Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Southern California & Baja California
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Goniodysgenesis: Ricky's visit to the Canine Ophthalmologist
First some background: I have an Internet friend who is an M.D. in the San Francisco area. He and his wife have a Havanese for several years now. He says that Havanese breed are susceptible to Goniodysgenesis (congenital eye defect), which can lead to "acute closed angle glaucoma" (rare and critical eye emergency). I said that Ricky had a recent eye infection and his eyes are a bit weepy at times. He urged me to spend the money and take Ricky to a DVM certified Canine Ophthalmologist (something more than a regular Vet). I asked our regular Vet for a referral and we made an appointment. They are a busy office and it takes one to two months to get an appointment.
Today, we drove 1 1/2 hours to see the specialist for a routine eye exam. Ricky is very brave and very cooperative with the strangers who were examining him. He dutifully followed my commands to stand, sit, down and stay. He held very still while the doctor put drops in his eyes, fussed with his eyelids, and shined bright lights in his eyes. Then it came time for his "Goniostomy." This is the test where they look deep into his eyes with some high tech equipment and check the health of his tear ducts, glaucoma, and who knows what else. They picked him up to carry him into the procedure room and were told to wait in the exam room. As they walked out the door, Ricky looked back at me with this look of concern, "Popi, aren't you coming with me?" It darn near broke my heart!
Ten minutes later (and three figure dollars less) Ricky was back in my arms, safe and sound, and quite happy to be reunited with his Popi and Momi once again. The Doctor pronounced, "Ricky has the most perfectly beautiful and healthy eyes! No need for further follow ups." There were cookies waiting for Ricky on his way out of the office, which he devoured on the spot, and he was one happy Havadoggie.
Although the doctor was very busy, I managed to squeeze some quick questions:
- Dogs eyes will weep on occasion, some more than others. It is generally not a health concern and usually caused by seasonal allergies, minor foreign matter in the eye, hair poking in the eye, etc.
- some dogs tear stain more than others, it is a matter of their genetics.
- tear stains are caused by enzymes in the tears, somewhat like the tanins in red wine. It is not a health concern, more a cosmetic issue.
- She said there is no known cure for tear stains. She said the most effective prophylactic is frequent washing of the tear ducts at the corner of the eye, sometimes as many as three times a day in some of the worst cases.
- She does NOT recommend Angel Eyes for any purpose (I do not have time to ask her why).
- She said some of her patients claim to have success with various remedies for tear stains but it is all anecdotal. She said she doesn't know the efficacy of any of them, but that what works for one dog may not work for another.
- She said that the whites of a dog's eye (not the eyelids which are a healthy pink in a Havanese) may sometimes be a little red. This is generally not a health issue to cause concern unless it lasts for several days. She said that if the white is red directly ABOVE the cornea, that is a health concern and should be taken to the Vet for immediate analysis.
I am very proud of Ricky. He is the perfect dog for our lifestyle, never makes unreasonable demands, gets into just enough mischief to keep things interesting, and brings so much joy to our lives. He is a champion, a champion at being just an all around good guy and loving companion to us.
Tigerlily's Welcome to the Jungle (Ricky Ricardo)
(AKC titles) CGC, BN
Last edited by Ricky Ricardo; 05-02-2017 at 12:52 AM.