Monday, December 12, 2011

Emma's Cataracts Progress

Last week, Emma and I visited with Dr. Chavkin, a veterinarian opthamologist with the Veterinarian Referral Center of Colorado. Emma has been seen by both Dr. Chavkin and Dr. Nushbaum at VRCC since her cogenital cataracts were diagnosed in 2008.

During this visit Dr. Chavkin continued to assess the progression of the cataracts in both eyes. The cataract in the left eye had matured to 70% and the cataract in right eye had matured to just 20%. While cataract surgery in dogs today has a 90% success rate, the success rate in Boston Terriers is about 70%. Dr. Chavkin said it's not always advisable to go ahead with the surgery. Even if the surgery is succesful, eyes in Boston Terriers have a tendency to develop a variety of conditions including glaucoma, detached retinas, and infection post-surgery.

I told Dr Chavkin I'd always thought if Emma were a lap dog and, or at least ten years old or older, I probably wouldn't commit to the surgery. But I told him my concern was for Emma's safety. She had run into a tree and a manure spreader at full speed this past summer and just about knocked herself out. If her eyesite continues to deteriorate, it may very well put her in more harm's way with her busyness and the coming and goings of large vehicles and livestock on the ranch.

After further evaluations including an ultra-sound of the eye, pressure readings, blood, and urine tests, Dr. Chavkin thought surgery would be advisable for Emma. He also said that the outcome of this surgery will give us a good idea if, when the time comes, it will be necessary to consider surgery on the left eye, too.

I am always impressed with the professionalism of both Dr. Chavkin, Dr. Nushbaum, and the staff at the VRCC. Emma and I will return in early January for her surgery with the hope she will see the world with a wonderful and renewed clarity.
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