It's All Fun and Games until Someone Loses an Eye

 
 
Paper Trained
by
Scott Sandeman, D.V.M.
 
Q.)  We just had a trip to the emergency clinic with our 5 year old Jack Russell terrier.  Topper picked a fight with a bigger dog that grabbed him by the throat and head.  Fortunately nothing was punctured and he didn’t bleed to death.  He did have one eye that was literally squeezed out of the socket and was very gross looking.  The emergency vet popped it back in and told us there was a chance they could save the eye but didn’t tell us if he could see again.  Is that likely or more likely that he will lose the eye completely?
A.)  I’m sorry for your experience –that is a terrifying event with often tragic consequences no matter who started the altercation!  Sounds like some quick action however may have given Topper a chance with his damaged eye.
Proptosis is the medical term for an eyeball that is partially disrupted from the eye socket.  This unfortunate event usually happens because of a fight or some traumatic incident like Topper endured.  It’s far more likely to happen to short faced dogs with prominent eyes like pugs and Pekinese and these breed owners should always be aware of the potential and also make sure too much pressure is never applied to the neck.
For eyes that are not too damaged-veterinarians look to see if the muscles and nerves of the eye are intact and if the eye responds to light testing-the globe is replaced in the socket.  The eyelids may be partially sewn over the replaced eye to keep it in the proper place or until a decision can be made if the eye will make it or not.  Pain medication is paramount and should be properly prescribed and administered for as long as necessary.  
Veterinary ophthalmologists can be consulted to better determine if vision will return.  They expect that around 20% of dogs with this injury can see again from the damaged eye.

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