Rapid onset cataracts - Havanese Forum : Havanese Forums
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post #1 of 73 (permalink) Old 10-13-2014, 04:04 PM Thread Starter
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Rapid onset cataracts

Hi all. I noticed a change in Ollie's good eye about a week ago. Thursday of last week, after I got off work, I saw a further change, and I realized he is completely blind.

Having had the trauma to his other eye, he already has an opthamologist vet. She squeezed me in the next day, and I found out Ollie has a rapid onset cataract, which is a clouding of the lenses. Some of you may know he is half hav, half shih tzu. The vet said shih tzu's are known for retina dettachment, and havs are known for rapid onset, juvenile cataracts. Meaning the crop up quick (2 weeks or less) and happen at a young age.

Cataracts are genetic. and she mentioned she's seen 2 havanese in the last year, both 1-2 yrs of age with rapid onset cataracts.

So, Ollie is currently, completely blind. I don't notice around the house b/c he knows his way around very well, and I have a small house. Outside on walks it's really obvious, as sometimes he can walk a straight line and other times not.

I am considering surgery. 5 grand. the post op care is pretty involved so I am considering Thanksgiving week as I have that week off (I work at a public school). With rapid onset cataracts, he is at risk for the lenses rupturing, so I am checking his eyeball daily, and he has non-steroidal drops as well.

I am not trying to panic anyone, I just wanted to inform you all and also, let you know about Ollie's condition. His temperament is the same, sweet as always.

As you can imagine I am very very sad.
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post #2 of 73 (permalink) Old 10-13-2014, 04:37 PM
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This is very sad news! You are wonderfully committed to your pup. He's very fortunate to have you. It is of course, another case in point as to why health testing is so important. Eye cerfs should be done annually and no dog should be bred unless they are clear several generations back and bred to a dog that is clear for several generations. The price the dog and owners have to pay is too high not to.

I will be praying for Ollie.

Karen Collins ~ Heartsong Havanese


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post #3 of 73 (permalink) Old 10-13-2014, 06:08 PM
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So sorry to hear the news about Ollie. It's so hard when our dogs have issues but Ollie is blessed to have you as an owner. From all my visits to the ER and surgeries with my dog, I am amazed how resilient they are and with lots of love and belly rubs, Ollie will recover.
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post #4 of 73 (permalink) Old 10-13-2014, 06:30 PM
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I am so sorry to hear the sad news. I am sure this is so hard for you seeing him like this. He is lucky to have you. Give him some kisses and belly rubs from me and my furkids.

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post #5 of 73 (permalink) Old 10-13-2014, 07:25 PM
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I'm so sorry to hear that he has trouble. Hopefully it will be easily manageable.

I'd like to address the quote that Havanese are known for Juvenile Cataracts. This was indeed the case in the 1990's, and the reason Havanese people started CERF testing to begin with. There was a small panic in the late '90s with breeders who produced it wanting to find an answer.

In reality though, the dogs that had produced the problem were just not used for breeding any more, and breeders who really cared stopped producing it, so it was fairly easily selected away from. I haven't really heard of a single case since something like 1998. I'm not saying there hasn't been some, but no breeder that we know and are close with has had a single issue in this Century.

I hope there is not enough of it left in the breed, that it's any longer fair to say that Havanese are known for it.

Last edited by Tom King; 10-13-2014 at 07:27 PM.
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post #6 of 73 (permalink) Old 10-13-2014, 07:48 PM
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Molly and I send our best wishes and puppy kisses for Ollie!

Diane and Molly
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post #7 of 73 (permalink) Old 10-13-2014, 08:28 PM
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So sorry to hear your sad news! You both will be in my thoughts and prayers!

Victoria & Sadie
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post #8 of 73 (permalink) Old 10-13-2014, 09:55 PM
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Hi Jacqueline, while it's possible that Ollie's is an juvenile cataract, he only has one eye, and as a eesult, it's hard to know whether he would have it in both eyes or not. i hapve a friend whose Golden just had a cataract removed from one eye. (Goldens are NOT known for juvenile cataracts) She had a bout of vestibular disease quite some time ago, and the best guess is that at some point during that, she may have lost her balance and damaged her eye against something. In her case, it was a couple of years later that they realized what was going on. Since she had one good eye, she still could see. She had a bit of a head tilt at times, but they attributed that to a lingering result of her bout with vestibular disease.

The good news is that cataract surgery for dogs is just the same as it is for people... And it works very well! Winne, my friend's Golden is a top agility dog. She was only out of competition for two months after her surgery. Yes, it's a bit of a pain putting the drops in several times a day (it was for me when I had mine done last spring too! ). But it isn't for that long, and then he'll have a perfectly useable eye again!

The biggest issue, of course, is the cost. Dogs DO adapt to being blind quite well, and for a small house dog, being blind might not be THAT big a problem. Only you can decide what is the right answer for you and your little cutie. But it would be sad if he couldn't do his work as a speech/language therapy dog any more!

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post #9 of 73 (permalink) Old 10-14-2014, 11:43 AM
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Jacqueline, I'm so so sorry to hear about Ollie's cataract. You're such a great fur mom so I'm sure with your love and care he's going to be fine. I wish I could say or do more. Emmie's sends her best with sweet licks and kisses. -Jeanne-

Jeanne and Emmie

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post #10 of 73 (permalink) Old 10-14-2014, 12:12 PM
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sorry to hear this., Jacqueline. Just one word of caution, please make people aware that your dog has next to no vision, and don't let them startle him, as it is possible he may bite if surprised by someone unintentionally.

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