Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Buster Has An Ulcer...

...on his cornea.

It's a refractory corneal ulcer, also known as an indolent ulcer or a Boxer ulcer because they're commonly found in older Boxers.

Buster is a scrappy old fella who plays and rough houses with the others all the time. If you know anything about Parson Russell Terriers, you know why their humans refer to them as Terrierists. They truly are big dogs trapped in little bodies.

I've seen Buster play with Charlie - I'm using the term "play" very loosely - he dives right in for her neck each and every time. Because he's trying to kill her, I'm sure. Charlie is at least three times his size. He has no fear. This dog has been stitched up more times than I can count.

Have you ever gotten a call from someone saying "when you get home, don't worry about all the blood; I'm on the way to the vet"? If I hadn't gotten that call, I would have sworn I'd walked into a murder scene. Apparently, Charlie had nicked a fairly important vein in Buster's ear. Another time, she pegged him just on the top of his head. More stitches. The dog has had more string in him than a puppet.

Buster is a fighter, there's no doubt about that. He's twelve. He's battled osteosarcoma. He's had parts, large parts, of his ribs removed, followed by months of difficult chemotherapy. He's lost his hair and had it grow back a different color. But he's a survivor, and I know why. I have pictures to prove it: His eyes literally glow green when I use a flash. He's a spawn of the devil.

This picture is guaranteed to give you nightmares...

But I digress.

I was starting to say that we thought he'd had a play time accident with one of the other dogs. A claw to the eye, a wagging tail smack; that kind of injury. More of a scratched cornea. But no. Not Buster. He goes all out every time.

Today he had to have multiple punctate keratotomy to provide a suitable surface for his cornea to grip so that it would stop slipping and tearing and start healing, like a good cornea. This is a pretty neat procedure, and takes just a few minutes - while you watch! 

The doctor takes what amounts to a needle and starts flicking at your dog's eye. Did I mention this all happens while you watch? Now, I can watch open heart surgery, or brain surgery, or whatever - these things don't bother me. But I felt so bad for Bussie as the doctor was flicking away at his one eye as the other was looking straight at me, picturing a pork chop and planning my demise.

So. Atropine once a day for four days (to kill the pain of being poked in the eye with a needle a hundred times) and neo/poly/grami drops twice a day for two weeks. Revisit in two weeks to see if this worked. If not... I'm not sure what the next steps might be. 

Oh, yeah. And it's all fun and games until someone ends up in a cone. He has to wear one day and night. Can't take a chance of messing up the procedure.

Paws crossed that this worked and Buster is on the road to recovery!
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