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Dog with optic neuritis following retrobulblar abscess

by Brian Ekard
(La Mesa, Ca)


Summary: Optic neuritis following retrobulblar abscess in our dog, a 2 1/2 year old male shepherd mix.


On October 7th, we took our male shepherd mix (Desi) to our regular vet after he had been having difficulty eating for a couple of days, and was obviously in pain when opening his jaws.

The vet opened his jaws, eliciting a yelp, and said she would need to check him under anesthesia. We returned the next day and he was put under and examined.

He was diagnosed as having Masticular Muscle Myositis and put on 20 mg of prednisone 3x/daily. While he was being examined, I had researched this and discovered that a simple blood test (2M antibody test) was advised and locally available at UCSD. I printed out the article and asked the Dr. about it. He was sure of his diagnosis, and told me he saw this several times a year, and Desi should be fine after a short course of meds.

For the next 3 days, Desi improved, as the assumed inflammation was reduced. On the 15th, he seemed to be regressing and was again showing pain when eating, and exhibiting swelling of the face and right eye, with the third membrane exposed. We ended up taking him to the Emergency Clinic on Sunday morning, where he was again examined.

X-rays were taken of his jaw to rule out fracture, and we were given Tramadol for pain and Clavamox and told to return to our vet on Monday, as they were not convinced of the diagnosis, and the test had not been done.

By Monday, Desi's Face had swollen even more, and our (now ex) vet, realizing he had misdiagnosed Desi, sent us to a specialist for an ultrasound.

The ultrasound revealed an abscess behind the right eye, and surgery was performed to drain the abscess. By the time Desi came out, he was unable to see, although they thought he was merely sedated at first. He had been seen by an ophthalmologist post-surgery, and we were to return in a few days for a follow up.

When we realized he was totally blind (around the 19th) we went to the eye specialist again. He had been improving, and was now on prednisone 10mg 2x/daily because of the previous high dose, and to allow the antibiotics to fight the infection. He was put on Baytril, and has been on Gentamicin as well, and the swelling rapidly subsided, but his vision has not returned.

We saw the specialist again yesterday and are continuing both the pred at the lower dose and the antibiotics. It is feared that a higher dose of pred may inhibit his ability to keep the infection at bay.

The doctor said that he still can see some slight swelling of the optic nerve, and that he has a 40% chance of regaining his vision.

I have added 1cc of B 12, and vitamin C and E to his daily regimen. I am hoping perhaps there are some homeopathic methods or additional things (stimulation, massage, anything) that can help our poor boy to see again. Just knowing that this was likely avoidable has been very difficult.

We would appreciate any advice you may have.

Thank you,

Brian and Susie Ekard

Comments for Dog with optic neuritis following retrobulblar abscess

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Oct 28, 2011
My Online Vet Response for Dog with optic neuritis following retrobulbar abscess
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Dear Brian and Susie,
What a horrible experience for poor Desi. Retrobulbar abscesses can be very difficult to treat, whether by conventional medicine or alternative means.

It sounds like he is still under treatment with antibiotics and steroids in an attempt to completely eliminate the abscess. There are actually two homeopathic remedies that are specific for loss of vision from retrobulbar neuritis. But homeopathic remedies do not combine well with conventional drugs.

If the abscess was cultured and found to have bacteria sensitive to the antibiotics being used, I would expect Desi to start responding quickly without the need for the steroids. If the abscess was cultured and found to be 'sterile' (NO bacteria present), then there is no need to continue antibiotics. As you mentioned, there are problems with continuing to give the steroids also.

The two remedies are Iodoforum (iodoform), and Chininum Sulphuricum (sulphate of quinine). Taking into account his other symptoms of swelling around eyes and difficulty opening mouth, there are several other more 'common' homeopathic remedies that might be useful: Phosphorus, Arsenicum, and Kali-carb. Choosing the most appropriate remedy is best done by a holistic veterinarian who can examine Desi (see our page on homeopathy for dogs).

Therefore, if you are willing to seek the help of a holistic veterinarian, one knowledgeable in homeopathy, you may need to discontinue the conventional drugs. In the meantime, besides the Vit B-12 injections, you should support Desi's immune system with supplements such as OrthoMolecular Specialties, Mega C Powder from OrthoMolecular Specialties, which you can add to his food. Also, Immuplex from Standard Process
- Open and add one capsule to his food twice daily.

He should also have Acidophilus
added to his food, to support his gut flora from all of the antibiotics.

Consider a raw diet, depending on how well he is eating, if possible. See our page on 10 Best Dog Food options.

And under NO circumstances should you ever have him vaccinated again.

Continued in PART TWO

Oct 28, 2011
My Online Vet Response for Dog with Optic neuritis following retrobulbar abscess PART TWO
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Dear Brian and Susie,
Here is the continuation of my response.

To find a holistic veterinarian in your area click on the link below
find a holistic veterinarian in your area

Also, the AVH for a veterinarian knowledgeable in homeopathy.

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us by clicking the like button at the top of the left margin. Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the picture you submitted. The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.

Related Pages:
- Dog Eye Problems,
- Ask a Vet Online Library - Dog Eye Problems Section





Oct 28, 2011
Response to Dr. Tillman
by: Brian Ekard

Dr. Tillman,

Thank you for your help with Desi and his optic neuritis. Although he is still on antibiotics and steroids, the visible swelling is gone, and it is likely that only mild inflammation remains of the optic nerve. He is eating normally with no pain.

Obviously, we have to wean him slowly off steroids to avoid serious problems. His Doctor also wants the antibiotics to continue for another week, to ensure that the 3 different bacterias found when the abscess was drained are eliminated.

I am not confident at this point that his vision will return, but I am willing to try anything to help him. I will contact some alternative practitioners next week after our next appointment with the Ophthalmologist.

Again, I appreciate the advice, and if you think of anything else, please let me know. I will be happy to pay for the consultation.

Brian Ekard

Oct 31, 2011
My Online Vet Response for Dog with optic neuritis following retrobulbar abscess
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Brian,
Your plan of action is sound. I do not have anything else to suggest at this time. Sometimes just seeing a dog 'in person' can provide more information to a holistic veterinarian in prescribing a treatment.

Please keep us posted by coming back to this page and clicking the 'click here to add your own comments' link below.

Take care,
Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

P.S. If you've found this service or our web site helpful, please "Like" us
by clicking the like button at the top of the left
margin
. Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: This educational advice is based on the depth of your question and the picture you submitted. The above should never replace the advice of your local veterinarian, as they have the ability to evaluate your dog in person.





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