Comments 17

The Day It All Changes

It was an emotional roller coaster ride for Maliboo and I last weekend this couple of weeks.

Boo was scheduled to have her sterilisation operation on 28th April, Monday.
And because of the upcoming operation, we decided to bring the dogs out for some fun over the weekend.
A and I brought Maliboo, and her huskies Ulva and Theone to East Coast Park for a walk on Saturday.


We hardly have the time to bring all three of them out together and they were all really happy!


Thank you dear Theone for carrying all the doggie essentials on our walk.


And A for bringing all of us out for a relaxing walk by the beach.


Maliboo was really happy that day.
She got to smell many lamp posts, many feet of rubbish bins, chased some birds and felt sand under her paws.


She also get to see the pretty sights of the sea.

Sunday was a day out to Sentosa with the Theone and Ulva.
We went to Tanjong Beach Club, the place where we last went together in late December 2012.

But it was a trip that would change Boo’s life forever.

I would have never imagined that this photo is one of the last I would capture with both of her eyes intact.


The accident happened too quickly and no one knew exactly what happened.
We were all seated closely around Maliboo and Ulva.
Ulva has a bit of a food aggression problem, so when Boo showed a bit of interests in the food Ulva was sniffing,
Ulva growled at Maliboo and Maliboo was being tugged away swiftly.
The next thing I heard was Boo’s painful cries and her left eyeball was protruding from the socket.
I have never heard Boo cried this way before and it still wrenches my heart as I type,
recalling the events of that day.
I was stunned, stupefied, horrified and was at a loss.
We grabbed her and rushed her to the vet immediately.

No one knew whether Ulva bit Boo, but it was unlikely because there were no punctured marks on Maliboo.

Boo could have knocked onto something with a great impact while she was trying to dodge.
Or perhaps it was the leash that was being tugged back too suddenly.

After reading some articles of similar cases online,
I realised that grabbing the scruff of the necks of brachycephalic dogs like Pugs, Shih Tzu, Pekingese
can cause the eyeball to be dislodged from the eye socket (Proptosis).
Some of these dogs have such ‘loosely set’ eyes that even mild restraint or play could displace the eye ball.

Here are the common causes of proptosis in small breed dogs:

– Larger dogs tend to grab a smaller dog by the scruff of the neck in a fight, pulling the skin back over the head allows the eye to pop forward.

– Blunt trauma to the face and head by objects etc. This could happen everywhere. 😦

In dogs with very shallow orbits or in those with excessively large openings of the eyelids, the eye is not well protected enough. For them, manual restraint or inadvertent pulling on the skin over the head or neck may also result in proptosis.

My poor Maliboo.

The events after the accident was a blur.
I remember grabbing her immediately and screaming for the rest to quickly pack up and rush to the vet.
Maliboo’s courage amazed me.
Except for the cries in the first 5-10 seconds of the accident, she kept quiet the while way through,
and only let out dull moans on our way to the vet.
Her eyeball protruded out of her head by a good 3cm I think.
It was a sight that I still cannot come to terms with even till today, 8 days after the incident.
She bled from the bad eye and I could tell that she was in pain.
And because I didn’t know whether the eyeball could still be saved,
I had to hold her limbs so that she will not attempt to touch her eyeball.
It was truly heartbreaking to see her suffer like that.


Because it was a Sunday, we decided to go to a popular vet in town area.
It was one of the few vets that operates 24 hours.
The experience there was just horrendous.
All I could say is, after being there for 20 mins, all they did for Boo was clean her eye,
put an E-collar on her and put her in the cage.
The vet sat me down and told me that it is hard to save her eye (to put it back).
Sadly, at that point of time, Boo’s bad eye is already not reacting to light and is as good as useless.
The vet’s exact words were “if you want me to try (to pop the eye back), I can try.
But it might add on to the charges and I cannot guarantee that it will work”.

