Deaf? Eye ulcer.

I think Snowie is either going deaf or already deaf. It seems so sudden, but perhaps not.

His ears have always been bad, always infections. In the last few months, the amount of product that has gone into his ears could fill a pharmacy.

We have noticed he hasn’t woken up when we come home. We thought he was sleeping deeply. But now I think he just doesn’t hear the house alarm sounding or the door opening. I’ve tried testing him. I make him sit behind the kitchen counter and then hide treats. Then I call “Find it”. Sometimes he just sits there. Not always, so it’s confusing.

Yesterday we took him to the opthalmologist vet to check his left eye. I think something/dust blew in and he scratched it a couple of weeks ago, he was rubbing it a lot. I rinsed it with saline but it still looked not quite right.

She said he has an ulcer on his cornea and the new cells aren’t adhering. He had this before in about 2017. She mentioned then that it would likely recur.

The treatment is violent! She put in anaesthetic drops and then used a diamond bur (like a dremel!) to whisk off the dead cells. Then she used an earbud to completely rub off the non-sticking cells from his eye. We (my husband and I!) were the assistants, holding Snowie’s head still. She did say she could get an assistant in (it’s an animal hospital), but we preferred it this way. Snowie was very compliant, and I think he’s less stressed with us holding him than a stranger. Also, this vet is amazingly competent and confident, and Snowie seems to go into trance when she’s working on him. And wags his tail with all of this going on!

His eye now looks horrific. He doesn’t want to open it. She said it would be painful but would heal quickly. The days must pass quickly now because I can’t handle the pain he must be in. We gave him pain meds last night. At first the vet said no pain meds, they would slow the healing process. But we insisted. And I’m pleased we did because he was groaning last night and rubbing his face until the pain meds kicked in.

We have to put drops in 6x a day. To act as a barrier. She tried to put in a contact lens, but he kept rubbing it out. Putting in the drops is very difficult!

As for his ears, she took swabs and found a bacterial infection in one ear and yeast in the other. So he has different treatments for each ear with different applicators. She doesn’t want to risk cross infection between the ears.

She will check them again when we go back in 10 days. She said if they’re still full of gunk, she’ll have to sedate him and clean them thoroughly. She did this already last year in August.

I’m hoping that at least the yeasty ear can still hear, it’s always been the better ear in terms of infections. His brother is deaf. So it might well be in the genes. But I am so sad and don’t want it to be this way. I really hope they’re blocked at the moment and that his hearing will come back.

Here he is after his ordeal at the vet, exhausted. He fell asleep before he could even lie properly on his bed. The socks are to stop him chewing his feet (allergies). His feet have improved so much. Now the eye and ears. 😞



Fife, Scotland
Sounds awful for you all :hug:

Lilly is sometimes "surprised " when I get home now rather than sitting in the hall waiting. I think both age and a bit of deafness contribute.

The eye sounds awful. Poor lad. Sending lambies.
Oh gosh, poor Snowie. What a brave boy he was to sit through the eye procedure. You must be exhausted with it all. I hope he is feeling more comfortble soon, :thelambiesarecoming: :thelambiesarecoming:


Mama Red HOT Pepper
Poor Snowie, that's an awful lot for him and you to deal with at once. How brave is he to have done the eye procedure awake, not to mention to keep his tail wagging. What a superstar!

I know the sudden deafness is distressing, but I really believe it is much more distressing for us humans than for our dogs. Brogan couldn't have cared less - it didn't change life at all from his viewpoint, going by his behaviour. It was very hard for me, because I viewed it as a loss of his quality of life and more so a sign that my beloved boy wasn't young anymore. It truly wasn't a loss of quality of life, so that went out the window. Much harder was my own reaction to it.

Be kind to yourself and take it one day at a time. It will become the new normal and Snowie will help by showing that he isn't bothered.

Sending lots of good thoughts and Lambies that Snowie heals quickly, ears and eye!

Poor lad , what a lot to cope with all at once . Nelly is about 95% deaf , she hears Reubens whistle but thats about it , she has learned hand signals and tends to stay close when out and about . Hoping poor Snowie feels better soon, bless him xx
Thank you all for your kind and caring comments. It means a lot. When I wrote this post, I’d been awake since 3am unable to sleep with anxiety and sadness for Snowie. I eventually got up and worked at my laptop to take my mind off of it. And to make up for all the work I missed yesterday while traveling to and from the vet and the actual vet visit (about 2.5 hours in total), and then tending to Snowie later.

Snowie slept in, I guess the pain meds left him drowsy. When he woke up we put lashings of eye drops into his eye. Accidentally really. Quite a coordinated effort with me holding his head still and pointed up while pulling apart his eyelids. My husband poised to squeeze the eye drops. A few snappy words from me about not doing it right. (Sorry dear husband, I’m so stressed!) A few failed attempts, and then one big over-zealous squeeze and a huge blob into the eye. And then Snowie actually opened his eye and didn’t look too uncomfortable.

But he slept through his morning walk time and my husband didn’t want to disturb him (he a was doing the morning walk). I’m in the office today. I got this lovely WhatsApp from my husband now:

“We went for an energetic and pootiful walk at about 1.45pm. Full of beans!”

I’m sure you’ll understand what pootiful means. 😆
Oh poor darling, he does look sad in the photo. As you know, Rourke and Snowie are exactly the same age and I have noticed Rourke is getting a little deaf and his sight is going. So perhaps the natural ageing process coupled with his bad ears is making it seem worse. When his ears are cleared I am sure he will hear a little better.
I’m so pleased to say that when I got back from work this afternoon, Snowie was transformed! Excited to see me, grabbed his hedgehog soft toy and paraded around. Me, I was SO happy!! And then he insisted on his afternoon walk. And what a long walk he took me on, even up onto the mountain path behind the houses! First time in ages he’s wanted to go up there (steep road up!). I was only wearing sandals (Birkenstock style) because our walks have become rather slow these days. But I didn’t refuse his request!

I can only think that it’s either the pain meds that are still in his system. Or the ear meds are working well. He’s not trying to rub his eye and he’s not slinking away when I take out the meds. The treats we bought at the vet are very helpful in this regard!

Just hoping upon hope that his hearing improves. Talking to him is such an important way that we communicate with him. He knows “give kisses” and various other words. He also knows hand signals, so fortunately we still have a way to communicate with him.
I can only think that it’s either the pain meds that are still in his system. Or the ear meds are working well. He’s not trying to rub his eye and he’s not slinking away when I take out the meds.
Good boy, Snowie! Whatever the reason, it’s so good that he enjoyed a long walk - and instigated the route too! More lambies… :thelambiesarecoming:


Biscuit Tin Guardian
So lovely to hear that Snowie's feeling more like himself. It's so very distressing, isn't it, when they're poorly? Hoping this is the start of an improvement for him. :fingers::heart: