Hi, everyone! This is my first time posting in the DT forum, although I recently discovered there is actually a thread on here somewhere about me and my 9 year-old Dobe, Lexie (aka “Lou”). We have been through SO MUCH in the past month and a half, and it’s still ongoing. You can read all of the details at A New Life for Lexie
, but in a nutshell she developed anterior uveitis at the beginning of June and then secondary glaucoma, which lead to her having a bilateral enucleation (surgical removal of the eyes) by the end of that month.
Lexie almost died during her enucleation surgery because her blood wouldn’t clot. Her local vet, who was performing the operation, suspected Lexie had Von Willebrand’s disease, but it seemed unlikely according to her blood tests and the fact that she underwent a previous major surgery just last summer without having ANY complications. Regardless, the only way they could stop the bleeding was to pack Lexie’s eye sockets with gauze and sew her back up. Then, I had to rush her to MedVet in Columbus, Ohio (a three-hour drive) in order for them to perform the surgery to remove the gauze there.
Once the gauze was removed and her incisions were stitched back up, MetVet sent Lexie home the day after her surgery, even though they were aware that she had an infection in her eye sockets due to the gauze. Apparently, if an infection in a wound is extensive enough, which we later discovered Lexie’s was, it can cause an incision to pull open. Therefore, just 11 hours after we brought Lexie home from MedVet, we discovered the stitches in her right eye had come completely out.
So, Lexie got rushed BACK to MedVet, where she had to stay for another 7 days and undergo a third surgery to repair the incisions after the doctors were able to treat her TWO bacterial infections (staph and serratia). During that procedure last Wednesday, they also performed two mastectomies on Lou to remove two swollen mammary glands (a totally separate issue from her eye condition), for which we are still awaiting the biopsy results.
The reason I am posting here today is because I’m curious if any other owners out there have had to deal with their beloved Dobes suddenly going blind? If so, did your Doberman also experience depression after they lost all vision? I believe Lexie may be slipping into a depression, and it’s breaking my heart. When there is something physically wrong with your dog, there are certain, specific things that you can do to help them get better, but I’m at a loss about what I can do to help bring Lexie out of her current funk.
Before her eye troubles, Lexie was the dominant dog in our three-dog household (her other two sisters are mutts). She loved to cuddle her various stuffed animals, then entice her sister, Sam, into a good game of tug in order to destroy said stuffed animals after she grew tired of them. Lexie was VERY demanding when it came to her cuddle time, and she kept me and her sisters on a very strict feeding and bathroom break schedule. In fact, it was her whiney, demanding, yet lovable and fun-loving personality that earned her the title of “Little Turd.”
Since Lexie first started losing her vision around the middle of June, however, we haven’t seen much of our little turd. I was really hoping that after her enucleation surgery she would feel so much better physically that her spunky little personality would eventually return, but so far that hasn’t happened. To be fair, Lexie has been through THE WRINGER over the last several weeks, and she’s only been home from her last surgery for about three days now. I certainly wasn’t expecting her to be her old self right away because I do realize that she needs a few weeks to recover from her surgery; however, it was one thing when she just didn’t feel like playing, but now her appetite and energy levels seem to be decreasing, which isn’t like her AT ALL.
I read somewhere that it may be harder for a dog who was once the dominant leader in a multi-dog household to cope with sudden blindness because eventually one of the other dogs will try to take over as the new leader. I can already see some of that behavior starting in our dog, Sam, as she’s become a little more demanding lately about receiving her treats first and receiving cuddles whenever SHE wants to be cuddled, which were behaviors that Lexie used to exhibit before her surgery. I feel like this may be contributing to Lexie’s increasing signs of depression since she came home last Friday night. As I said before, though, what can I do to help any of this???
I apologize for introducing myself to the forum with such a novel-length first post, but you may as well get used to that with me. (I don’t like to leave out details or back-story.) If anyone out there has any experience with helping your own Dobe cope with sudden blindness and/or depression, I sure would love to hear from you. In particular, I’m curious about how long it took for your dog to recover and become their “old self” again, or did they ever? Was there anything you did that you feel might have helped your Dobe adjust to their new life without sight or help his/her depression? Any and all feedback will be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post.