Something poked Collin in the eye and caused him to start squinting. Elissa noticed this on Tuesday night and, taking no chances, brought Collin into the emergency clinic at the Vet Hospital.
They said the ulceration in the right eye was less than 1mm deep and gave us some topical solution to heal the knick in Collin’s eye. Elissa asked repeatedly that they would measure the pressures in his eye. She had to ask repeatedly because this is not standard procedure, although it ought to be as the pressure in the eye can tell the doctors a lot about the problem and head off glaucoma. In dogs, glaucoma comes on fast and has an 80 percent chance of spreading to the other eye. So taking the pressure, a three-minute event wasting no resources, should be standard operating procedure when dealing with the eye. It should be part of a routine physical. My guess as to why this practice is not standard is as simple as: Doctor’s don’t like the tool.
“It’s finicky and gives different readings depending on misuse.” That’s the argument Elissa and I hear often at a Vet’s office. My solution is: Learn how to use it properly. The VET tono-pen works by touching the tip to the cornea of the dog. This measures the intraocular pressure, which can help diagnose glaucoma, poor tear production, or any affliction in which proper drainage of the eye is not happening. Mostly though, I wish they would make this test standard because increased pressure in the eye is equivalent to a full-blown migraine and the dog, without proper diagnosis, will be in miserable pain even if he or she doesn’t show it. Additionally, I have read and confirmed with Vets that in our best estimates, Dogs interpret this pain as an attacker that they cannot get a bead on. This leads to increased confusion and stress, both of which put a tremendous strain on their body.
When they finally took Collin’s pressures, they found that his afflicted eye was in normal range, but his normal eye was in a more concerning, higher range. Because we were at the emergency clinic, the diagnosis, prescriptions, and testing—while taking probably 20-30 minutes of manpower—took 2 1/2 hours.
The next morning on the 4th, Collin woke us up at 8:30am and we found the 1 mm knick had become quite a bit larger. Also, his eye had swollen to twice its normal size. We took him to the vet once again, and this time the experience took 3 1/2 hours. He is now on 4 different kinds of drops, including a serum created from his blood, and he is wearing an Elizabethan collar. We are hoping he gets better soon.