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Ask Dr. Louis Gotthelf Your Own Question
Dr. Louis Gotthelf
Dr. Louis Gotthelf, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 2438
Experience:  Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Owner of a small animal clinic and an ear/skin clinic 35 years
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Our dog recently ran into a stick and punctured his eye.

Resolved Question:

Our dog recently ran into a stick and punctured his eye. The eye is dead (it is opaque), but it does not give him any pain. our vet wants to remove the eye. I wonder whether we can simply let the eye atrophy and spare him the pain and danger of surgery. Thanks.
Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Louis Gotthelf replied 11 years ago.
When the eyeball is punctured and the lens of the eye is damaged, that can cause problems for the other eye. That is most likely why your vet wants to remove the damaged eye. If the lens has not been damaged and you do nothing, the dog's eye may scar in and there will be a shriveled up eye present.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to dr4pets's Post: The trauma was from a thistle (we think) that entered the front part of the eye & punctured the lens, which is now
displaced into the anterior part of the eye -- and he now has glaucoma from the increased pressure. There is no hope or thought of saving vision.

The vet says he should have removal of the eye to relieve pain (he's in no distress), and to prevent
infection -- he's had a week of bactrim & amoxicillin, plus drops & ointments. We know the glaucoma will likely cause atrophy, but we feel this is safer & less expensive than surggery for minimla discomfort. He continues with a good appetite & appears to us to be recovering strongly.

We are against unnecessary, elective surgery & could bring him in at any time if he worsened. How long before the increased pressure will subside & the eye atrophy? Thanks
Expert:  replied 11 years ago.
Increased pressure can do permanent retinal damage within weeks. The problem with a lens issue is that the lens proteins are not something that the dog's immune system has ever identified. They are called sequestered antigens. If any of this protein leaks into the blood, then the body makes antibodies against all of this lens protein, which is also found in the good eye. The immune system attacks this protein and that can make the opposite eye go blind.
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