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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20854
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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My handicapped brother has a 15 year old dog with an eye ulcer.

Customer Question

My handicapped brother has a 15 year old dog with an eye ulcer. The local vets have two options after applying ointment for 3 weeks, 1 - Remove eye or 2 - Put the dog to sleep.
Is there any other alternative at all as either one will be quite traumatic to him?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.
Is it a very severe or deep ulcer?
Do you know which ointment is being used?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I don't think it is severe but more of an irritation and the dog has lost weight also. I think it is causing some discomfort but not great discomfort. Sorry at this time I don't know the actual ointment.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It is not responding to the current ointment
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you,
Now the treatment approach to ulcers does always depend on how severe they are. Still, it just seems a bit defeatist for her vet to already be suggesting removal or euthanasia. Therefore, I would say that ulcer isn't deep, we can try to help this eye. First, if it was borderline, then we could consider the surgical placement of a conjunctival graft to help healing. Or if we have a lingering aged non-healing ulcer, we can sometimes debride or remove the dead tissue on its edges to stimulate healing.
Otherwise, if she isn't responding to the drops, then an alternative can be tried. Often we will use an antibiotic based one (and could try another or swab the eye to culture what is there and thus target treatment) but we could also use a drop to support healing (ie Remend). As well, if the eye is sore or she is rubbing, then her vet may need to have her wear an e-collar to avoid self trauma and potentially put her on an oral pain relief treatment (ie Metacam, Rimadyl, etc) to keep her comfortable.
Overall, eyes are delicate and we do always need to tread with care. Still, if she isn't responding to one type of drop, then we need to evaluate this situation, consider another, or consider those additional surgical aids to give this eye a chance to heal and be spared.
Please take care,
Dr. B.