Tuesday, November 30, 2010

get well soon.

Disclaimer: This post is LONG and probably really confusing. It's been hard to explain all of this via texts and twitter and I've had lots of questions so I tried to include today's whole, twisted tale.

Today has been a ridiculously long, stressful, heart wrenching day for our little family. 

Kyle woke up this morning and got ready for class, then let Tucker out of his kennel as usual. I was still in bed but could hear Kyle having his usual morning chat with Tucker. Next thing I knew, Kyle was calling me out to the living room to look at Tuck's eye. 

His right eye wouldn't open at all. You could tell he was in a lot of pain and kept pawing at his eye and refusing to open it. Kyle finally got it open and his whole eye looked like it had a white film over it. In less than five minutes Tucker and I were out the door and heading to the vet. (Kyle had to go to class and turn in an assignment or he would have joined us)

Tucker had a few eye issues over the summer. Our vet in Georgia and my parents vet in Texas were confident that his problems then were seasonal allergies. We know exactly what to do when those spring up and know the symptoms, but this looked completely different. I was so nervous when I took him to the vet, I just knew in the pit of my stomach that something was not at all right. 

He was not himself at all when we were waiting at the office. He is usually antsy at the vet and explores everything he can. Today though, he curled up at my feet and barely even moved when the vet took his temperature. The vet took one look at his cloudy eye and said his greatest concern was glaucoma.

***cue me freaking out alone in the vet office***

Tucker had some tests run while I waited at the office. I could hear the vet tell a nurse that the pressure on his right eye was at 75 and I heard the nurse have a less than positive reaction to that number. I started googling and discovered that typical pressure on a dog's eye is 15-20 so I started bracing myself for some very bad news. 

The vet was so compassionate towards me. As soon as he came in he cut to the chase and told me that he was confident it was glaucoma. I started asking questions and he told me that vision in his right eye was likely already gone and we should expect the glaucoma to spread to his other eye. 

I am a pretty emotional person and we just adore our puppy, so I lost it immediately. It's never a good sign when your vet feels the need to give you a hug before leaving... it was bad!

He told us that Tucker could stay at the vet and they could help bring his pressure down but that he would eventually need to see an ophthalmologist so we opted to head straight there. Our vet gave Tucker some strong pain medicine because he was in miserable pain and off we went. 

I had been texting with Kyle through the whole appointment so as soon as I knew it was really bad news and that we would be heading to a specialist, he let me know that he was leaving class so we could go together. We picked him up and had a less than lovely driving to the veterinary hospital. 

Tucker seemed in a bit better spirits when we arrived. There were lots of dogs there and he wanted to play with them so badly... it was so nice to see that he was feeling a bit more like himself for the moment. 

The doctors at the hospital took Tucker's vitals again and got another reading on the pressure on his eye. Our prayer on the way to the hospital was that we would have a way to save his other eye. The thought of him being completely blind at one year old broke our hearts. He is such an active, spunky little dog and I cannot imagine how that would change his sweet personality. 

We were beyond relieved when the doctor told us that although he had all the symptoms of glaucoma, he did not have hereditary or juvenile glaucoma. Instead, he has a luxated lens in his right eye. Essentially, the lens had become detached and moved forward in his eye, causing a great deal of pressure. I'm a little fuzzy on some of the other specifics but that's the general story of what happened. She confirmed that he had lost vision in that eye but that we had no reason to expect this to happen in his other eye... HUGE HUGE BLESSING!

We're not entirely sure what caused the lens problem. He may have had a flare up of his seasonal allergies or some kind of infection which then caused his eye to become inflamed. As a result, this could have pushed his lens forward in the eye.

From there she discussed a few options with us. We decided to go ahead with a surgery that would remove the detached lens. There was a slight possibility that doing this will allow him to regain light sensitivity in that eye, but we weren't expecting it. Our main goal was to remove the lens and thus the incredible pressure that was putting Tucker in such great pain. 

A little while into the surgery we got another dose of rough news. The surgeon called to give us the line that no one wants to hear when someone is undergoing surgery .... "I've never seen anything like this in my professional career"

That twist didn't change too much for us, but it removed any and all hope that he could regain any sight in that eye (because all of the inner working pieces are completely gone) That was really rough to hear because we were praying so hard that he may regain light sensitivity.

We got another call from the doctor not too long after that one to let us know that things were just too bad and she was going to have to remove the whole eye. Again, this didn't really change anything, it was just so hard to hear. We have felt so helpless all day and just got one call after another with bad news.

Tucker is staying at the hospital tonight. The surgery happened late in the day and since things went so awry, the doctor wanted to closely monitor him overnight. We just talked to her one last time and she was happy to report that he was awake and seemed to be doing just fine. We've been waiting for that good news for what seems like an eternity. I know that his surgeon did absolutely everything she could for him, I am so thankful for that.

I cannot tell you all how very much we appreciate everyone's kind words and prayers. I have received so many text messages, tweets and phone calls just calling to check on Tucker and the two of us. We are so blessed by all of you and feeling very thankful for the overwhelming support we've received today.

We're hoping to pick him up tomorrow morning. If you have some extra prayers, these are the things we're still concerned over....
  • Tucker's good eye. We're hoping for more confirmation that his left eye will be fine and he'll still have sight there. We have no reason to think his other eye won't be okay, but after the strangeness of what happened today, we'd like a bit more confidence. (side note: the surgeon is so perplexed by what happened today that she is sending his eye and surgery information for UGA to see if we can gain some information. We're praying to learn something that will give us some peace of mind in regards to the other eye)
  • His comfort. 
  • That he is able to rest tonight and isn't terribly scared.
  • A good recovery. We're not sure yet what that exactly means, but we'd like it to be stress-free.
  • We are so hopeful that his sweet, spirited self will be back to normal very soon. We miss his personality and playfulness and we're hoping he'll bounce back. 
Again, thank you all so so so much. It brought tears to my eyes each time a friend let me know that they were thinking of us and Tucker.  I know he's 'just a dog' but he is so much more than that to the two of us and we have been on quite the emotional roller coaster with him today. We'll love his sweet little self with one eye or no eye, we just want him feeling better.

We're going to spend the rest of the evening eating Chinese food and curled up on the couch. It's been an exhausting day and we just need to try to relax. We are so ready to have our sweet Tucker back at home with us. 

Love this picture of Tucker, but it just made me cry again. Please, oh please let my puppy be this happy again soon!!


  1. Oh sweet Steph, this just breaks my heart. I know how hard this must be for you, you never want to hear anything is wrong with your precious pup, and after the day you've had, I think you (and most especially Tucker) have earned the right to not see your Vet again for a very, very, very long time.

    As far as Tucker goes, I'm supremely confident that he'll adapt and be perfectly happy. Zach says dogs are remarkably resilient creatures, and that that he'll be just fine. I trust and believe in this completely. (he also said that dogs don't have great eyesight to begin with, it's not one of their keener senses, but that's not *comforting* I know...)

    Prayers continue for you, Kyle and your sweet puppy!! I hope he gets to come home soon.

  2. You're not the only one with tears think about Mr. Tucker and looking at his picture.

  3. Tucker buddy will be so happy to get home to you and Kyle and vice versa!! So sorry yall are going thru this. Looking forward to seeing you in a few weeks and bet Tucker is going strong by then. Love you all-Mom

  4. I'm so sorry for everything you guys went through today and I pray Tucker makes a speedy recovery!

  5. I can't even imagine-prayers for that sweet boy.

  6. Our dogs are family to us (we call them our children) so I can understand how horrible today was. Thank God that he will be ok!