Hi everybody – thank you once again for all your wonderful comments and messages. We really, really feel so honoured and touched that so many people, from all across the world, care so much about Honey – and about us. Please forgive me if I am not able to respond to your messages individually but please know that we really appreciate each & every one of them.
Honey is home now and seems happy & comfortable. I have to admit that we had a nervous moment when we went to pick her up from the vet hospital – I guess I was being very silly but my over-active, writer’s imagination was conjuring up something like this!
Not that we would have loved her any less, of course, nor – as you all said – would she have been any less “beautiful” on the inside. But anyway, to our great delight and surprise, she actually looked remarkably normal and walked out next to the opthalmologist, pretty much her old self, wagging her tail.
Her left eye does look different but nowhere near the horrible, shrivelled mess that I had been imagining! The veterinary opthalomologist says that the “toxin” takes a few weeks to work fully – so her eye may still change yet – we won’t know the final appearance for a while – but still, it is already much better than I’d expected so fingers crossed…
It is difficult to tell yet whether the procedure has been successful, because of the time it takes the toxin to work. The injection procedure (known as ‘chemical ablation of the ciliary body‘) basically tries to kill off the cells that produce the fluid in the eyeball.
It’s a bit like a sink where the plughole is blocked and so can’t drain the water away but the taps are open continously. But in the case of the eyeball, there is nowhere for the fluid to go when it overflows – so it presses against the outer walls, thus causing the pressure and the pain. So in effect, we’re trying to turn off the taps completely so that new fluid won’t keep filling the eyeball.
But since the toxin works slowly and they don’t know if they got the exact dosage right, we won’t know for a while if it has killed off the cells enough to stop the flow (hopefully!) – or not killed them off enough, so that they’re still producing fluid – or even whether it has overdone it and shrivels up the eye altogether…
At the moment, the pressure in her left eye is still intermittently high – in fact, we had a bit of a scare a short while after she got back when she started squinting oddly in the left eye again – she was obviously having a pressure spike again. It was disappointing as we had thought that once we brought her home from the procedure, the pressure would be stable – but then we spoke to the opthalmologist who explained that the toxin can take time to work – and that it is normal to have these spikes continue for a while, until hopefully the effects of the toxin kick in.
So we are now putting the drugs in her eyes 3 times a day as a short-term measure, in an effort to control the pressure, but the hope is that in a week’s time, the toxin will have started to work to shut down the fluid production and so we can slowly reduce the drugs and maybe even stop them altogether, if the procedure has been successful.
But don’t worry – Honey doesn’t seem to be in any discomfort or pain. In fact, while we were panicking over her squinting and frantically calling the vet on the phone, she had happily taken herself off to bed and was soon snoring! The vet assured us that she wouldn’t be sleeping so peacefully if she was really in any pain – so as long as we can give some additional drops when she gets a pressure spike, we should be able to manage things until hopefully the injection takes effect.
There are some signs that the toxin has started to work already, in that her left eye has gone opaque. It also looks quite bloodshot and red at the moment, as the vet explained that there would be some inflammation from the injection going into the eyeball. But hopefully, that will pass. She is also on some oral antibiotics to prevent any infection developing from the injection wound.
Anyway, here are some pictures we got of her yesterday – we took her for a gentle, little walk around Pyrmont (where there tend not to be so many uncontrolled dogs on the loose running up to you, with irresponsible owners who aren’t watching! )- and you can see what I mean about her opaque left eye. But it doesn’t seem to bother her at all – and she wasn’t acting disorientated or hesitant as she walked around. In fact, she was moving around just like normal (which I guess tells us that she was probably mostly blind in the left eye before anyway) and when a stranger ran up on her blind side, wanting to pat her, she didn’t flinch or startle at all but turned towards the woman, wagging her tail…
Unlike the first time, when she had been quite “fragile” when she came back from hospital and took a few days to recover (probably because she was in so much pain for so long while we were messed around in the first emergency vet, waiting for a diagnosis), this time she seemed to bounce right back – trotting around, eagerly sniffing trees for peemail, scavenging around the barbecue areas for crumbs, stopping for a drink at her favourite water fountain, enjoying the sea breeze in her ears and generally, having a great time. It was lovely to see.
Thank you once again for all your good wishes, support & concern. I guess I was being a bit silly because Honey losing one eye isn’t really a huge deal in the scheme of things – it’s not life-threatening or anything – I think it was just hitting me harder than it would have because things have been so stressful and horrible lately – it just felt like one more thing crashing down on me.
But it’s been an encouraging result so far, I think, for this procedure, so hopefully things with her eyes will settle down soon – and maybe other things will slowly improve too.