Posted By: Sarah - Vet

Ozzy suffers with an eye ulcer

At times, it is really brought home to me that diagnosis of a problem and prescription of treatment can be the easy part of treating a pet, and a successful outcome relies on sheer hard work on the part of an owner. 

One case that illustrates that perfectly is that of Ozzy. As you can see, he is a bright eyed lad who lives an enviable life for a Jack Russell Terrier, as he is owned by a farmer. He was brought in with a sore eye which didn't look too bad at first, and we were confident that some antibiotic drops and anti-inflammatory would sort it out, as in the vast majority of cases. 

However, less than 48 hours later, his worried owners brought him back as his eye was looking worse and he was very uncomfortable. When vets Ellen and Sarah looked at him, they were very concerned as he had developed what is known as a 'melting' corneal ulcer. This occurs rarely when an ulcer on the cornea - the clear front to the eye - becomes infected with a particular type of bacteria. The bacteria produce an enzyme which starts to digest the cornea, leading to the liquified or 'melting' appearance. If not treated promptly and appropriately, the eye can be lost. 

As well as antibiotics and pain killers, it is vital to apply drops which will neutralise the enzymes which are digesting the cornea. In these days of modern medicine, it seems almost unbelievable that the best treatment is serum prepared from the dogs own blood as it contains the most effective 'anti-enzyme'. 

Ozzy was very patient as he had some blood taken, then the drops were prepared and given to his owners along with instructions to apply very frequently as that would increase the chance of success.

The next day, Ozzy's eye, although still very sore and with a large ulcer on the cornea was looking a lot better and no longer looked as if it was melting. The reason for this improvement was that his dedicated owners had applied drops every hour, including all through the night! That utter dedication meant that Ozzy would hopefully keep his eye. 

There was still a long road to travel. Over the next 3 weeks, Ozzy was checked regularly and for all that time was being given 4 lots of eye drops 4 times a day. That represents a great deal of hard work! During that period, his ulcer gradually healed, although it seemed slow progress at times. 

I'm delighted to say that when I say him a few days ago, his eye had completely healed and the scarring was starting to subside. Ozzy is comfortable no is looking forward o getting back on the tractor soon! 

He has been a delightful patient whenever he has come to see us, and I am in awe of his fantastic owners who, through their willingness to devote a great deal of time to him, have brought about a happy end to this story. 


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