Friday night I grilled some pork tenderloin on my handy dandy grill pan. I forgot to turn down the heat and soon our little apartment was filled with smoke. No problem, a few open windows and a fan and we were right as rain. Except Ringo. Poor Ringo - his left eye was so red.
The next day his eye was still pretty red and he slept a lot of the day. "I don't think he's feeling well" I told Jon. Then he started getting some yellow/green discharge. Great. Our pup has pink eye.
Sunday I took him into the vet to get some drops for his eyes. Except, the vet said he didn't have pink eye - the redness and discharge was the result of 40% of his cornea being rubbed off. I learned a lot about eyes yesterday.
Turns on the cornea is made up of 3 layers, a water soluble layer sandwiched between 2 water-insoluble layers (for those who don't do science, this means the water layer can't get through the outer layers). Ringo's missing 40% of that top layer. Now, the cornea can repair itself, but it doesn't have a direct blood supply to do so. Instead it relies on the blood vessels in the whites of the eye. This means it takes a looong time to repair. The vet suggested a surgery so that the eye could repair itself more quickly.
Dogs have a third eyelid. Back before they were domesticated, this was a transparent lid that would come up as dogs ran through underbrush to keep the foliage out of their eyes. Now that dogs don't run wild, this eyelid has become opaque and unnecessary (kind of like our appendix). This eyelid is very vascular, so by lifting it up over the eye, it protects the dogs eye and allows the cornea to repair itself more quickly.
The surgery was over in a few hours and Ringo was able to come home last night. Which was trying in itself. He doesn't like coming off anesthesia too much. And around 5 AM he came out and couldn't figure out what the thing around he neck was and he wanted it OFF. For the next two weeks he has to wear an e-collar and get 4 different eyedrops in his eye three times a day. The poor thing is so miserable. He can't go for walks, he can't play with other dogs, and he can't even chew his toys!
We've been trying to tell him this is all part of his Halloween costume since the vet will put his eyelid back down the weekend after Halloween. I don't know if he buys it though.