What do you mean “if I want”?
I was actually looking for a more affirmative voice to TELL ME what is the next step I should take.
Why that is the preferred choice and what I should expect.
Perhaps she did throw in some information about the surgery and gave some advice.
But all I took home from the conversation was money, money, money.
How much it is going to cost me if she were to attempt this,
how much it is if I want her to do it now,
how much I can save if I were to delay the treatments until the next morning when
all the clinics are open for business.

She told me that if we want Boo to have her eyeball removed, she will have to wait until past midnight
because she is the only vet on shift now and she cannot risk being engaged in a surgery
and being unable to attend to another “bigger emergency” like a hit-and-run
should there be one halfway through the surgery.


I think I was so shaken that I forgot how to be angry.

We called another clinic in Balestier and they responded instantly,
requested for us to bring Boo over and get the current vet to fax over details
about what they have given Boo so far (WHICH IS NOTHING AT THAT POINT OF TIME!)

Before leaving the first vet, we asked them to give Boo a shot of painkiller to stop her pain.
And till today, I still cannot understand why the first vet did not at least give her something to stop her pain.
She kept waiting for me to “give permission” but did not give any sound advice on what should be done first.
It is to much disbelief that she actually wanted me to let Boo wait till past midnight for the surgery.

At the second vet, the experience for me was entirely different.
They immediately took Boo and put her no drip, constantly moisten her eye in case
the vet could still do something to save it.
Sadly, I could see that her eye is already badly bruised by the time we arrived at the second clinic.
The bad eyeball appeared black and the areas around the eye even more badly discoloured.
The vet told me that he do not advise even attempting to put the eye back because
the eye came out too much and it will be a difficult procedure,
and because of the eye being out for quite a period of time, the risk of an infection is higher.
Getting an infection is even more deadly since the eyes are so near to the brain.

And I do know that her eye is already dead and putting it back will make no difference to Maliboo.

I left Boo in the vet’s care and left the clinic with a heavy heart.

The next time I heard about Boo was from an ex-school mate who is now a vet in that same clinic at 4am via Facebook.
I was so relieved to hear that Boo is doing fine and eating already.
The Facebook message from my acquaintance in school really did settle me emotionally.

Thank you Claire for taking the effort to let me know that Boo is fine.
This is the picture Claire sent me at 4am that night.


– – –

It will take Boo 14 days until her stitches can be removed.
We also took the opportunity to sterilise her because I don’t want her to go through
another surgery again after she gets better.

She broke everybody’s heart and it is hard not to shed a tear when you see her.
But she is so courageous and fearless, still friendly and still wags her tail when she sees a familiar face,
still tries to bark when a stranger enters the house.

This is Boo 2, 3 days after the surgery.


Recovery is going to be hard on her, having to be in the cone of shame all day all night.
Thankfully we have painkillers to keep her pain in control.
But I can imagine how the itching from the healing of the wounds is going to annoy her.

This is her 5 days after the surgery.
The bruising went away quite a bit.


And a week after that fateful day. Her fur has grown back quite a bit. But she still hates the cone.


Get well soon and be up and running, chasing birds and playing fetch again.
I will be here for you to guide you along whenever you need help.
I love you!

And if you have a Shih Tzu or any other brachycephalic dogs,
please be gentle with them and don’t let the same heartbreaking thing happen to your fur kid. 😦
Use a harness instead of a collar during walks.

This entry was posted in: Animals


Peggy is an independent blogger from Singapore who has a penchant for impromptu travel plans and good caffe lattes. She is the co-owner of two little cafes, The Tiramisu Hero and Butter My Buns, and hopes to be able to see the world someday; one stop at a time.


  1. Hi Peggy!

    I am so sorry to hear about what happened to Maliboo and I hope she gets well soon.

    Thank you for bringing this matter up on your blog for I am not aware that this incident could happen! We sometimes tug the collar of my dog when we bring him out (not on purpose just sometimes when he/ other dogs get aggressive so we try to pull him away. Natural reponse I guessed.) and thankfully you blogged about it so now we know that such things might happen.

