Anterior Uveitis

On more than one occasion a carrot in the middle of the night has alerted me to health issues my dogs had. Last November, I knew something was wrong when Dudley didn’t eat the half of a carrot I tossed him and it turned out he had an abscessed tooth. Several years ago (2006-2007ish), I tossed Zoe her half of a carrot only to hear her yelp as it bounced off her nose. I think it scared her more than hurt her, but she didn’t see it.

Plotting my next escape

Plotting my next escape

So the next day I had her at the vet and learned she was completely blind. Dr. Brian Lapham determined this by ripping off pieces of a cotton ball and dropping it in front of her and she didn’t react. He used cotton because she could neither hear nor smell it. Zoe hid her blindness well, he said he never would have known she was blind by the way she acted. He diagnosed her with anterior uveitis, meaning she had inflammation in the front of her eye.

This also meant heavy doses of oral Prednisone and a trip to the canine ophthalmologist, Dr. Robert English at Animal Eye Care Associates. Yes, Zoe had her own ophthalmologist and even though “English” is a family name on my mother’s side, there was no discount. I was pleasantly surprised that while the costs were a little higher than a regular visit to the vet, it wasn’t prohibitively higher. At that time, only canine ophthalmologists could prescribe the eye drops Zoe needed.

Look at those beautiful brown eyes!

Look at those beautiful brown eyes!

I don’t remember exactly how long it was before Zoe regained most of her sight. It seems we weaned off the Prednisone in two week intervals, 8 pills each day for 2 weeks, 6 pills each day for 2 weeks, etc. I know I nearly cried when she caught the carrot I tossed in the dim light of the refrigerator and a 4 watt night light.

Zoe tolerated the Prednisone much better than Dudley ever did when he had to take it. She never seemed to experience the side effect of urination in massive quantities that affected Dudley. He’d pee for 3 solid minutes when he was on Prednisone and he never had to take the high doses Zoe took. Zoe didn’t like having the drops put in her eye, but she was a pretty good patient overall. We never determined the cause for Zoe’s uveitis, but she had autoimmune issues of one sort or another her entire life. She had had a tick bite over her left eye back in 2005 and every doctor who treated Zoe agreed that could be the cause for her problems, but we would never know for sure. Always discuss ay changes in your dog with their veterinarian.

“Never stand between a dog and the hydrant.” ~ John Peers

About Shoeful of Drool

I lived with a golden retriever/German shepherd mix named Dudley. Dudley was a rescue from Hurricane Floyd and he lived with me from October 1999 until he passed away in December 2012. In January 2001, Zoe a black & tan hound mix came to live with us until she died in June 2011. I truly believe having dogs has made me a better person. Every single day these dogs still give me something to laugh about and I hope by sharing these stories you can laugh, too.
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4 Responses to Anterior Uveitis

  1. So informative! Thanks for posting this!

  2. Rose says:

    Dr. English is wonderful! When Ace lost his sight because of cataracts, Dr. English did the surgery. And like you, my eyes filled with tears when Ace ran to me after surgery.

  3. I completely understand why mothers develop crushes on their children’s pediatricians. The ability to heal someone I love affects me profoundly. So I have crushes on most every vet I meet!

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