05 May 2011

Thane's Eyes

Today Thane and I took our trip to the Ophthamologist. Though owner trained dogs do not qualify for the free care being offered to program dogs, its still a very important part of a guide dogs veterinary care.

When we got near the clinic, Thane began to act up some. It was frustrating. The setup is honestly quite unsafe. They have a long ramp that comes up along the side of the transformed house, but when you get to the top of the porch there is minimal leeway and no railing of any sort. Frankly it surprises me that they get away with this under the ADA. It truly is an accident waiting to happen. Thankfully when we were at that point, Thane settled just long enough to assure I safely got inside.

I will admit I was nervous and a bit hyper myself. I had forgotten my hearing aids at home which made communication that much harder also. As soon as the receptionist came to ascertain if anything changed- my address, vet in use, etc Thane jumped on her. Definitely not a good start. They have hard wood floors and he was walking on his nails as though it were ice. Why do some dogs have that problem and others do not- ughhhh

We settled down for a long wait as they were running behind schedule. Thane was excellent- laid down and stayed there unless I asked him to move or when he let me know they had come for us. Good Boy!

I was a bit miffed when the vet started to feed treats without even asking. I realized what she was doing before he got it thankfully as Thane was doing the really poised sit I do with him when I am giving *free* treats. I think its very wrong for a veterinarian to do something like that without asking first- especially with a working dog. Many dogs now have severe allergies way beyond what Thane has. I kept thinking about if she had done that to my folks dogs. I did give her a few of his own treats that he could have but still found it really unsettling that she would not ask first. I guess I need to work somehow on teaching him to only take food from me to avoid such a scenario again.

His exam went alright except he kept wanting to lay down with her like his regular vet does to examine him in a more relaxed, easy going manner- its a matter of habit and what he has come to expect rather than misbehavior though.

Thane is free of PRA which was the last genetic eye disease we were needing to clear him of. That said, there may still be visual changes going on with the retina that are not presently detectable through retinal examination based on symptoms and situations that occur that seem to point to this type of disturbance. She prescribed Niacin Vitamin B3 for him. She said this often helps dogs exhibiting his symptoms. I find it a bit odd for him to need more B3 with a raw diet but I will give it a try.

Thane's IOP (intra-ocular pressure) in his right eye has increased a bit. That is disconcerting. He is up to 15. She gets concerned at 20. He was 13 last year. His other eye, however, was 16 last year and fell to 10. His right eye is also the eye that he has been rubbing at. From what I quickly read, rubbing eyes is not considered related to glaucoma but I know when my eyes were so badly affected by the natural ammonia last fall they felt like they were ready to burst. I wanted to rub them, but doing so just made it all that much worse. I've got common sense though to stop doing what makes something worse. Grin  My pressure was pretty high when that was going on, but has since come back down.

I am trying to look at all of this with optimism, but its a bit hard to do that at the moment. Give me a few days, when I've had time to digest it all and hopefully my optimism will have returned.

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