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  1. #1
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    Default Dog with corneal ulcer - any experiences?

    I had to take my 13 year old brittany to the vet this morning with eye issues, turns out she has a corneal ulcer, probably been there a few weeks. I was originally treating her (after a call to the vet) for conjunctivitis, as I could not see anything strange on her eye itself, until it got cloudy yesterday.

    She is currently getting drops applied 3 times a day, and some Deramax for pain.

    I got a bit concerned when the vet said if this treatment doesn't work, that there is some other things to try, like scraping the cornea, or something with using serum (or something) extracted from her blood, that is applied to the eye to try to heal it?

    A few jingles that the drops do the trick would be appreciated.

    Her eye does seem to be a bit better this evening, at least she is not squinting, and no more excessive tearing.
    There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams



  2. #2
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    Many of these heal well with the treatment you describe. If not, fortunately the other techiniques that have been developed have helped save many an eye..Make sure you are on as much of a consistent schedule with the application of the eye medication as possible. Good luck and keep us updated.



  3. #3
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    Thanks, the vet was sort of funny this morning, she said that the drops go in every 8 hours, but she said, "I doubt you will be awake at 1AM", and I laughed and said, don't count on it, I'm a night-owl, not a big deal to be up that late.

    Thanks for the words of encouragement on the healing and current treatment.
    There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams



  4. #4
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    Jingles for a speedy recovery. Those ulcers hurt like heck. Just a FYI-my vet tests for corneal ulcers on every presentation of eye distress- even though I've been going to her for 25 yrs., she won't diagnose anything over the phone for me-frustrating and expensive at times, but this scenario proves that she is right (dammit) again....she wouldn't diagnose and prescribe meds on the phone for a hot spot recently (What if it's fungal? Gotta see it!), and my peacock feathers got ruffled, but I get it...and your story confirms it. Lesson learned-thank you.

    I hope your vet realizes the same thing. She could have saved your dog weeks of pain if she insisted on seeing her. This is why she gets the big(hard-earned) bucks.



  5. #5
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    Oh dear, yes They are such a pain (and painful for the pup too!!)

    My 13 yr old Boston Terrier has corneal endothelial degeneration which makes her prone to ulcers. She got one in July and it took us about 3 months to resolve it!! She woke up one weekday morning with a squinty eye. I called into work and took her straight to our regular vet initially who gave me triple antibiotic drops to give her 3-4 times daily. At our one week recheck, there was no noticeable improvement. She is mostly blind in one eye and OF COURSE, her ulcer was in her good eye, so I wasn't going to play around with it. I scheduled a visit to her veterinary opthalmologist (who is 1.5 hours away which is why I didn't go directly to him at first) and he was able to see us the very next day.

    Because she didn't respond favorably to the triple antibiotic ointment, the vet was concerned that she had an antibiotic resistant bacteria in the ulcer. Plus she had some "pitting" in the ulcer that could eventually lead to what they term a "melting ulcer", in which case the eye can actually rupture at the weak point of the ulcer. Not a good scenario! He hit it with the big guns! I had two types of antibiotics that were to be given 6-8 times a day, one antibiotic that was to be given 3-4 times per day, and he made the serum from her blood that was to be given 3-4 times per day for 3 days (at which time that stuff goes bad and should be disposed of). She also had a moisturizing gel that I applied to her eye 3-4 times per day to help provide lubrication over the ulcer and I had Tramadol pills that I could give her if needed for pain. Thank God I didn't have to give her eye drops overnight or I would've never made it!! I had to wait 5 minutes between each drop so it was sometimes a 20 minute ordeal!! The vet said as long as I was getting them in as often as I could during the day, she should be ok for the overnight hours. We were going back for rechecks 7-10 days apart for a few weeks to make sure we were progressing in the right direction.

    At one of the followup visits, he performed a procedure (can't remember the exact name!) where he used a needle to scrape the edges of the ulcer to help encourage her eye to produce more regenerative tissue and heal the ulcer. Had this not worked, we would've done the surgery you mentioned. Fortunately we had good results and no further surgery/procedures were required. I was eventually able to taper down the dosages on all of her antibiotic drops (thank goodness!!) and for a few weeks she was also on a drop that was to help dissolve any scar tissue on the eye. I feel lucky that she healed as well as she did because ulcers can be very persistent in older dogs, since their bodies typically don't have the ability to regenerate/recover as quickly or as well as younger dogs. She does have a bit of lingering scar tissue that affects her vision slightly but otherwise she healed up great.

