"The vet recommended taking the
eyeball out!" shouted an excited Mrs Hartono in a high pitch voice
over the phone, shattering my ear drums. The left eyeball had
prolapsed, and was noticed by the observant servant who informed
her. Mrs Hartono kept beautiful Pekinese dogs but this was the first
to become a one-eyed dog if she adopted the recommendations of the
It was two days before Christmas and on the eve of her departure
overseas for a ski trip at Vail in Colorado. Would the young
Pekinese lose its eye if it was not operated on? The corneas of two eyes were damaged and blood was coming out from the
eye tissues. The right eye had a small corneal ulcer earlier but
there was no serious problem till now. The left eye now has a very big hole in its cornea and this was
the eyeball recommended to be removed.
The right eye had a 2 mm wide
ulcer. Acute conjunctivitis. The Pekinese was
tranquilised by intramuscular injection and put under
general anaesthesia using gas
More than 8 mm wide corneal ulcer
in the left eye. Red liquid blood swirled around the lower inside of the eyeball,
below the cornea at 4 - 6 o'clock
It is a very emotional issue for
owners all over the world. Removal of the eyeball means that the
dog will be one eyed and what happen if the other eye becomes
Just being told of the news could evoke so much sorrow for most lady
owners. It is permanent blindness and affects the owner as if
she herself is affected.
"Can you save the eye?" Mrs Hartono was seeking a second opinion
as her daughter was very upset on hearing the news of the need to
remove the eyeball surgically.
There was no guarantee of success in such a case but if the corneal
injury occurs in less than 24 hours, the chances of success in
saving the eye from being removed surgically
are much higher.
Upper and lower eye-lids stitched
up to cover the ulcer and let it heal without being irritated by
drying wind and dust. This surgical procedure is called
Antibiotic injection into the eye
conjunctiva after shaving off the hairs around eye-lids.
Pekinese at the end of anaesthesiA
The after-operation nursing and the
costs of nursing are very important in determining a successful
outcome. The veterinary anaesthesia and treatment of the eye by
stitching up the eye-lids cost S$200, but the nursing costs can be 3
times and most owners will prefer to bring the dog home soon but don't
know how to care for the eye.
Nobody knew what caused the serious corneal ulceration in the
Pekinese. Could it be the cats as she was fond of barking at
them and maybe one of them took several swipes at the Pekinese eyes?
The left eyeball had prolapsed (come out from its socket). Red
blood bleeding inside the eye could be seen.
The Pekinese went home on January
15, 2000. "It is very thin," said Mrs Hartono when the dog came
home. The Pekinese was "blind" for 14 days as it could not see.
It was not interested in the food at the veterinary clinic.
Day 23 after surgery.
The stitches were removed on day 14. The right eye ulcer
had healed and is a small white spot. The left eye ulcer is
still healing. Small blood vessels migrate to the centre
of the ulcer bringing in the repair cells. There was no
infection of the inside of the eyeball now.
2 days at home, its left eye became
redder although its right eye was normal. The dog had rubbed its
left eye although it was wearing the Elizabeth collar.
Spot lights in the house, wind, air conditioning, dust from the garden
and bright sunlight all irritate deep eye ulcers which are still
healing. Healing takes several weeks of good nursing care and
keeping the eye away from breezes and lights.
Pet owners need to be extra vigilant in nursing an eye corneal ulcer
in an animal whether it is a dog, rabbit or race horse.
The continual scratching of the injured eye due to severe itch
aggravates the injury and sometimes lead to the rupture of the cornea,
with the whole liquid contents of the eye ball leaked out. In
such cases, the eyeball collapses and eye-sight is lost. The
bacteria and fungi get inside the eyeball causing pus to be formed, a
condition called hypopyon.
Enucleation or the removal of the septic eyeball will be the only solution in such
If an eye ulcer injury occurs less than 24 hours, appropriate veterinary treatment using the method above may save the
eye. Even if the eyeball pops out of the socket, a common
condition of Pekinese, earlier veterinary treatment may save the
The deep ulcerative keratitis
of the left eye of this Pekinese needed prolonged nursing and it will
take more than 2 months of careful nursing before the defect can be
covered by scar tissue.
Unfortunately, most owners feel sorry that the dog need to be kept in
a dark place and to wear the Elizabeth collar. Therefore, the
owner will remove the collar for an hour or so. That is when the
dog scratches its itchy eye and the ulcer deepens.
Eventually, its septic eyeball needs to be removed by the vet as the
dog could not tolerate anymore the continual itch and pain. There are
cases where the owner does not seek veterinary treatment and the
eyeball collapsed and degenerated into a shrunken mass.
Pekinese, the eyeball was not removed as the ulcer healed
satisfactorily. But it took a long time and lots of nursing care by
Mrs Hartono's maids. The Pekinese had the best Christmas present - the
Enucleation - The removal of the prolapsed eyeball is a
recommended procedure in Veterinary Ophthalmology books but sometimes
it may be possible to save the eye-ball if the owner is willing to
spend money and time to get the treatment and nursing done.
3 cases of corneal
1: Eye injury in a rabbit.
Sometimes, rabbits do get eye ulcers but such cases are rare and
usually due to fighting. This rabbit had a left eye ulcer 20
days ago. The ulcer did not heal even though it was treated with eye drops
at home. The rabbit was observed wanting to hide under the
bed. The most likely reason was that its ulcerated eye was
sensitive to bright light and wind and it was afraid of more eye
drops. It was warded and given an Elizabeth collar to prevent it from
scratching. The ulcer healed and became a white spot after
Will it be too late for the mobile phone girl to save her Shih
The Fox Terrier with an eye ulcer