    Anyway, thank you so much for this post and I hope Maliboo gets well and goes back to her usual self soon! Don’t worry too much! She will get better πŸ™‚



  2. Kat says

    OMG. This is so sad! I actually cringed and teared when you were describing the incident and how Boo behaved post-incident.

    So brave… and so poor thing….

    Get well soon Boo!


  3. anna says

    It’s really heartbreaking to read this post ..i feel so sad for maliboo and you…
    Glad that she is doing better and best recovery k…


  4. Bel says

    Hi Peggy, my heart ached while reading your post. Maliboo may be a small dog but she is brave. I can’t believe the first vet was so unprofessional but I am glad, at the end of the day the second vet managed to ease Maliboo’s pain. Hopefully, she will recover fast!


  5. crez says

    Hi Peggy, I teared when I read this entry about Maliboo. The photo with her looking out at the sea while standing on the bench was especially poignant. Wonder if she could sense that something major would happen to her life that day. My family has a shih tzu and he uses a harness. Useful bit of information you had there about their eyes. I hope that she will have a speedy recovery although getting used to 1 eye may take some time.


  6. Mindy says

    I have a dog myself (a shihtzu) and I call her Boo too. I teared reading this cos I can actually really feel what you felt when everything happened on that fateful day.

    Am really glad your Boo is recovering well and hope she adapts fast! Give her loads of love as these type of dogs are super clingy. Thank you so much for sharing this story so us other dog owners will be extra careful with our little furry ones.

    Get well soon, Boo!


  7. Irene says

    I felt so sad after reading this, I have a Shih Tzu and never knew they are vulnerable of Proptosis until now. I just wanna say Maliboo is really courageous during the accident. Wishing her a speedy recovery and hope she can go out and play again soon. Jiayou Maliboo!


  8. Weiying says

    Really heartbreaking when I read this post. Hope she recovers well soon enough. Important thing is she is still doing well and recovering. May she get well soon and stay healthy =)


  9. Jenny says

    Glad that Boo is recovering well. Kanbatei!

    May i know which vet you visited in Balestier and which vet in town to avoid? Thanks!


    • Jenny – thank you for your well wishes! She will ganbatte! πŸ™‚ I think it’s not very convenient to reveal the bad vet in town. But it’s a popular one that has a 24 hr emergency unit. Not a lot of vet has that, so you can guess. The impressive one I went to is called Companion. In Balestier area.


  10. And thank you all for your well wishes for Maliboo. She is getting a lot better now and I’m sure will continue to get better with encouragement and unconditional love from the people around her. πŸ™‚
    Hope no other doggies in the world will ever have to go through what Boo went through.



  11. My heart broke while reading this. But she is such a brave girl.. well done maliboo. She is so lucky to have you as her owner and I’m sure after her recovery, her daily routine would be like the usual – feeling happy and cheerful. Take care and be strong Maliboo and Peggy! Sending lots of love <333


  12. MN says

    I am very sorry to read about this. I have a Shih Tzu (a crazy 9 month old girl).

    And the same thing happened to her a week before Boo.. The sudden scream….followed by the humans’ frantic. The vet operated on her quickly and saved her eye. Her sutures came off 10 days ago but they couldn’t detect healthy nerves which means she has lost her vision. We are still in recovery, waiting for her eye to heal even without vision.

    Boo is lucky to have you, so cheer up! And after all that, most important is their overall health (with or without eye/vision). The only down part is, she will be scratching your legs a lot with the cone. πŸ™‚

    Oh, people will stare and ask. I know they mean well but it still hurts to relate the story. My excuse; eye infection so let’s move on and focus on her cute face now!!


  13. AT says

    Really sad to hear what had happened to Maliboo.
    While you can turn back clock to change reality, giving the furry fellow extra care and more love will certainly be more than what she would ask for.
    To her, you are her everything.


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