Call me paranoid, but upon coming across shibas in the forum who have lost sight due to cataract and glaucoma, I suddenly felt so alarmed when Mya's right eye started having abnormal discharge. I never had to clean up the eyes of this self-cleaning dog, and yet I found myself having to wipe her eyes 3 times a day.
Noticed it on a Wednesday and thought I'd give it a day for her immune system to take care of it but since the next day it was worse, and some advice from the shiba peeps made me realize it could be crucial, she was brought to the BSF on Thursday. Findings: a speck on the outside, most likely dirt, a crystal-like formation inside, massing of veins in the cornea. Did some flushing with saline solution and Mya was such a brave and nice girl! She sat still and allowed us to squirt stuff in her eyes, and allowed Dr. Farah to examine her eyes so closely that they were literally nose to nose.
Eye Infection/ Irritation
Next day, brought her to VIP upon hearing that they have a tonometer, an instrument that is used to measure pressure in the eyes. Unfortunately, when we got there, we were told the machine is out of commission and has been sent out for repair. So it ended up as another check-up. Dr. Marga examined her eyes and did not see any opacity to suggest cataracts, but saw the eye discharge which alarmed her because it's greenish. Had to give antibiotic eyedrops for a week.
A week after, we were able to have her eyes examined by an opthalmologist who looked at her eyes closely with human grade hi-tech opthalmic gadgets that allowed her to examine up to the optic nerve. Findings: normal! Then she went on to examine her eye pressure by palpation. Result: Normal!
Thank you, God, for the good news. Will still be on-guard against these just to be sure...
Some things you want to be alert about:
1. Eye Discharge
2. Eye Pain - manifested by sleeping more
4. Eye feels hard by palpation
Any of these signs need to be checked out as glaucoma can happen overnight. Though there is no cure, there are ways to delay the progress. Cataracts can be delayed as well, though there is such a thing as cornea or lens replacement which costs an arm and a leg.
To all shiba inu owners, the books don't mention glaucoma as one of the breed's hereditary problems, and eye exams done to qualify sires and dams for breeding do not screen out for glaucoma, but watch out because it does happen. So far, the ones affected that I know of are in the U.S. but it is said that it is "rampant" in Japan. (according to a Japanese contact from shibasightline forum) Please correct this if it isn't so.
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