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Discussion Starter #1
We have 2 cockers brother & sister, 7 years old.
The female has developed glaucoma and is almost blind. Sometimes she can see a little others not at all.
We are using the perscribed eye drops (4 different types) and frequent office calls to our regular vet & a specialist.
The vet says the dog is in pain from the pressure on the eyes but we do not see symptoms of pain.
My questions:
1. Should the eyes be removed? Even if she is blind but shows no pain?
2. Quality of life? Vs. having her put down?
3. Does anyone have a blind dog? How does she do with daily routine? We live in the country & there would be no chance of her being near traffic.
3. The vet can remove both eyes at the same time. I'm wondering if removing both at the same time will be too traumatic for her?
Thanks in advance for your reply,
Jim Broadway
 

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If she is already blind or nearly blind, there probably wouldn't be too much of an adjustment for her after surgery. Honestly, IME most blind dogs do just fine, they tend to be free of the baggage of emotions like envy or self-pity that can affect some humans who lose their sight. Dogs just get down to the business of learning how to get around blind.

I don't think dogs with well-controlled glaucoma are painful, but I do think most dogs with uncontrolled glaucoma are painful whether they show it or not. I think glaucoma is the type of pain that makes dogs act kind of dumpy or quiet rather than makes them overtly cry or whine. One thing you could do is a trial of few days to a week of good, multi-drug oral pain management and see if you notice a difference in her behavior. If you decide not to do surgery, I wouldn't automatically put her down, though -- I would continue to use aggressive oral pain management indefinitely and see how she responds.

As for removing both eyes at once -- if she's painful, it will probably be a relief to have them both done.
 

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Is it your regular vet or the specialist that says she's in pain? I'd watch her for signs of pain, Glaucoma can be a very painful condition, but some dogs seem to tolerate the pain better then others. I've never owned a blind dog, but have lived with several and been owned by several. As long as you can commit to keeping her safe, a blind dog can live a very normal life! They tend to be even more responsive to voice commands, as there's no visual distractions for them, and in many cases I find when I dog looses one sense their others become more acute. My Aiyana is deaf, you will hear many terrible rumors about deaf dogs, none of them are true - She is my most obedient, loyal, and stable tempered dog. I'd trust her in any situation! I can't say that about all my hearing dogs! The biggest challenge with a blind dog is just teaching them a layout of your house, where she already knows that you're miles ahead already! You just want to be careful when you rearrange furniture and, of course, make sure she's fenced in or on a leash outside unless your right with her, as she may wonder off and not know where she's going or where she's gone.

As for both eyes at once or one at a time, there's alot of things I'd factor in there, is she otherwise healthy (has bloodwork been checked)? How long are the surgeries going to take if they do both eyes, does the vet feel she can be safely under anesthesia that long? Honestly, if she's healthy and it's a possibility to do both, I'd just do it both and save her from having to go under anesthesia more then once, I always worry about putting my dogs under (and I'm a trained vet tech, which can be my downfall, as I'm far to aware of the dangers of anesthesia for any dog - And older dog is a bit higher of a risk, I wouldn't consider ANY surgery without a full blood panel if one hasn't already been done to make sure she's healthy, and make sure the vet does heart/blood pressure monitoring while she's under!)
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Sassafras:
Thanks for the reply, we'er wondering if your dog has had the surgery, how did he do?
jim

igmomma:
Thanks for the reply. Regular vet & specialist say she is in pain similar to migrain in human.
Yes they are doing blood testing, as far as her health she has Addison's disease.
jim
 

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I'm all to familiar with Addisons, Aiyana has it! Sadly getting more common in cockers, so I know the stress from the surgery can cause problems with her addisons, is she on pred for her Addisons? Does she take the percorten shot? If she's on the shot, I'd plan the surgery in the middle of the cycle, if she's on the pills, it doesn't matter when. Knowing she has Addisons I'd definately say do both eyes at the same time and save her the stress of more then one surgery - Because of the steroids we have to use with our Addison dogs it will make healing a bit slower, and the surgery a little more complicated, make sure the vet doing the surgery knows what to watch for with an Addison dog.
 
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