Dog's swollen eye and decreased mobility
by Jane Hare
(Yellowknife, NT, Canada)
I have a 10 year old male Labrador Retriever (Howie) who has had a swollen, red and itchy left eye for at least 2 months.
His eye seemed to worsen over the last month with a droopy appearance and in the last week his third eyelid seems to be covering at least half of his eye. He is frequently rubbing his eye against things (our legs, furniture etc.) as if it is itchy. There has not been any discharge or tearing.
We live in a semi-arid climate and I often have to use natural tear eye drops for myself. For many years he's had a very tiny fatty tumor on that eye that has not grown on his top eyelid (like a skin tag) and as a young dog he slightly cut his bottom left eyelid on a stick that healed with a slight droop.
I took him to the vet a week ago and he said it could be some type of allergy to something but he wasn't sure. He prescribed an ointment (BNPH - Vetoquinol) to be used in both of his eyes for 5 days. The ointment seemed to worsen his eye and may have even caused slight redness in his unaffected eye. I have stopped using the ointment.
He was a very active seasonal hunting dog (duck retriever) with a gentle and calm personality. About 10 months ago he lost his Dad (my husband) in a tragic accident who he was very close with. Although I think he suffered from grief and stress for a while he now seems to have a good quality of life with daily light walks and his spirit seems good.
In the last year his mobility has declined in general (running, jumping up and down off of things), but most notably around 8 months ago he started gradually limping where he would even avoid weight bearing on his right hind leg and it would shake or he would go over on his toes slightly by accident. He was most stiff after lying down and could move better a little while after he got up. We needed to help his hind
end up any stairs and he couldn't really jump. Accompanying this, he had severe muscle wasting to both hind legs and lost a significant amount of weight (~8lbs) over a few weeks. He also was lethargic and didn't seem to be eating or drinking much. At the time I was feeding him 2x/day Acana dry dogfood (Grasslands).
After a couple vet appointments I was told that he likely has Arthritis and then he later did blood tests which were normal, prescribed anti-inflammatories (Deramaxx), and recommended an Xray which I have not done yet. After a 10 day course of the anti-inflammatories and drastically altering his food to a homemade diet (raw or cooked ground turkey, beef or bison, with brown rice, omega 3-6-9, Cranimals antioxidants, Lecithin, Glucosamine Condtroitin MSM, a multivitamin, and mixed with healthy table scraps - he's always been a very picky eater!), his food intake increased drastically and his mobility seemed to improve even after stopping the anti-inflammatories. Although he is still a little stiff and slow, he doesn't limp or shake his leg anymore and is able to get onto a couch or up stairs with minimal help. He does not seem to be in as much pain but it is hard to tell with dogs. Even with his improvement in mobility and increased intake, I was surprised on our last vet appointment for his eye that his weight remained static (even decreased by 1/2 pound) when I thought he would have gained.
So, my questions are:
1. What do you think is going on with his eye?
2. Do you think his eye and history with above mobility issues is related?
3. Is there anything further I should be doing for his mobility issues and potential pain/stiffness?
3. Keeping in mind that we live in a very remote city in northern Canada (Yellowknife) with access to only one vet who does not really use a wholistic or homeopathic approach or have sophisticated diagnostic equipment beyond xray, what do you think my treatment options are for above?
I have attached some photos of his eye.
I really appreciate your help and look forward to your response.
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