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  • Writer's picturePaula F. Hill

The Case of the Bulging Eye

A green goopy, red-rimmed eye turned towards me as I left the house the other day. Tyrus must have gotten something in his eye, I imagine, and I got a warm clean cotton washcloth to wipe it from inside the eye outward. I turned the cloth over and swiped the other eye, same direction. I slather some coconut oil around his eye, slip him a peanut butter-filled Kong, and leave for my work day.

When I got home that afternoon, Ty came running to the door with that left eye bulging out of it’s socket! I took a deep breath, so as not to panic myself and him, put my stuff on the counter and tackled the issue. His outer eye was puffed-up, swollen and tender to the touch. The rim was ugly red and white of his eye red-lined. His head was down and I suspected his whole head was pounding in pain.

Tyrus tends to duck away, even run and hide if I get any medical supply box or the essential oil basket out of the closet. He hates being attended to…since he was a puppy. I work at overcoming the health challenge myself first since:

a. Tyrus hates going to the vet, balks at the door and trembles uncontrollably in the patient rooms. b. I don't like to use any prescription medications since the side effects can be dramatic. c. The cost of the vet visits are extraordinary, especially if it's after hours (most emergencies happen after 5:00pm and on weekends, haven't you noticed?) d. I am confident of my abilities and know my dog best.

Breathing, breathing, more deep breathing and rubbing Tyrus from top of his head to the tip of his tail (three times) and talking to him about what we're going to do. It may sound ridiculous but it helps to keep me focused on the results versus the problem. I tell him I'm just going to touch his eyes and help him feel better. Simple words, like I'd use with a child, explaining the warm water and eye rubs. I tell him he's going to be ok, his eye will feel better, and there is no reason to get upset.

I set up the diffuser with lavender oil to calm the both of us. I stir some sea salts in a small bowl of hot water and grab a few clean cotton wash cloths. Cotton balls and a bottle of hydrogen peroxide (cap on but loosened) sits next to me on the floor. I microwave two small bowls of water, shaking in a little amount of sea salt in the bottom. I warm a third bowl of just plain water. I stir the mixture and put the bowl on a towel nearby. I have a clean cotton hand towel and dog treats within reach. Those catch Ty’s attention and he is happy to sit next to me on the floor. The attention is now on the treats instead of the collection of medical supplies.

The first step was holding the warm wash cloth soaked in sea salt water (squeezed out excess water) over his bad eye. I have a yummy treat in the other hand, holding it near his nose to keep his attention. After holding the compress over his eye for three minutes, I give him a treat, turn the washcloth over to the clean side and press the hot cloth over the other eye.

I pull the clean and still warm bowl of water/sea salt next to me. I tilt Tyrus' head by holding a treat above and to the side and wring sea salt water over his eye from a new wet wash cloth, catching the excess with the towel. I do this from inside to the outside of his eye. He gets a treat.

I then rinse his eyes from inside out with fresh warm water and dry them thoroughly with the cotton towel. I want to look at both his eyes and see how he feels. He tends to avert my intense attention, especially when we're playing Doctor so I continue to talk to him and grab treats to tease him into going along with my process. The eye is obviously less swollen. Ty appears more calm and relaxed. I work Ravensara essential oils into the pad of his back paws for pain and rub his fur with lavender oil to keep him calm for awhile.

Over the next few days, I google it (‘cause that’s what we do!) and discover the symptom is called Ecropion. They suggest the pet will need surgery. I aim to not let it get to that point. I work on his eyes for several days, soaking and soothing the lid, manipulating the eye with massage and giving lots of treats all the while.

I’m thrilled to notice his eye is much better, even overnight, and subsequent days of treatment. Since I am calm and steady in my emotional state, I think that also helps Tyrus remain relaxed. Of course, I was totally freaked-out by the looks of his bulging eye but knew it wouldn’t do either of us any good for me to go into a full-blown panic.

I’d rubbed coconut oil around his eyes to sooth the tension and reduce the chances of infection. I realized later, the hair around his eyes was thinned. Probably from all of the rubbing and perhaps the coconut oil. Small price to pay for the healing process! I don’t notice Ty looking in the mirror and sighing about his lack of robust eyeliner hair.

Another crisis averted!

A few lessons I keep in mind with pets and health issues:

1. Don’t panic! 2. Get all the supplies within reach before you begin the procedure. 3. Have plenty of luscious treats at hand! 4. Don’t be afraid to try the basics before racing off to the vet. 5. Best to isolate the pet from others until the issue is resolved. 6. Give them and your Self lots of love and affection. 7. Patience and consistency is important!

If YOU have any tips or tricks you want to share with the audience regarding pet health and well-being, please contact me!

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