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My friend Andre has a Maltese dog he claims is 17 years old,

not spayed, never bred. She...
My friend Andre has a Maltese dog he claims is 17 years old, not spayed, never bred. She acts very spry, healthy lively, but is nearly deaf and blind. Her eyes have a constant tearing that clumps around her both eyes, but comes off ok when I bath her and
use a dog comb there. It doesn't seem to bother her at all , wondering what it may be.
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Answered in 29 minutes by:
5/3/2015
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 32,299
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
Verified
Juliette's persistent ocular discharge can represent keratoconjunctivitis sicca ("dry eye") which describes a lack of tears or poor tear quality, dacryocystitis (bacterial infection in her lacrimal (tear) apparatus), an allergic or infectious conjunctivitis, or perhaps an anatomical disorder such as entropion (eyelids folding back on to and irritating the cornea) or tear ducts that have become obstructed by abnormal tissue. Juliette's vet would need to cleanse away the discharge, perform a Schirmer tear test to see if Juliette is able to produce enough tears, stain Juliette's corneas in order to detect if abrasions or ulcers are present, and test her eye pressure (a test useful for detecting both uveitis/inflammation of the iris and its attachments) and glaucoma/increased intraocular pressure) as baseline testing in such a patient. A slit lamp may be necessary to detect microscopic anatomical disorders such as misplaced eyelashes irritating her cornea and tear duct abnormalities. Bacterial culture of the discharge might be performed as well. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish. I have to leave my computer for the night soon but promise to reply in the morning if need be.
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Hi,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Juliette. How is everything going?
Dr. Michael Salkin
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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
I did take the dog to our vet but he never did nor suggested any of these tests - he did give us eye drops to use but she was very resistant to get them. Same with her ears - it was almost impossible to put the drops in her ears or her eyes. She acted like she would bite her owner when he would try to use them , same with me, and she's not my dog, so so so . We used what we had but it was not really a solution. Only ecotrim and antihistamine on an almost regular schedule help her from digging herself raw around her ears, also her back side a couple times, and her eyes continue to tear. I give her amoxicillin if it seems to get worse, on a 7 to 10 day routine in her food and treat the symptoms as I said. I don't know what else to do for her. Her owner Andre' does not want to pay for expensive vet costs, citing her age and his excuses and rationalization. He loves his dog but is kinda' primitive in mentality about pet health care , especially now that he has no more income and what he has is being used in his monthly costs. I did take her for her booster shots and allergy shots, what ever that was, etc etc a couple years ago now. I wonder if Gentile eye drops might help her also . It amazes me that she would bite her owner and I think she would. None of my dogs would ever bite me except maybe by accident. That just does not exist between my dogs and me. We gave our dogs what ever meds they needed, eye and ear drops and they were ok with us - didn't like the procedure but never made any attempt to bite. It occurred to me that Juliette might be in pain re ear drops but I am sure not eye drops. Anyway, I was thinking I could use some advice on the meds. I have only amoxicillin in capsules so I open the capsule and sprinkle it over sardines or bits of peanut butter for a 9 day dose. The capsules are 500 mg each so I was thinking that this is more than enough as a dose for her ( ? ) over 9 days. Am I right ? Every couple weeks she will cry and dig her ears raw if I don't use these meds on her. The vet did say her ears are - not sure here - totally collapsed - and they appear to be closed . I am sure she was neglected in the past when she had ear infections because my dogs surely do not look like that one. Oh and I also used progesterone a couple times, allergies, and novox . Those are Rx as you know so I didn't have a lot of them . Remember ? this vet wouldn't even Rx valium to me for Lauren Bacall . I stay with him because he does know his profession, and because his fees are the most reasonable in all of Miami , and with 10 dogs, and a couple outside cats, that is an issue here. He evolved into an interesting practice over the 23 years we have been going to him. At first it was normal, but you could walk in with no appointment if you didn't mind waiting some. Then it became a no appointment thing , you showed up, signed in, and was taken in turn to see him. Then he started to treat the pets without the owners present, his staff would take them to him in the back of the vet office, ask what the situation was , and bring them back to the pet owners. Not seeing the pet owners saved much time and he could see many more pets this way. His waiting room is always full and overflowing , then and now. Once he saved Tica's life, waited for me to drive like James Bond with her to his office, treated a few cats with mange at no charge when Jose' was out of work years ago, and the list goes on of what he had done just for me alone. He also is compassionate with everybody I am so sure . When my puppy was dying and in another ER, a very expensive ER, he had it brought to him at no charge to me and he took care of it and consoled me both. He has made some mistakes , like with Lauren , and some others also, but he's 99% and I think that is as good as it gets. I think you know already that I try my own best to learn, find out, check and verify everything. That is what I am doing now with Andre's dog Juliette also. To know if I can do better by her with the situation that exists. That is where my California Vet comes in. You.
