes it will help Gretchen feel more comfortable in the new contraption if Sis is sporting the same.  One purple Gentle Leader awaits in my Amazon Smiles cart.

And the pheromone diffuser Auntie Sus sent?  It made such a difference that the tech began reading the box while VV was finishing up Sis’s exam.  (I left the box with them and just dropped the diffuser and its juice in my purse.  That’s why I carry a large bag!)  VV is going to try them in every exam room, because almost to a patient, the pets in their clinic are stressed in one way or another.  Even if it only helps some, it will make their jobs easier, but they also just want every patient to be as comfortable as they can be.

photo.JPGMost of all though, we’re honored that Sis is now an ambassador of sorts.  All those goofy holiday photo cards I send them have been saved in their break room, and they were used to talk a panicked basset owner into the best surgical option for her pet after seeing Sissy and her perpetual “wink.”   And our success (to date – we take NOTHING for granted!) managing Sissy’s eye pressure for three years and counting gave an Akita owner hope that his active, young dog might not have to lose both eyes to glaucoma.

Sis gets most of the credit.  Her perseverance, her refusal to slow down or play the role of a handicapped creature has made it easy to ride the waves and take good care of her.  And most people actually find it irresistible when she just assumes they want to pay homage to her.  Go figure.

(As an aside, look how much she’s faded just in one year!  That photo was taken Feb. 3, 2013.  Wow.)

Lead me on…

January 30, 2014
Image from Arcata Pet Supplies

Image from Arcata Pet Supplies

Happy Thorsday!  Our good friend Sue is having success with a Gentle Leader with her pups.  She caught my attention when she shared that it helps both pulling and screeching.  Given that Gretchen Greer does both when she encounters another dog – other than Sissy, of course – I am going to give it a try.  Sissy will require Vision Vet’s blessing first, as we have to be certain any “headwear” won’t increase eye pressure.

Maybe that sounds silly, but throat pressure does just that – it increases inner eye pressure.

Have you used a Gentle Leader on a wee dog?  This image shows a Jack Russell wearing one, but I prefer REAL references.

Drop(s) Ship(ped)

January 28, 2014

They’re here!  We thank everyone for their concern and good wishes.  The first non-refrigerated, normal drop went in Sissy’s eye this evening and the world is a better place.  We celebrated with a run, since it was also the warmest day in a very good while… with a chance of snow again very, very soon.

Yellow and Cold

January 26, 2014

UntitledNo, not yellow snow, although there’s plenty of that around here too.

This post is all about Sissy’s eye drops.  Because we are over 100 miles from Vision Vet, we sometimes have to have refills of the eye drop that keeps the precious right eye going delivered by UPS.   What we received last week was yellow, not the slightly cloudy version of clear to which we are accustomed.  When I called VV, I was told to cease use immediately and use the emergency drop until the replacement Demecarium arrives.

Luckily, the tech I was talking to was thorough – they all are.  She asked me to read her the expiration date on the Latanoprost I had in Sissy’s medicine bag…  it was out of date!  Fortunately, it’s readily available and $80 and a trip to our pharmacy later, the Knight had the “juice” in hand.

I am still kicking myself.  How did that happen?  Clearly, I’m not being vigilant enough.  There’s something to be said for the old school yard basketball rules, “No harm, no foul,” but …

I’ve saved it all; the yellow “Demecarium” (in quotes because…  who knows?!) and the out of date Latanoprost.   I’m pretty sure Vision Vet will call a team huddle, but if not…  I will.  We need to regroup, figure out what went wrong, and call a new play so this – both situations – doesn’t happen again.

Sissy is NOT amused by the COLD drops.  We’re giving extra treats, and hoping the brown truck brings a return to normal on Monday.

Ears lookin’ at you

December 20, 2013

f54f5626-2e4a-43c6-b3eb-4491d1b725acFirst, the good news.

Sissy’s eye is doing well.  No signs of anything that might indicate her glaucoma is raging, and her pressure was 12.  (Anything under 15 is ideal for her.)

She’d lost 2+ lbs. in roughly 12 weeks, but as another customer in a pet store put it years ago, “She’s a hard keeper.”  If Sis was a human, she’d be one of those annoying women who actually struggles NOT to lose weight.  The vet tech working the reception desk doesn’t know Sis well and was alarmed, and not terribly impressed with my very cavalier  attitude about the weight fluctuation that is Sissy’s norm.  Of course, our delightful vet just stage whispers to Sissy that most women’s weight goes up, so as long as it comes back down… it’s all good.

