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.
Brian and Susie Ekard
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