Confessions of a Pug Mum: Eye Problems in Pugs
I pride myself on keeping my pugs healthy. But there are some things that are just out of my control. There’s only so much I can do to prevent any health issues but when genetics come into play, it’s a different story. And right now, I am dealing with eye problems in pugs.
Eye problems in pugs is more common than I wish they were. There’s a number of reasons that pugs could end up with eye problems. There’s a number of times I’ve seen pugs get an ulcer usually caused by injuring their eye. But there are other issues such as dry eye, corneal ulcers, entropion, cataracts and glaucoma. Some of these are easy to see that there is an issue whilst others aren’t. Right now, I am dealing with a combination of glaucoma and cataracts.
A few days before Christmas last year, when I was preparing dinner for the pugs, I noticed that Serina’s left eye was looking a little cloudy and a little enlarged. I was concerned. She was fine that morning. Nothing I could really do after hours but I was prepared to take her into the vets the following morning. To add to the stress of the situation, I wasn’t sure if our vet would be open. There were terrible bush fires ripping through the area. There were roads closed right near them. Thankfully I could still get to the clinic because there was no one else I wanted to look after my little girl than my trusted vets.
I was honestly surprised that it literally took 30 seconds to diagnose Serina’s eye problem. I’m pretty damn lucky that our vet has a tonometer because there aren’t very many vets that have it. With our vet being the clinic of choice for our local pug rescue, they have the tonometer which helps to diagnose Glaucoma in their pug patients, and obviously other doggo too. The tonometer checks the pressure of the eye. Her left eye pressure was reading 90 mmHg. At the time I understood that was high, the worst our vet had seen, but I didn’t understand fully just how bad that was until I had done some research online. One of the articles I read online said that sometimes the eye pressure can read as high is 45-65 mmHg. It’s no wonder things deteriorated so quickly.
I was totally fine with the course of treatment. Cosopt eye drops twice a day in both eyes to reduce the pressure. Her right eye was in the normal range but on the high end so treatment was necessary for this eye too to ensure it stays healthy. Follow up in one week’s time to check the pressure again. Our follow up visit saw the eye pressure go down into normal range which was great news, however I had noticed her left eye getting more cloudy. It also appeared that she had lost a lot go her sight in this eye. At this point, cataracts had become visible in her eyes, a sign of ageing. Unfortunately, the medication available for cataracts cannot be used when there is glaucoma. When treating two eye conditions, you have to go with treating the one that doesn’t cause discomfort and pain. That means the priority had to be the glaucoma cause I sure did not want Serina in any pain.
Whilst Serina responded really well initially to the eye drops, unfortunately the size of her eye did not go back down. She had also lost complete sight in her left eye. On our last visit to the vet, 2 months & several visits after the initial diagnosis, her eye pressure was back in the normal range but was still enlarged and causing her discomfort. At this point, the only thing I wanted was her to be pain free so the next step is to remove the eye. Since she had already lost sight and was adjusting well with the help of essential oils, I was confident the surgery to remove the eye is the best option for her.
I’m absolutely terrified of Serina going under anaesthesia but it is a simple procedure that our vet has performed all too often. I completely trust our vet to look after my little girl. And knowing that the vets and nurses at the clinic are incredible does ease the stress a little. The only thing I wish was that it had been caught earlier so that she didn’t have to lose her eye. Unfortunately, glaucoma is a condition that can be building up for some time without any signs. I know from now on that our health check ups at the vet will include checking their eyes. Catching any condition early is a good thing.
Surgery is scheduled for Wednesday 26th February.