The not great news is the DIVA has an ear infection.  In most dogs, it wouldn’t even necessarily need more than extra (daily) cleaning for a week or so, but the basset/long-eared hound owners out there know better.   Dr. D. is confident that it’s merely a result of getting some beach ick in a toenail, scratching one’s ear after some sand blew in, and the rest is history.

UntitledSilly Gg thought she was missing out, so her ears got cleaned tonight too.  I’m betting she won’t take one for the team again.

However, in absentia, Gg still got some of the good vet’s time too.  Seems in a recent continuing education workshop, she heard that as many as 1 in 5 dogs has some sort of mental health issue.  This doesn’t include ordinary behavioral problems, but does include otherwise unmanageable anxiety.  (Hello, Gg?)  She doesn’t have any new treatment plans, but she did think of Gretchen when she heard it.   I don’t know whether that’s comforting or not.

Last but not least, we all have to thank Aunt Sus.  We took the DAP infuser with us, and I set it up as soon as we got in the exam room.  Dr. D. remarked when she came in that Sis was nicely mellow, so evidently, it helps a lot.  Gg has her annual visit next, so we’ll see how my head case does.

Boots vindicated

October 27, 2013

… or the post in which Sissy is diagnosed with motion sickness.

The good news:

  1. Her eye pressure was 9 – anything 15 and below is awesome for her.  Under 25-30 is normal for dogs.
  2. Her eye exam was also unremarkable, which is great news, two months shy of the third anniversary of our glaucoma battle’s start.
  3. I wore leather boots and they are water-resistant.  (That’s important… just keep reading.)
  4. We frequent Eye Care for Animals regularly enough that I know where they hide the paper towels in each exam room.  (Also important.  Keep reading.)
  5. Gretchen traveled relatively well, which is to say she only stood up the whole time and trembled, vs. her normal panting, whining, manic pacing.

The bad news:

  1. Sissy has crossed the line from, “Gee…  I wonder if her excessive drooling might mean she’s having motion sickness” to “Sissy gets carsick.”
  2. A basset who ate a full breakfast 2 hours before a 2+ hour road trip can still projectile vomit a TREMENDOUS amount.
  3. I was “that mom.”  The staff was non-pulsed and even gracious, while I was embarrassed and not too worried about Sissy’s own embarrassment and/or concern that she’d upset me.

photo.JPGHonestly, I wasn’t upset at all that the entire toe portion – meaning everything forward of the shaft of the boot – was covered during THE INCIDENT.   We all remarked that it was fortunate that it was below freezing when I left the house, so I did have on my trusty boots instead of cute flats or even sneakers or some other porous footwear.  I was just upset that Sissy and I – with poor Gg in tow – didn’t make it through the doors before THE INCIDENT.  (In Sissy’s defense, we did make it the entire length of a large lobby/wait area, but that pause to open the door was more than she could handle.)

But hey, what really matters is that Sissy had another great eye check-up, Gretchen traveled almost like a normal dog (no, really!) with only some pheromones sprayed liberally before we took off… and my feet were safe and dry throughout THE INCIDENT.

Do your pets dictate how you dress?

Here we go again…

September 17, 2013

The good news:

Sissy’s eye pressure is fine.  For the first time I can recall, all three readings were the same – 9.  Sissy appears healthy and happy.  Sissy is a wonderful patient.  We have a fabulous vet. 

The not good news:

Sissy’s stool/anal gland issues are back. 

How we got there…


Calm and … not

Her stools have been softer and sometimes just plain loose this summer.  I blamed it on heat stress.  Her diet hasn’t changed.  They did a fecal exam yesterday just because I wanted to rule out what we could, and it was “perfect” – whatever that means.  (Good bacteria was present, bad wasn’t…  I get that, but…)  Neither Dr. D nor I like to give the dogs antibiotics if it isn’t necessary, so that was nice to rule out.

So, before we restrict her already grossly restricted diet (just because we don’t have any better ideas), we’re going to try a probiotic.   I already know a few of our doggy friends and even one kitty friend have had very positive results with said supplements, so… stay tuned.

And yes, both girls went to the vet.  It wasn’t planned that way, but oddly, Sissy is more relaxed when Gretchen goes along.  Gretchen is NEVER relaxed, so it’s still stressful for me, but hey… at least Sissy seems to like having her anxious little sister along for moral support, and the fabulous Dr. D doesn’t mind either.

She did announce Gg is an aggressive kisser.