Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Saga of an Aging Ming the Merciless

Lest you forget, I'll remind you Ming is a shih tzu (and isn't usually without mercy - he's a sweet little guy). Last week our vet urged me to go to a veterinary ophthalmologist to determine what was wrong with Ming's eye.  I did and it turns out he has a big ulcer and glaucoma in the one eye.  The other eye was pronounced healthy.

So we had a regimen of four drops to be administered four times a day, with one of the four administered twice a day to the good eye.  I had to have them number the bottles for me. I did the best I could administering the drops, but I can't say I hit the eye each time.

Have you ever tried using eye drops on a dog who doesn't want to get them? That's like a vet long ago telling me giving a small six pound dog a pill wasn't hard.  He said all you have to do is push it down his throat and hold his muzzle closed until he swallows it...uh huh.  My little guy, Wicket, a lhasa-shih tzu cross with long grey coat, ears, and beard, would swallow with big gulps.  Then I would pat his head and go about my business, only to find the spat out pills behind the drapes, under the furniture, in potted plants.  He was no dummy.

Crafty little guy. But I discovered a surefire method of getting him to swallow pills.  I embedded the pill in a small cube of cheese, which he swallowed whole.

So back to Ming - today we went back for a checkup.  Turns out the ulcer has grown and Ming is now blind in the eye. His other eye is still seeing very well, ulcer free, with normal pressure.

So now we come to it...we're going to continue the medicine regimen for another ten days.  I will take him back and if the affected eye shows no improvement, it will be time to remove it for his health and comfort.

I saw several dogs at the vet's this morning with similar conditions.  Two of them were also shih tzus, one young one with an ulcer on her eye, and one thirteen-year-old who had the surgery to remove his eye last week. The latter was lethargic and had to be carried.  That frightened me, even though Ming appears to be in better shape than that dog.  Ming is fourteen.

The vet reduced the number of eye drops from four to three.  They are each to be given four times a day in the affected eye only.  The vet added an antibiotic pill and a pain pill.  He said his big concern is the discomfort if the ulcer does not improve.  I can understand.  I don't want Ming hurting, and he tries very hard to rub the eye and the area around it, despite wearing the "cone of shame."

So we'll see.  He got his first pills when we got back from the vet's late this morning - in, you guessed it - cheese! He never spits out his pills.  Now his sister might not fall for the ruse, but she's another story entirely.

I hate the thought of Ming losing his eye. But I don't want him in pain or have the condition move to his sighted eye, either.  So I guess it's time to medicate him, give him lots of love, and nightly Reiki. He's such a sweetheart and deserves the best.

I'll keep you posted.

Once more here's the baby picture of my three dogs taken in 2001 - from left to right they are: Mighty Manfred the Wonder Dog or Sparky as we called him, (gone in 2013 from cancer); Miss Myrna Loy (still with us); and Ming the Merciless - the alpha dog, now blind in one eye.

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