My doggy's Double Cataract Surgery

December 22, 2017

Almost a year ago, little Rolf came into my life. I had fallen very ill while in medical school and I was so lost, but then Rolf happened. He showed me a happiness I've never known before. A stick? "Oh, sweet, I'm gonna destroy that stick." A bigger stick? "I'm gonna make mom chase me to get it." A log? "I'm gonna see how far I can carry this thing." Rolf carries logs and branches twice his size for blocks at a time. There's no sneaky late night snacking with Rolf around because when he hears a wrapper, he comes running because he wants to get in on whatever I'm eating! And after Rolf is satisfied with a meal, he thanks you with a burp. He loves frolicking through a field or chasing rabbits, but Rolf is most happy when he's rolling in a dead fish.  

Rolf's first year was one filled with carpe diem. He was as healthy and playful as could be, that is until this past week. 

Rolf scratched at my door in the middle of the night, which happily surprised me as I thought he wanted to snuggle. It wasn't until morning that I realized he couldn't open one of his eyes and could barely open the other. He looked so sad and in a lot of pain. 

His vet immediately referred me to an ophthalmologist, who squeezed us into her very busy schedule -- she was booked a month out. The urgency of the situation frightened me and unfortunately the worse case scenario revealed itself. Rolf was suffering from cataracts in both eyes, one of which was rapidly worsening. We don't know what caused the inflammation. Many know cataracts can be inherited, but there are other causes, like diabetes, or in Rolf's case, inflammation of the eye's uvea. Cataracts due to genetics usually present symptoms at old age, but for Rolf, not even a week after his 1st birthday, he was dealt these cards. 

I still can't wrap my head around what this means for Rolf. We have him on an aggressive regimen of eye drops and pills, to lower his eye pressure, keep his eyes moving, and treat his painful inflammation. 

Vision Saving Surgery

The $6,400 surgery would remove the cataracts and implant an artificial lens in both eyes in order to restore vision. If he were to have the surgery in only one eye, it would cost $3,200.

The vet said Rolf has a narrow window of time, only a month. We only have until mid January, 2018 to raise $3,200-$6,400 for Rolf to get a surgery that would save his vision and allow him to keep his eyes. Without it, Rolf's cataracts will progress. He will inevitably develop glaucoma and need his eyes removed... I know life isn't fair, but Rolf is only 1 year old, he's barely lived.

How You Can Help

Rolf is my best friend, he's my family. It isn't a question that I want him to have the surgery, but the required funds make it impossible.

Earlier this year, Rolf and I were in a bad car crash. He came out scratch-free (thank goodness) and rode with me in an ambulance to the hospital. We were very lucky, but even after insurance, a financial burden still sits on my shoulders, in addition to loans from medical school and undergrad. 

Anything you can do to help my Rolf through his tough time would be so, so appreciated. He's helped me through so much and I hope we can help him through this. Again, anything helps, even if you simply share our message to friends and family.

If we could raise just $3,200 by mid-January, 2018, Rolf would be able to at least get surgery in one eye. It would mean the world if he could keep vision in one eye, and vision in both eyes would be truly incredible, a wish come true.

Thank you so very much for thinking of and caring for Rolf. And of course, we're wishing you a magical New Year!

26441446_15139893390_r.jpegRolf was not excited for the long trek home.

26441446_15139893930_r.jpeg"Come on Mom, I don't have all day."

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Roberta Marie 
Madison, WI
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