I think that we're too handicapped to help Juliette. You've described end-stage ears which could only be addressed surgically at this point and that's just not appropriate at Juliette's age. Conservative care such as a systemic antibiotic like amoxicillin isn't worth the effort for such ears. (Dosing with amoxicillin is usually 5 mg/lb twice daily for as long as necessary.) The eyes should just be kept as clean as possible. An old - probably senile - dog will lash out when blind and deaf when approached - especially to be fussed with with medicants.
I'm in Utah now having left Zion National Park for Capitol Reef. I'll be on vacation (what's a vacation?) until May 13.
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 32,299
Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
Verified
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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
I do agree about this dog , at her age its not reasonable to consider surgery for her ears. She is mostly blind also but her eyes are not infected nor irritated, just constantly matted from the discharge, and I do clean that up each time I go there. OMGosh , I loved being in Utah, loved Moab, are you visiting that city also ? It was a fun place. The parks are open-mouth awesome. We drove through all of them and more, I did not hike. That , hiking , is for handsome, young and healthy people.
So I am under dosing Juliette. At 10 pounds , give or take, 50 mgs 2x daily, = 100 mgs a day for her and I need to use one 500 mg cap for only 5 days only , not more. Ok, got it now. I do not use this unless she is crying and in pain then I also give ecotrim or novox also and she seems to then become comfortable again. I do keep her eyes clean when I go each week but he is not able to do much the rest of the time. If she is really 17 like Andre' claims , the dog is in excellent condition , acts like a young dog. Her eyes and ears betray her age though. HIs wife is dead now 8 years, good, because she was the major factor in this dog's medical neglect. Four years ago when I first started this mission, the dog was covered with scabs all over her body and I took her to the vet a few times. Now she is good - clear and clean skin so that is on the good side of this. I also keep her beds clean with a clean and sanitized towel down for her to roll in. This dog is all that Andre' has now of his life so I try to do the best for them both. Thanks. In another life, I would be there hiking with you , maybe, or at least waiting in the air conditioned lodge with a cool drink for your return. I never liked anything more rustic than Camp Hilton but even then I preferred Camp Intercontinental . My pampered airline life taught me and it was fun.
Thanks again, Gina. Moab is tomorrow. I live to hike nowadays. Google Angels Landing to see where I hiked in Zion. You'll either think that I'm an expert or deranged. Does Andre' understand how lucky he is to have you?
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Customer reply replied 2 years ago
I did look at Angels Landing, and I think you are amazing. I really am afraid of heights, I'd be on my stomach , arms and legs spread out and holding on , if I tried anything like that. Probably crawling on all 4's would be the most I could manage. At the Grand Canyon, the only way I could look over the edge was to lay down and peek over , like I just said. I couldn't even stand up within a few feet of the edge and get any closer. And , no. Andre' doesn't even get it that I insist on taking Juliette to the groomer , or to the vet, He tries to rationalize her health issues with a '' Well, she's an old dog and when we get old things go wrong. '' He also gives her too much people food , too many treats, and she is overweight. Not so badly now as before because I made a huge issue of this . Andre is a former millionaire who was brought up like 'that' and is actually very self centered and selfish. He has his dog for his pleasure but not for the good of the dog - I also yelled about that. He loves himself not his dog. Juliette is lucky to have me , not so sure about Andre'. Forty years ago , Andre' was my boyfriend for a year or so. I left, disappeared, and didn't see him again until 4 years ago - by accident almost.
Moab is / was such a fun city. We loved being there. Do you take photographs ?
Yes, lots of photos which I share with friends and family...a sort of blog. Well, Juliette has lived this long due to your good care so perhaps leaving well enough alone is OK.
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Category: Dog Veterinary
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Experience: University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience

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