Rat Terrier w/Glaucoma! We Need Help!

Updated on July 05, 2014
N.I. asks from Deltona, FL
6 answers

Hi everyone,
My mom and me are very sad and we need some help. I used to have a rat terrier dog named Howie, that unfortunaly I had to give it to my mom for her to take care of him, when my baby was born and he got very jealous. So, at this point Howie is 9 years old, and he had his allergies, and small things, but about a year ago he was diagnosed w/glaucoma in his left eye, and now he is blind from that eye, he has that white thing covering his pupil. I think that the vet advised that he can surgery, i'm really not sure...but we had another rat terrier before Howie, and he had cancer and it was a lot of money. And how things are right now we really can't. Now, the problem is my mom was telling me that Howie's right eye is starting to get like his left eye, in the early stage of glaucoma, I guess.

So, I wanted to ask you what do you recommend to do? what can we do???
Have you heard of something like this before???
Thank You

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So What Happened?

I'm not here for anyone to diagnose him or to give me permission to do anything. I"m here to ask if anyone has had a dog happened to before, or if they heard something different. Sorry, if some of you are thinking different!

More Answers



answers from Jacksonville on

We have a dachshund that had the same problem, lost sight in one eye at age 4, lost sight in the 2nd eye about 4 years later and is now completely blind. He had the surgery on the 1st eye (it is expensive) but the eye was too far gone and they ended up removing it. The sight in his second eye went so fast we couldn't do anything. I think there are eye drops that will help, if the problem isn't too serious yet. There is a very good doggie eye doctor that we see in Jacksonville. Our blind dog is doing great now, can even get out his doggie door and take short walks. Good luck to you and your dog.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

You can't diagnose glaucoma by looking at an eye. It sounds like the dog has cataracts which is completely different (but a lot of people mix them up). The lens of the eye gets cloudy. In people, with cataracts, they can have surgery where the lens is removed and an artificial lens put in. I'm guessing cataract surgery is what your vet suggested.

I can't make any decisions for you. But if you wanted to know what I'd do in the same position? First, cataracts are not painful or life threatening so I wouldn't worry about the dog suffering. I know it's unfortunate that cataracts do cause blindness, but it is generally something that happens over time which gives the dog time to adjust. I would worry about the risk of putting an elderly dog under anesthesia. There are a lot of eye drops and I assume follow up visits to do after the surgery takes place to consider also. I don't know how much cataract surgery in a dog is, but I think it would be really expensive and it's an expense that my family personally couldn't afford. So in my situation and keeping those factors in mind, I wouldn't do the surgery.

Good luck deciding what to do. I know it's difficult when our pets feel like our children.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

I am sorry to hear about your dog. I too love my animals. My Westie was almost 15 when he died in February. He too had eye issues, and we had to pay some money but it was to keep his eyes.(long story). What I did want to tell you is he was pretty blind the last three years of his life and still was very happy and lived a good life. He was familiar with our house, so he knew where to go and we gave him lots of attention. It didnt seem to bother him too much. Soo, if you cannot afford the doctor bills, please know that he will probably be happy with lots of love and attention.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

If its surgery to take off the white film over the eye so that he can then see I would do it!! I love my dog he is also 9 yrs old), and right now he has cancer and is going for radiation treatments which are VERY expensive. I don't have the money either but Pfff... I figure put it on the credt card, what else can I do. Its your choice of course but I couldn't sleep at night knowing I did nothing to help when there was something that could be done.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Raleigh on

My darling rat terrier got glaucoma at age 13 in one eye. I took her to 2 canine ophthalmologists, both recommended medication and then removal of the diseased eye once pressure reached a certain level. 6 months later, the pressure could not be controlled by the meds, so we had her eye removed, a prosthetic inserted in the socket and lid stitched shut. She was fine upon awakening from the anesthesia. Do not opt for the "glass eye" which is prone to infections. Do not just do nothing, the pressure will eventually cause a permanent migraine for your sweet dog. The one-eyed dog looks like she is blinking.

Here's the bad news, 18 moths later she developed glaucoma in 2nd eye that I had been administering prophylactic drops at the 1st sign of glaucoma in 1st eye. Not uncommon. We had the 2nd eye removed. The surgery went well, but she had a much harder time as a suddenly blind dog. 6 months later with lots of love, much talking and verbal cues she gets around our home and yard well. I take her on leash walks every day. She is 16 and as an old dog sleeps more, so exercise is important.

She has been a wonderful dog. I have no regrets in caring for her in her senior years.

BTW, cataracts cause cloudy eyes and are OK not to treat even though the dog will go blind. Glaucoma either looks like a bloodshot eye or no visible signs. Glaucoma clues are petting dog on head and she yelps, or rubbing eyes with paws or head along soft surface. Earlier treatment can preserve eye for much longer.


answers from Jacksonville on

Uhhhh, what did the vet say?
Does the vet concur with your mother that he now has glaucoma in both eyes? What did the vet say your options are?
Have you asked the vet about payment plans or what if anything they would be able to do to work with you on it?
What do you want us moms to do? We can't diagnose an eye condition of a pet, let alone give you treatment options for it. Are you asking for someone to volunteer to adopt him? Do you want someone to give you "permission" to have him put down? I just don't understand what you are looking for from the moms out here. The questions you ended with are questions better directed to your dog's vet.

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