1/2 Healthy

Of the six lives that are in my household, only three of us are "healthy".

Dave had testicular cancer (and will be going for another CT scan next month, FYI).
Fifi (the cat) has asthma and requires quarterly-ish prednisone shots.
And now Sophie (the dog) has cataracts and could soon be on her way to glaucoma.

She went to the vet last week Thursday for a chronic rash that we've been unable to get rid of.  She was chewing and licking on her paws (completely unheard of for her) until they were red and raw and her eyes (which are always PRISTINE) turned bright red and developed a brownish colored crust accompanied by mild hair loss on her forehead (thanks to scratching).  She's always had sensitive skin, but anything we see on her typically clears up on it's own in a few days...this had been going on for nearly two months (the ear thing was new).  Hypoallergenic wipes seemed to soothe her, but didn't get rid of the problem and a hydrocortisone spray seemed to relieve the chewing, but only for a few days.  So off to the vet we went!

Turns out, she had environmental summer allergies (which started the itching and chewing).  The itching and chewing opened up the skin enough for bacteria to enter.  Bacteria weakened the immune system enough for a fungal infection to move into her ears.  So my poor baby got sent home with an antibiotic, anti-fungal ear drops, steroid, and medicated wipes.  On top of that, she got her annual checkup and vaccines, so her poor little legs were so sore she could barely walk up the stairs (a common thing for her after shorts...her legs are just little).  Since then, it's been steroids twice a day (switch to once a day today), ear drops once a day, antibiotic once a day, and wipes once a day...for the next two weeks.

Her ears are looking great and back to their normal light pink color.  Her feet are slowly healing and she's chewing and licking on them much less.


We noticed on Thursday that her left eye was looking cloudy...like an old dog.  The vet didn't mention anything about it that day.  It has steadily gotten worse since then.  Dave called the vet yesterday to find out if he could bring her back in on Wednesday (his only day off this week).  They said if there wasn't any sort of drainage, whatever it was could wait until Wednesday...but if she developed any kind of drainage, she needed to come in immediately.  Naturally, when Dave got home yesterday, poor Soph Soph's left eye was swollen and crusty and goopy and she could barely keep it open.  Back to the vet!

The crusty goopy yuck was most likely caused by the infection...something related to the illness got into her eye and irritated it.  There was no corneal scratch or any other abrasion-related injury present.  They did a pressure test on her eyes and noted that the right eyes was "15" and the left eye was "21."  Then he looked in her eyes with the light and noticed that my poor baby has cataracts in both eyes, the left eye worse than the right.  The kicker here is the pressure.  A pressure of 21 is on the high end of normal and is of concern to the vet.  He wants to monitor it closely as pressure that gets too high will lead to glaucoma.  He also will refer us to a Veterinary Ophthalmologist in Athens (he said "the cheaper one is in Columbia, the better one is in Athens") to get a better handle on exactly what is going on and to make a plan of action that will mostly likely lead to surgery to remove one or both of the cataracts if she's a good candidate.

She's in the rare group of dogs that gets cataracts before the age of five.  She was apparently predisposed from birth as her eyesight has always sucked.  She has NEVER caught food in her mouth (literally, we've never seen it) and she won't jump up on the bed at night until we turn a light on for her.

Because she's so young, doing surgery to remove the cataracts was a pretty easy decision.  We've discussed it with the vet and decided that we may opt to only correct the one cataract (the worse one) and let the other eye just run it's course.  Full eyesight in one eye is plenty for a dog, the vet said, especially because we don't use her for any type of work or anything.  She already can't catch anything in her mouth and needs a little guidance getting on to the bed, so having vision in only one eye won't be much different.  The surgery is very costly, so we'll most likely just be able to do one eye.  Maybe at a later date in a few years we can look at doing the other one.

We'll learn more when we go back on Saturday for another eye pressure test.  Until then, we've got eye drops to give her every day (three times a day) along with the rest of all her medicines.

Needless to say, my poor pup got rewarded with a cheeseburger for dinner last night and was ultra happy about it!  She also got a few bites of Aria's burger and some of Aria's fries, too....and half a bag of treats that Aria gave her while helping with the medicine.  That dog wasn't hurting for love, that's for sure!

Sophie was my baby that I got when I was unable to have the baby I wanted.
She filled a void that I was unable to fill until I found her.
This whole thing just broke me.

Soph Soph's first picture on her first day with us!

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