I have a new job â€“ being Rosie’s right eye.
Last week Rosie started showing signs of being in distress â€“ panting, lethargy, and excessively droopy eyes (even by basset hound standards). Her eyes were so droopy that sometimes the upper skin hung over her eyeballs, essentially blinding her and making her look like a zombie. I had to be careful to make sure she didn’t accidentally step off curbs or walk into walls.
We went to the vet and their first thought was she was relapsing on valley fever. They took an x-ray, drew blood, gave us some pain meds, and sent us home. The x-ray didn’t show anything was obviously wrong. When Rosie didn’t bounce back after 36 hours, we headed back to the vet. During this visit, it was obvious to our vet that Rosie’s right eye appeared to be bulging out. She checked the pressure in that eye and it was 90 (normal is below 20). She started Rosie on IV medication to reduce the pressure and sent me to the pharmacy down the street to get prescriptions filled for various eye drops.
When I dropped off Rosie’s new medications, my vet told me that Rosie has glaucoma in her right eye. She is completely and permanently blind on her right side. The glaucoma hasn’t spread to her left eye yet, and hopefully the medication will prolong Rosie’s vision in her left eye and allow her to keep her right eye. Rosie is currently on 6 medications (4 eye drops and 2 pills) taken at 8-hour and 12-hour intervals – so I can’t be away from her for too long.
For now, my job is to be Rosie’s right eye, especially while she’s adjusting to her changed vision. I try to keep her on my left side when we’re taking a walk so her blind side is closest to me and I try to be extra careful when were near gravel or uneven walkways. Being partially blind puts Rosie at a disadvantage, but I hope she never feels that way. I try to keep her alert to what’s on her right side that she may not notice unless she turns her head.
Rosie’s pain seems to be much more manageable than it was a few days ago. My beautiful brown-eyed girl is sleeping soundly in my reading chair as I write this post, occasionally sighing and stretching in her sleep. All I want is for her to be comfortable and to know that she is loved. And that will never change even as her vision gets progressively worse.