The day following the visit of the Buddhist master and representative of the Dalai Lama, Tulku Pema Wangyal Rinpoche, an Aanifeira member came into the clinic holding a very tiny dog with its right eye bulging out asking for our help. Victor, who was on duty at the time, couldn’t turn a blind eye to this pint-sized creature in distress so he took her in and baptized her ‘Pema‘ in honour of our visitor the day before.
Aanifeira veterinarians immediately accessed the situation and little Pema had proptosis which in dogs is a displacement of the eyeball from its socket, trapping the eyelids behind the globe. Apart from being an unsightly condition, it not a pleasant site for those who are squeamish and the most frequent cause is head or facial trauma. With small breeds, the disorder often occurs after a fight with a bigger dog. In those fights, the larger animal tends to grab the smaller one by the scruff of the neck. The anatomy of smaller dogs of the breeds that have bulging eyes, can put them at risk for proptosis even during otherwise harmless play.
The hallmark symptom of proptosis in dogs is the protruding eyeball with additional signs that include either a dilated or smaller pupil than normal, eye inflammation, rupture of the eye’s globe, shock and a hemorrhage of the inner eye. The affected dog’s eyelids are typically curled behind the eye. The eye surface can become dried out and discolored and in extreme cases, muscles might be torn.
Immediate veterinary treatment is necessary to save the sight of a dog with proptosis but in Pema’s case it had been left too late with severe damage to the muscles, nerves and skin associated with the eye and the only viable option was removal of the eye.
Weighting in at only 3 kgs, Pema is around two years of age and in good health, so Claudia performed the operation on her the day after, spaying her at the same time, and last Saturday she was in good spirits wagging her little tail in glee at all those around her. Once she has totally recovered, she will be put up for adoption in the Aanifeira ‘Adopt Responsibly’ scheme and we will be looking for a special owner who will give Pema all the ‘TLC’ that she so deserves.