Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Sad Day for Ernie

A few days ago, we noticed that Ernie looked like he had a bluish grey circle in the center of his left eye, resembling a small marble.  He didn't seem bothered by it at all and was playful and upbeat as usual.  Cheryl decided to make an appointment with Ernie's veterinarian to be on the safe side for the next day.  The following day, Ernie's spirit and demeanor seemed to have deteriorated over night.  He looked sleepy and was constantly wincing his left eye.  At times both of his eyes would be squinting as if in pain or as though there was a bright light shining at him.  This concerned Cheryl and she rushed him to the vet as soon as they had an immediate opening.

 The Dr. ran some tests and told Cheryl that his eye was infected but that the pupil was responding to light, shrinking and enlarging, meaning he was still able to see.  However, he recommended that Ernie see an eye specialist in case he was starting to develop cataracts.

Eye drops were administered for the infection which caused Ernie's pupil to enlarge grossly to the entire size of his eyeball.  Ernie's left eye now looked glossy and at certain angles, as if it was made of glass.  We assumed the pupil would eventually shrink back to the small marble size but by nighttime, there was no change.

Last night, we tested Ernie by covering his "good" eye and held objects in front of his face to see if his left eye would follow the objects around.  He didn't respond at all which made us think he could be going blind.

Cheryl was able to get an appointment with the eye specialist referred by our vet for today.  The specialist has confirmed that Ernie is completely blind in his left eye.  In addition, his right eye is beginning to develop cataracts and could potentially be completely blind within the next 3 years.

The Dr. advised a few options:

1) Leave it as is and administer medicated eye drops for the duration of his life
2) Undergo surgery that has a 90% success rate with a 1-3 month recovery period (plus the Dr. has guaranteed that cataracts will never develop again with this procedure)

The cost associated with Option # 2 of course is NOT cheap.  The surgery alone will be about $5,000 plus medicated eye drops, follow up appointments, and other unforeseen complications could be another $1-2,000 in vet bills.

In addition, this is just for the left eye. 

We have decided as a family that the best route for Ernie (being the playful, rambunctious, young at heart pup that he is), it would only be fair to try to give him the best standard of life that we can.  If the surgery with a success rate of 90% will salvage the sight in his left eye and guarantee that his left eye will be free from cataracts forever, then it is really the best option to take.  One day, if his right eye is consumed by cataracts, then at least he will still have the vision in his left eye and we can discuss the options with his right eye if/when we need to.

Cheryl says, "I highly believe in pet insurance.  Ernie has been with Pet Care Insurance since he was 12 weeks old.  I had him with the top of the line insurance package that costed me $80-90 / month.  As pricey as that sounds, at the end of the day, your dog becomes like a child, they are a family member and I will do everything in my power to give him the best quality of life that I can.  Thank goodness for Pet Care Insurance because they will be covering up to $5,000 under the eye category."

We will continue to keep you posted of Ernie's surgery, his recovery period, and the aftermath of it all.

Please keep your fingers crossed for Ernie and we thank you for your continued support.

1 comment:

  1. Awwww, All the best Ernie, Get well quick ♥ ♥

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