07 October 2009

Ruby visits the dog opthamologist.

When taking any of the members of Team Small Dog to the doctor's office, there are various measures of success with each team member. I am VERY lucky to have vet friends and clients who will look at the dogs out at work and honestly, not sure how we'd manage without them. But sometimes, we have to go to the doctor's, and yesterday, off to a specialist. Opthamologist for animals.

Ruby is a trained dog. She has perfect citizen citizen manners, and what a relief to take the perfect citizen in to see a doctor. Because taking Otterpop in to a doc, you don't even wanna know. Really, really, really not fun. Gustavo loves all the doctors, nurses, techs, everyone in the waiting room, parking lot, and bus stop out in front of office, but isn't very easy to work on. Goes from lovefest to squirmy, screamy jungle animal in zero to 60 when shots are involved.

Ruby just accepts her lot in life, lets you do what you need to do, and uses her manners at all times.

Even if it involves a shot in the eye. Thank you, Ruby.

So you know how we've always joked about how Ruby's crash-n-burn jump style, table smashing, and freakishy long take-off distances maybe related to bad eye sight?

Oops. Shouldn't have been joking. And probably should have visited the opthamologist earlier. Who knew? I didn't even know there WERE dog opthamologists until last week.

Besides having an active, somewhat rare eye disease called immune-mediated keratitis attacking her corneas, she also has progressive congenital retinal degneration in both eyes, and to a very different degree in both eyes, and she probably sees things, in medical terms, totally weirdo and screwy.

Neither of her eye things are curable, but the immune-mediated keratitis is treatable. Also, it can be tied to other immune diseases, and the doc said not out of the question that weirdo lamenesses, hard to pin down, have a connection, immune mediated tendonitis. Who knows. She has eye drops for, like, maybe her whole life, off and on. Dunno how her sight is going to hold up. Should be fine for now, will definitely keep getting worse. I can relate. I now have 3 pairs of glasses.

Ruby, she's tough. She never complains. Doesn't say a word. We both knew something wasn't right in there, now we know for sure. Me and her, we're not worried. We just keep on keeping on. And now both of us squinty, for reals.


Amy Carlson said...

Well, at least one of the issues is treatable! I just knew she must have that retinal atrophy my Colby has. Unfortunately, not treatable. How old is Ruby? Colby is ten and when I look back at photos and listen to my photographer friend complain about "Squinty", it started a few years back. :( She sees fine for the most part, but we don't do Light Night agility any more. The big flood lights are hard enough to see in with GOOD eyesight.
Congenital - for me I curse the puppymill Colby came from. Sold through a pet store to an unsuspecting college kid for....gasp....$1800!! I paid the rescue $75, but in her life she has had a $2000 knee surgery, countless amount of money spent on skin issues when she was younger (thankfully resolved now), and now this eye thing. You know what the puppymill's name is??? "Love My Puppy" ACK!!!

team small dog said...

I didn't think it was too bad of a diagnosis!

Steroid drops will keep her eyes comfortable. I already knew she had bad eyesight, I'm happy it's something that doesn't require surgery or is painful for her.

Her eyes will last longer, and when they don't, she'll be ok. Timmy was blind when he got older and he didn't care so much. He knew where everything was. Ruby is tough!

vici whisner said...

Ohhh poor Ruby, but heck, gotta look on the bright side. Ruby needs her own seeing eye border collie.

I think a nice black and white one would be easier on her eyes (the merles have too much swirl). Her BC will help guide her around and Ruby will make all kinds of friends showing off her new seeing eye dog.

Yeah, that's the ticket!

Christine said...

Gutted for Ruby, appreciate that the D and RD does not hurt as such, but for our Raz this(gone in one, and fuzzy in the other)at 6 years old and it is having impact on his confidence. So yeah, we find the positive to deal with it. It is crap because there is some thought it is genetic, which somehow seems worse than some random hit of s--t in life.

Elf said...

I usually feel better when there's a diagnosis instead of a mystery, and a treatment. Glad that it's now named and you have the plan in hand.

Katie said...

My almost-3-year-old Golden Retriever Trevor was diagnosed with prcd-PRA a year ago through the Optigen test. So far he isn't showing symptoms. Trevor does agility, and I'm constantly on the lookout for indications that he may be having vision problems. Ironically, my last agility dog (lab) was farsighted, and it was quite obvious in how she navigated the agility course. Sigh... anyway, it sucks.

Katie said...

Oh yeah, here's Trevor's website. It has a section devoted to PRA:


Katie and Trevor

team small dog said...

Yeah-it's almost a relief. Ruby's always been a puzzle. She's sound, she's lame. She seems sound, but is crashing through jumps. Then she's lame. Always been so hard to figure out.

Although, now I wonder, a lot of her very good citizen traits, such as always staying right at my leg when we hike, the other dogs go deer chasing and she stays with me, maybe not a reflection of my super dog training but she just can't see that good so has to keep my ankle in view.

Even if that's from bad eyesight and soreness and not good training, at least Ruby has good common sense. She's a really good dog. I think Ruby will be fine. She is happy as a clam, did a little agility last night, and not in any pain. Ruby's a best dog.

dog aggression training said...

Ohh ruby..my dog also diagnosed, after a year she's good now..i love my dog so much...dog aggression training

Katie said...

Trevor had his annual eye checkup yesterday, which went very well. Our eye vet told us about this new canine eye supplement she just heard about at a conference: http://www.ocuglo.com/

She knows the people who created it, and thinks it has solid research behind it. See their articles and testimonials page. I think we're going to try it.