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As you old timers might remember, my Francis has had glaucoma and had his right eye removed last August. We never had a chance to try laser treatment because the eye just "went". Now we're in glaucoma crisis with his other eye and it looks pretty bad, he's been in the hospital since Saturday and his pressures just aren't dropping. Have any of you ever tried laser for your dogs? This may be presented as an option today and of course the other miserable option is removal of his remaining eye and I'll be the loving owner of a blind basset. Please respond ASAP if you have any advice Thanks so much I also posted this on "general" discussion for maximum exposure.
 

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Sorry to hear about Franny again. IMO, laser is a waste of money. It will not preserve vision in his remaining eye, and the blind eye will need to be removed for pain control anyway.
 
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Betsy, did it buy you any time at all? I know I'm putting off the inevitable but how did the dog react and how long before you discovered that it was all for nothing. The poor little guy is miserable (although his opthalmologist did just call me to tell me his OS pressure has dipped to 13) This really stinks. I'm so torn. I still work full time and go to school full time so my little buddy's timing was ever so slightly off (to say the least) Thanks for any insight you can give me. Beverly
 

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There was no improvement in Amber's affected eye. She had one good eye lasered at the same time as her first affected eye, but she still suffered an acute attack in the her remaining good eye after approximately 6 months, which is consistent with the natural course of the disease. Our eyevet commented at that time that the procedure didn't have a particularly successful track record in bassets. We would have appreciated having been informed of that up front.

After the eye is lasered, the dog needs to remain under constant veterinary care to control post-operative pressure spikes. When the dog comes home, the eye looks inflamed and painful. The dog will need multiple meds every so many hours.

If Franny has been struggling with acute glaucoma and elevated pressures since at least Saturday, it's hard to believe that he has any functional vision in his remaining eye...?
 

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We had a very different experience with laser surgery for Louella, our late hound. She developed glaucoma at about age 9, and we did the laser surgery. She had useful vision in that eye for about two and a half years afterward, when she developed a cataract, a side effect of the laser. After that, she had some vision, but it was probably minimal. It stayed that way until she died at about 13. It has been a while now, but the only long term side effect I recall from the meds after the laser was drinking a lot of water, and we eventually only had her pressure checked occasionally, after they were sure it had stabilized (wish I could be more precise--it's been a while--but I don't recall the rechecks being a big burden--I think they eventually were down to about every four months--maybe every six months). We probably had it done about 8 years ago now, by a veterinary opthamologist I think a lot of. I'd try it again in a a heartbeat if one of my dogs developed glaucoma. If you are anywhere near the San Francisco Bay Area, let me know, and I'll send you the name of the practice.

[ September 14, 2005, 08:22 PM: Message edited by: S. Hall ]
 

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Sharon, your Louella is the first experience I have heard of where glucoma didn't develop in the other eye, laser or no laser. Might she have had a secondary glucoma which can be unilateral?

I fortunately haven't had a dog with glaucoma but did have a friend who's dachshund had it. He went through all the treatments available and then I remember bring him to the ophthalmologist for his post op check up following removal of both prosthesis (or is it prosthesi?)because those also caused him too much pain and discomfort.
His owner had a much harder time dealing with it than little "One Putt." All the bassets I have known with glaucoma ended up having both eyes removed. Oh yes did hear of one or two where the eyes were injected with gentamicin to destroy eye tissue.

I've thought a lot about what I would do if I had a dog with glaucoma and I'm almost certain I wouldn't have the laser surgery done. Of course I would talk to my regular vet in addition to the specialist. I guess I think pain and discomfort would be worse for one of my dogs than blindness.

Sorry you are in that position where you have to make such a decision Beverly Anne. :( We're here for you every step of the way.

[ September 14, 2005, 08:49 PM: Message edited by: Barbara Winters ]
 

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Barbara,
Almost three years to the day that the first glaucoma showed its ugly face in her left eye, Louie developed glaucoma in her right eye. I didn't go into that in my original post because we did not do laser surgery on the right eye. It was controlled by medication until we lost her to congestive heart failure, when she was a little short of 13 years. She probably had glaucoma in the right eye for about 3-6 months before she died. I don't know if it made a difference, but I think I caught the second occurence of glaucoma the very night it happened, and had an emergency kit that the vet had given me, and used it immediately until we could get her in the next morning at 6 am.
The veterinary opthamologist had us treat the right eye with glaucoma meds as soon as the glaucoma in the left eye occurred. So that may have delayed the occurence of the disease in the right eye.
As I said, I was really impressed with the opthamologist, and perhaps we really lucked out because we had such quality care.
 

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I spoke with Dr. Munger (an eyevet in Dallas who sees a lot of bassets) about this a couple of years ago, and he indicated that shunts were the treatment of choice at that time in his practice.
 

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Sharon, how was vision documented in the first eye? When an acute attack occurs, ganglion cells begin to die within hours. If she had glaucoma for months, as you suspect, I question whether she really did have vision in the affected/treated eye.
 

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Betsy,
I can't recall how they documented vision in the first eye. It's just too many years ago, and I was pretty upset at the time so details of what happened didn't penetrate my brain. I wish I could remember more details, but the event itself and the passage of time aren't going to let me do that.
Also, I'm not sure how long she had glaucoma in the first eye before we caught it--I do recall she'd been cranky occasionally, and that after the fact, I attributed it to glaucoma, but she also may have been inclinced that way. It could have been some months, or not. If I were offered laser surgery by this same opthamologist, I'd do it. If they told me that over the last 8 years things had changed, and shunts were now the way to go, I'd do that. But I know I wouldn't turn down the surgery based on my past experience if that's what they still thought was best.
 
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Thank you all...you are really wonderful people. I go in at 11:30 today (Thursday) and we'll go over the options but I know now that we won't laser. The poor little guy deserves the best life I can give him.
 

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Hi Beverly Anne,
I wish you the best outcome possible. I'm really sorry that your Francis has This awful disease. I've heard, too, that blind bassets adapt very fast.
 
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