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So who got a jump on the vet expenditures this month?

Nope, not last year’s allergic inu, but the Peepers. In the course of two days, she went from this…

Clear eyes on June 7, 2011

… to this.

mild conjunctivitis
9 June 2011

That’s one weepy ‘Pi, waiting with me in the vet lobby. When I got home late Thursday night/morning, I saw immediately that something was amiss when Bowpi lifted her head to look at me but could barely flutter open her right eye. In the morning, gunk had accumulated around the socket. She didn’t even want to open either eye or look me in the face, so I couldn’t see if it was red or inflamed. She was pawing at her face, kicking with her back leg and then stopping immediately with a coarse, piercing yelp — very unusual for an otherwise silent Basenji. She even yelped when I was trying to gently pat-wipe the crud off her eye (which was now coming out in discolored clumps). It was disconcerting how quickly the condition set in, so I wanted to get her in before she clawed out an eyeball or the disease started eating her face.

Okay, I knew that wasn’t going to happen, but I was not going to mess around with this one, especially since I’m a little paranoid about her eyes. As we were informed by her previous owner, she got in a fight at some point with a Miniature Schnauzer with whom she was living, resulting in some minor scarring around her right eye socket. You can see it pretty clearly in her profile picture, below (annotated on flickr).

Looking forward
24 October 2010

The white lines are barely noticeable, and probably wouldn’t even be an issue except that her right eye constantly tears. There’s not much, and it’s usually clear. Still, it makes it a little trickier to tell the difference between her “normal” tearing and any more serious problems.

I’m a bit squeamish about eye injuries, so there are no photos of what was done. Luckily, Bowpi’s a really easy patient. Considering she had no idea what was going on, she was extremely brave for the thermometer poke and the corneal stain and eye pressure tests. Everything came out pretty clear. The pressure in her affected eye was only “slightly” lower than the other, so not severe enough to indicate uveitis, said the vet. And her corneas were ulcer and scratch-free, so at least we know she didn’t have a run-in with a nasty foxtail.

Her diagnosis: mild canine conjunctivitis, a pretty common occurrence and fairly easy to fix with a tiny vial of eyedrops and Rimadyl to take care of the infection and inflammation from outside and in. Now, a few days later, she’s already looking better.

10 June 2011. Very watery when outdoors, but at least she’s opening and using the affected eye.

Head in hand
12 June 2011. Relatively discharge-free at home. It’s hard to make her look at me if she doesn’t want to, though.

So the vet bill for this “simple” diagnosis?

Office Call: Examination, $53.00
Eye Flourescein Dye Test, $39.75
Eye Tonometry, $49.00
Triple Antibiotic Ophthalmic (Neomycin / Polymixin B Sulfates/ Dexamethasone) 5mL, $28.64
Rimadyl 25 mg (Quantity: 20 pills), $35.00

TOTAL: $205.39

Drugs are not cheap.