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Scratch on 7 Week Old Puppy's Eyeball - Should You Adopt?

by Melissa
(Wilmington, DE)

I have put a deposit down on a 6 week old puppy. The puppy’s father is a purebred shih tzu and the mother is a shih poo. The breeder is now saying that she may have to keep the puppy an extra week, saying that the puppy has gotten into a fight with its litter mates and had its eyeball scratched by one of the other puppy’s nails.

She took the puppy to a vet who is treating it with topical and oral antibiotics. The vet is quoted as saying, “in time the eye should heal.” As much as I want to buy the puppy, I cannot afford to buy a puppy with a known chronic medical problem.

What should I look for when I go to pick up the puppy?

Is it a bad idea to even go through with this?

If I do go through with it, what is the best course of treatment to heal the scratched eye, and will there be a full recovery?

Finally, would it be a good idea to have my vet (who takes care of my other pets) talk to the vet who is taking care of the puppy?

Thank you,


Comments for Scratch on 7 Week Old Puppy's Eyeball - Should You Adopt?

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Jun 08, 2012
My Online Vet Response for: Scratch on Puppy's eyeball
by: Dr. Carol Jean Tillman

Hi Melissa,
Instead of adopting a 7 week old puppy, it would be best to adopt one at 8 weeks. Veterinary behaviorists have found that puppies that have stayed with their mother and littermates until 8 weeks of age are more socialized and seem to be better emotionally and mentally.

As for the injury to the puppy, I question the story of 6 week old Shih Tzu/poodle puppies fighting! Although, the mother may have inadvertently injured the puppy. Young animals have a great ability to heal, but if this is SO serious that it requires BOTH oral and topical antibiotics, this may be a more serious injury.

I do not think that you should be the one to determine "what to look for". I suggest that after 2 weeks, the puppy should be 100% back to normal.

Ask the breeder if she is willing to take the pup to a veterinary ophthalmologist in two weeks to verify that the puppy has healed completely and that there will not be any chronic or long term health (or vision) issues.

If there are still some problems, it will be your decision if you still wish to adopt the puppy, and/or try some alternative or holistic methods for healing.

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

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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

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