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.
SERIOUSLY! WHAT THE FUCK!
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.