    My advice - don't play around! If you don't see immediate improvements with the intial treatments, have your vet quickly move on to the next antibiotic, next treatment option, or find a specialist nearby who sees ulcers on almost a daily basis. My specialist mentioned that he has seen an uptick in what seems to be antibiotic resistant bacteria when using the triple antibiotic drops - so he often will go straight to other types of antibiotics if ulcers are slow to respond. Ulcers can go from bad to worse in a really short period of time, and as mentioned, they're very painful for the dog. In my dog's case, we HAD to save that eye because she would be almost totally blind without it (and she almost was during the worst of the ulcer!). Good luck with your pup and let us know how it goes!!
    "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower

    Boston Terrier Rescue of NC - www.btrnc.org - Adopt for Life!



  6. #6
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    I know totally different animals but I am posting this to make you feel better/more confident about the situation: my horse has had two corneal ulcers - in the same eye - at two different times, and they both healed up nicely with drops. My mom's cat had one before to where his eye swelled shut, and it went away with treatment (I think he had drops and oral antibiotics). So, hopefully your doggie will be okay with treatment too. Jingles.
    *Wendy* 4.17.73 - 12.20.05



  7. #7
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    Thanks everyone, I am first off kicking my own behind for not taking her to the vet sooner, and cautiously optimistic that these drops are doing the trick.

    The name of the drops are Remend, corneal repair drops. She is not on any antibiotics or other meds or drops at this time, I guess we will see if there is any improvement by Monday.

    At least it is not getting worse.

    I did some Google searches, surprisingly there was not much information about treatment options, you all have posted more here than on any of the websites that I hit today.

    And for those of you that like pictures of the animals in our threads, here is a photo of Murphy:

    http://pic90.picturetrail.com/VOL214.../363096136.jpg
    There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams



  8. #8
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    Awww cute pup! Fingers cross that she heals up quick!
    "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower

    Boston Terrier Rescue of NC - www.btrnc.org - Adopt for Life!



  9. #9
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    Be diligent about rechecks until there is no dye uptake when they stain it.

    Sorry about your doggie, hopefully a good lesson to others not to mess around with an irritated eye. Trying to self treat could make things much worse, especially if you are using leftover meds that may have a steroid in them.



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dry Clean Only View Post
    Be diligent about rechecks until there is no dye uptake when they stain it.

    Sorry about your doggie, hopefully a good lesson to others not to mess around with an irritated eye. Trying to self treat could make things much worse, especially if you are using leftover meds that may have a steroid in them.
    Very true, which is why I called the vet before I put anything in her eye. And if there is a next time, or any of my other dogs has an eye issue, they will be whisked off to the vet that day.
    There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams



  11. #11
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    The treatment for ulcers that aren't healing are Grid Keratotomy (where they scrape the eye - lightly - to encourage tissue growth/healing) and depending on the case, they can do a 3rd Eyelid flap where they suture the 3rd eyelid over the eye so that it is covered all the time, you can still put drops in at the corner so they still get meds. All depends on the severity! Eyes can heal fast, but they also get worse fast, so if anything changes call your vet ASAP.

    It is also very important to know - NEVER use a steroid drop in an eye suspected of an ulcer. The steroid will prevent healing and often make the ulcer worse.



  12. #12
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    Quick update, her eye seems to be getting better, we are going to the vet in the morning for a recheck, and refill of the drops if needed (and they probably will be).
    There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by CdnRider View Post
    The treatment for ulcers that aren't healing are Grid Keratotomy (where they scrape the eye - lightly - to encourage tissue growth/healing)
    This^^ is what my pup had done. Fortunately no need for the surgery after this was done.

    Glad to hear that your dog's eye seems to be doing better!
    "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower

    Boston Terrier Rescue of NC - www.btrnc.org - Adopt for Life!



  14. #14
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    Today's update, the vet did swab at the ulcer, she said that she could see some loose/dead tissue that had to be removed, and hopefully that will help.

    The ulcer did still stain today, but the vet noticed that her conjuntiva is not as red or irritated, and that she also is not squinting with the eye.

    So, more of the same drops, more Deramaxx, and more tincture of time.

    The vet did also check to see if she had any eyelash issues that might be the cause of the problem, but no problems there.

    I'm very lucky that this dog is an excellent patient, and does not give us any trouble when we have to medicate her.
    There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams



  15. #15
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    Weekly update, today's treatment is now to apply serum made from her own blood to her eye in addition to the Remend drops.

    There is good signs of healing, the vet is just trying to speed things up a bit.
    There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams



  16. #16
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    Took our final trip to the vet today, as her eye is now healed. Just thought I would post this to let folks know how long it can take to heal. There was no uptake of dye today, the cornea is smooth, there is a tiny bit of scarring, but the vet said it has healed well, but to continue with the drops (both serum and Remend) for another 2 or 3 days just to make sure.

    Poor dog was so tired of going to the vet every 5 days, today I said "let's go" and she could not have walked any slower to the truck if she tried.
    There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams



  17. #17
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    So glad to hear this!



  18. #18
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    Great news Glad to hear she's doing well.
    "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower

    Boston Terrier Rescue of NC - www.btrnc.org - Adopt for Life!



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