On the 23rd of February when storm Doris was heading our way, we went to feed our horses early so we could avoid much of the bad weather. While we were out my son, who was at home, rang to say there was something wrong with our Chihuahua’s (Phoebe’s) eye, he said it was twice its normal size and very red.
We raced back home. While driving I was hoping that my son was exaggerating and this was just a sore eye and not what I feared it might be. When I got home I could see immediately that she had prolapsed her eye (the eye had come out of it’s socket) and that she had been rubbing at the eye. This can happen in this breed with a bang to the head and she had been playing with one of our other dogs.
We took her to our surgery in Bourne where I immediately gave her an anaesthetic and assessed her eye. It is normally possible to replace the eye if there is immediate surgical intervention. Sometimes to achieve this you have to take some fluid out of the eye and collapse it temporarily to help replace it, I was unable to do this as she had bled into the eye. I had to make the decision to remove it, her anaesthetic was unstable during this whole process.
As Vets we are often so busy just dealing with emergency in front of us that we either forget or just haven’t experienced the raw trauma involved in these situations for the owners. There is the pure horror of seeing your much loved pet severely damaged and the fear of what will happen next.
What I also find frightening is how quickly these accidents happen and that things are never the same afterwards. Your day starts off in its normal fashion and then suddenly everything is different. My experience here is relatively minor in that the outcome is that we have a one eyed dog who can live her life quite normally.
This was a difficult experience for me in that it combined the stresses involved in dealing with an emergency with the trauma of seeing my own pet injured, a situation I am hoping not to repeat.