So it’s been a week since we took Jazzy in to get her eye removed and she’s recovering very well! The worst thing about the whole process for her has been the cone she has to wear, I think, but even that’s something she’s getting used to. Here’s a current picture of her. It’s blurry because she doesn’t like to sit still, haha.
She’s acting very normally given the circumstances, which makes me feel very optimistic about them being able to remove the cone at her check-up.
Now we just have to hope that the same thing doesn’t happen to her other eye. We’ve got medication for it now, though, so hopefully that will help prevent this from happening again.
Today we had to take Jazzy to the vet for her eye removal surgery. We had to be there around 8 AM.
And in true 2020 fashion, on the one day we had to leave the house, the weather did this:
That’s about nine (edit: 10.6) inches of snow in the non-drifts. But we had to get to the vet because the next open appointment for the surgery wasn’t until January 5th and her pain and light sensitivity have been getting worse by the day it seems.
So we braved the snow. Nate had to practically shovel us out of the parking lot and the roads were kind of iffy to get to the vet, but we made it. Then we got stuck in the vet parking lot. Then some guy helped push us free and we just parked on the street while I took Jazzy to the drop-off area. Then we had to make it back home. But rather than try to get back into our parking lot, Nate decided to park over at the hospital. This ended up being a good plan because he could get 24-hour parking for about $15, so we just left the car there, hiked back home (only about a half a mile, but through a lot of snow and wind), and waited for the vet to call to give us an update.
Jazzy’s surgery went very well. She did fine under the anesthesia and there were no complications. So around 4:00 PM we hiked back over to the hospital (after helping push a guy out of our parking lot, haha), drove back down to the vet, and picked up our girl.
She had a cone on to help prevent her from scratching at the stitches in her eye and she managed to get the cone off within three minutes of us leaving the vet (she wedged it on the circular indent in the top of the cat carrier and jerked her head forward to pop the clips open), so I had to watch her to make sure she didn’t start scratching on the way home.
We had to park back at the hospital because our lot wasn’t shoveled yet, so we had to carry her as gently as possible through the snow to get her home.
But once we got her home and out of the carrier, she immediately started purring and flopping…until we put the cone back on her. Then she was very disoriented and upset and started panicking every time she ran into something with the cone. Luckily they gave us some pain meds that are quite sedating, so we gave her one and she zonked out after a while. She actually seems okay about missing her eye, but she hates that cone. She’s got to wear it for two weeks, though, so that will be fun.
Edit: Nate trimmed the cone the next morning and it fits her much better. She can move around a lot more easily now and can get to her food and water. I don’t want to post a picture of her because the eye area still looks a little rough, but maybe once it starts healing I’ll give a visual update.
COVID? Yes, of course that’s the main reason.
But another reason came for us today after we took Jazzy to the vet/ophthalmologist for a follow-up on her previous appointment. Her right eye is responding to the meds we’re giving her and her inter-ocular pressure is back within the normal range in that eye. But her left eye has not responded; in fact, the pressure is higher.
So they recommended that the best option for Jazzy is to have her left eye surgically removed. The pressure will eventually cause her to go blind and will cause a good amount of pain in the meantime.
She will have the eye removed next Tuesday.
I guess we should be looking at the good in this in the sense that the bloodwork they did on her came back completely normal, so there’s no underlying condition like leukemia or diabetes causing the eye issues, but it still completely sucks. They think the cause of it might just be from a virus she had when she was younger (probably in the crappy living conditions she was in before we got her) that triggered some sort of auto-immune response where her immune system started treating that eye as a foreign body.
We’ll have to keep special watch on her right eye to make sure it doesn’t happen to that one as well, though there was no visible sign of issues in her left eye until we first saw that blurriness on the 27th (I checked other Jazzy pics I had on my phone; there was no blurriness prior to that day).
I feel really guilty about not taking her to the emergency vet that first night we noticed it now, but I’m not sure if that would have actually made any difference (except maybe getting her some painkillers and some treatment faster) given that her left eye isn’t responding to the meds at all.
WARNING: not for the squeamish! Turn back now and don’t watch the video I link to if eye surgery/surgery in general/eye stabbing/stabbing in general grosses you out or offends you. You’ve been warned!
Anyway, I had no idea this was a thing: an iridectomy is a procedure where surgeons go into a person’s eye and remove part of the iris (the colored ring around the pupil). According to Wikipedia, it’s most commonly performed in the treatment of glaucoma and iris melanoma. Sector iridectomis leave patients with something known as a keyhole pupil, which looks like this:
Total iridectomies, as you would guess, leave patients with NO iris and a GIANT pupil.
This stuff is freaky to me.
In order to freak everyone else out, I found a video of doctors performing a peripheral iridectomy. Again, don’t watch if needles in eyes freaks you out.
I like how they have to waterjet the iris back into the eye.
Actually, I’m surprised at how little info there is on this procedure, at least on the internet. I would think freaky eye stuff would get a lot of attention.
Okay, that’s all.