(Lil Bert as a T-Rex for Halloween)
We were hopeful going into the appointment, but by this time we noticed a strange indentation on Bert's left cornea. After a few specialized examinations, the Doctor concluded that Bert had what was commonly called a "melting" ulcer on the eye. At this point he had already lost over half his corneal wall. She informed me that the nature of this type of infection acts incredibly quickly and can eat through a dog's cornea in under 24 hours. I was completely shocked and devastated by the news.
(Bert's first day at home)
She placed Bert on a strict medication regime that involved a series of eye drops and pills to be administired once every 2 to 3 hours. Unfortunately the timing worked out pretty terrible and my lovely lady was out of the state for a vet tech conference. His demanding medications required that I take several days off work while Shannon was out of town to ensure he recieved the dosages on time.
Bert was not a fan of the eye drops and trying to get him to hold still long enough to get a drop in proved to be incredibly challenging. He is definitely a squirmer. The process of delivering the eye drops took roughly half an hour per round, so I would give Bert his medicine, lay with him on the couch, and set my alarm for 2 and a half hours. This continued for 5 days until our first recheck.
Our first recheck went incredibly well and we received some wonderful news. It sounded like Bert's cornea was healing and we probably wouldn't need to worry about surgery or the eyeball rupturing, which sounds incredibly horrific by the way. Originally I was told to watch for an incredibly loud yelp followed by profuse discharge from the eye. Thankfully it didn't come to that. She continued Bert's strict medication schedule, but reduced the frequency to once every 4 hours for a few days and then eventually once every 6 hours. We thought we were in the clear.
(The ulcer progressing through his cornea)
Our last recheck was yesterday, Monday the 23rd of February and things did not go nearly as well this time around. We were informed that the ulcer had progressed through about 90% of his cornea and the eye could rupture at basically any time. He needed emergency surgery. The doctor desribed the process of the corneal graft and basicaly what it entails is removing a chunk of the dog's third eyelid and grafting it to the front of the cornea. Ultimately this should keep the ulcer from rupturing the eye. Unfortunately, this causes reduced vision and can leave some rather nasty scar tissue on the cornea, which can lead to a pigmentation disorder in the eye later on.
Thankfully yesterday's surgery went well. There were no complications during the procedure and Bert came out of anesthesia just fun. It's horrifying to think that sometimes animals just never wake after going under... The doctor said that because he is young, he has a higher chance of recovering quickly, but she also informed us that there is a small chance the virus will eat right through the graft. To keep this from happening we must continue all our previous medications and introduce a new oral antibiotic. He has a follow-up appointment on Monday and we really need some good news.
(Bert is unhapy after his surgery)
I don't know if you've scouted out the prices for corneal grafts for dogs lately, but let me tell you, it's not very cheap. The surgery alone cost $3100, not to mention the $1200 we previously spent on medications and examinations and the upcoming costs of future appointments and medications.
Bert is only 7 months old. We've only had our beautiful boy for a few months and it's awful to see him suffering something so severe. He is honestly the sweetest dog I have ever met. He loves every single person he sees and gets so excited just to meet new people. We're doing everything in our power to make sure he gets the best possible medical care he can, but these expenses are incredibly substantial for a couple paying off student loans and finishing up college.
We've paid a great deal out of pocket and taken out over $3000 in care credit, but we'd greatly appreciate any help we can get. Bert is our very first puppy together and he's basically our baby boy. If you folks could find it in your heart to help donate to Bert's medical expenses, we'd be so incredibly grateful. All of the donations will go directly to Bert's medical expenses. Anything helps and we genuinely, sincerely apppreciate anything you can offer. Even just sharing the campaign on Facebook and Twitter would be a huge help to us.
Thank you all so very much.
(I will also be doing a charity stream over on my Twitch channel, twitch.tv/mileson, starting Saturday, Feb. 28th into Sunday. Bert is the official mascot of the "Hour of Power" and hopefully this helps raise awarness for our GoFundMe campaign.)
- Linda Sturdevant
- Jon Stevens
- Derek Kortepeter
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