When my phone rang on Thursday at 1 p.m., I knew immediately who it was. When I answered, all she said was, "He can see!"
Followed by, "And he's a pistol!"
It was our veterinary ophthalmologist, Dr. Sarah Hoy, who had just performed cataract surgery on Max, the Dachshund who arrived a month ago. We realized in retrospect that when he first came, he was able to get around so well with just very limited peripheral vision in one eye. But in the month he had been here -- and in the three weeks since Dr. Hoy had first examined him -- he had lost the rest of his vision and was walking into walls, missing doorways, and acting lost.
When I drove over to Burlington early last Thursday morning to drop him off for surgery, Sarah had noticed how much he had changed since she saw him. She looked at him and said, "It's amazing how fast cataracts can grow sometimes."
When Alayne drove back on Friday to pick him up, Sarah's vet tech Patty brought Max out to the reception area. From a distance of about 15 feet, Max saw Alayne, processed the information, then realized who it was and began wiggling and wagging. Alayne said, "You could see he was trying to put the visual information together with my voice, and it suddenly connected -- oh, it's you!!!"
(He's already a minion, so getting his first real look at the Minion Leader was a most exciting moment.)
After leaving the eye clinic, Alayne took Max over to our internal medicine specialist, Dr. Tanya Donovan. In the month he's been here, Max has had urinary incontinence. At first he had a bladder infection, which we successfully treated, and although the follow-up urinalysis gave us the all-clear, the incontinence not only continued but has become worse. So we wanted Tanya to ultrasound his bladder and kidneys, do a neuro exam, and anything else she thought necessary to figure out what was going on.
Ever since he arrived we noticed Max had a slightly odd gait in his hindquarters, so we suspected the all-too-common Dachshund disc issue as the source of his incontinence.
Tanya found all of his plumbing looked great, and he didn't have crystals, stones or other obstructions. But she determined he most likely has chronic spinal disease that is the underlying cause of the incontinence, and at this point there isn't much we can do about it. We will need to do routine urine cultures every 1 to 2 months because he is at increased risk of urinary tract infections. But the main fix is, well, diapers!
That's the blue band you see in the photo above, and here's a better view:
We haven't had much success with diapers on other dogs in the past, because they tend to get pulled, chewed or ripped off in a few minutes, but Max is actually tolerating his very well. I think he's trying to strike a deal: "I'll leave the diaper on if you take the confounded cone off!"
He'll wear the cone for a couple of weeks, and he gets multiple eye drops throughout the day. Dr. Hoy will recheck him in two weeks.
Yesterday afternoon I noticed blind Sophie the Dachshund and Max heading straight for each other in the yard at a rapid clip. It was like watching a head-on collision just about to happen (we've seen this movie before). But at the last minute, Max simply veered around Sophie and kept on going. Yes, I think that boy can see.
In other good medical news, I took blind Penny the Yorkie back to Dr. Donovan last Thursday to recheck her blood work. Last month her pancreatic enzymes were sky high, in the absence of pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer. Well, this time her bloodwork was normal, which means we must have had a lab error of some sort earlier. So now we're focused on just trying to get her to gain weight.
Please Vote for the Farm!
The new Shelter Challenge started Monday, April 9 and ends at midnight on June 17. Grand prize in this round is $5,000, plus $1,000 for weekly winners and $1,000 for state winners. There are also other categories ... please see the Shelter Challenge website for details.
*** We are now LISTED UNDER OUR NEW NAME, ROLLING DOG FARM. State is still NH for New Hampshire. ***
Please remember, you can vote every day ... consider bookmarking the voting page to make it easy.
We just won $1,000 as a weekly winner for Week 4 of the last contest, and thousands more in the previous contests. The Shelter Challenge really does bring in a lot of money for the animals here!
You can vote in the Shelter Challenge here.
Thank you for your votes!