In the ‘studio’ with Hobbs
Tuesday, January 2nd, 2012:
I took Hobbs to the vet. His doctor said that his cataracts had advanced quite a bit and she wanted to do surgery as soon as possible. I had to take him to have blood work at his regular vet and they would forward the results to CVS (Carolina Vet Specialists) by that evening. I got a call later on saying that CVS would like to start Hobbs on some antibiotics because they didn’t like certain numbers in his liver values and, ideally, they’d like to have his teeth cleaned before getting doing surgery to lessen the risk of infection.
They started him on several eyedrops and pills. I had to give them to him after each meal. I did this for a week.
Monday, January 9th, 2012:
Back to the doctor we go for a pre-surgery check. They took is blood again, did a glucose check, an ultrasound of his liver, and prescribed a few more medicines. The Ophthalmologist came in and talked me about his current condition. She said that although she’d like to wait to do the surgery until his teeth are clean, she felt that his odds of seeing again would drop dramatically, so they would determine if she would do the surgery the next morning, depending on how his numbers were. I was given some more antibiotics to give him overnight, as well as the eyedrops that I had received in the mail the previous week. As a note, none of these medicines or visits were free. So far, the total spend in a week, prior to surgery is about $1,000 on ‘prep’. At this time, Dr. Paite, the lady who would be doing surgery said that the pressure and inflammation in his eyes has increased since last week, even with the medicines, so his chances of having a successful surgery is about 50/50. I told her that we were going to go for it anyway because Hobbs is quite the trooper and I believed that everything would work out.
Tuesday: January 10th, 2012:
We arrive at CVS at 7:15 AM, they see him around 8:00, take him back for a test to check his retina’s. The vet tech, Shirley, came back and told me that his numbers were excellent, much better than expected, and he should fair well, but that there was a slight rupture in the lens of the right eye and that they might not be able to place a lens in that eye, but that they would remove the cataract.
I left him in their care. paid my $2,700 deposit (75% of estimated costs), and went about my day. I had much to do that day. Sometime around 6:00 PM, I went to pick him up. They said that he had come through with a stellar performance and should heal well. They weren’t able to put the artificial lens in his right eye because of the rupture, but they were able to remove the cataract. The side effect would be that he’d see upside down out of that eye for a week or two until his brain flipped the image back the correct way and he’d be farsighted out that eye.
I left with another load of medicines and instructions on when to administer them and how much, pills and eyedrops.
Wednesday, Jan 11 – Sunday – Jan 15.
Fortunately I work for a company that allows me to work from home and my manager is way cool and understanding. When I first brought him home, he slept a lot. When he was awake, he was bumping into things like he couldn’t see. As you can see from the photo, he has on a radar dish to prevent him from scratching his eyes. When I took him back for his checkup the next day, I told Dr. Paite of my concern, and she tested his eyes and said the he certainly could see and that it would get better and better within a week or two.
Over this week, I have watched, quite frankly with amazement, how significantly he has improved since Tuesday. His depth perception is still not all that good. He still bumps into walls from time to time, but I suspect mainly it’s because he has to be close to the wall to see it and that cone sticks out in front of his head.
He can now find his way to the kitchen, his bed, to the door to be asked to let out, and generally make his way around the apartment with ease. This morning, we resumed our walking and what started out to be a 15 minute walk ending up being a 90 minute exploration. He’d not been on a walk for a few weeks, since he went blind.
Those things that annoyed me before, such as his stopping to look at every shiny object, investigating everything, pulling ahead, etc, suddenly seemed to be appreciated. His sight restored along with his confidence, or should I say bravado: “I’m back! I will now assume the lead position!!!” – Damn stubborn dog! LOL
I must admit to having a bit of trepidation about spending $5,000+ on his surgery, and having spent nearly $7,000 since October, when he was diagnosed with diabetes, but this morning, during that walk with my friend, all of that trepidation melted away and became a bucketful of appreciation.
It’s great to have my friend on the mend.