Sigh, my mommy is very bothered by Cotton's excessive tear stains. So much so that she has altogether visited 5 vets to enquire the underlyin problem of it. 2 of them were even "eye specialists". U can read more bout her rants which she posted in one of the pet forums couple of days back.....
Posted: Tue Mar 13, 2007 2:44 pm Post subject: how far can a vet's diagnosis be trusted
Regardin my Bichon's excessive tearin case, I've so far till date sent her to 5 different vets to enquire bout what actually is the underlyin problem. For anyone who has seen my Bichon, it obviously ain't a normal tearin prob. The 1st vet was Dr. K. His diagnosis was that her tear ducts are probably too small for the tears to completely flow through into her nose, throat & mouth. Thus, the remainins of the tears would then have no other way out then throught her eyes onto her face. Thus, causin the stains on nearly her whole face. He did a test usin an orange dye to be dripped into her eyes to observe whether it would flow through & outta her nose within 10mins. Obviously after 10 mins, nothin ain't flowin through. All was clear. I asked him if it could be a case of a blocked duct. He answered, "no, cuz she's juz a puppy & its impossible for puppies to have blocked ducts." I then mentioned that I've read of cases whereby some puppies have to have their ducts 'opened up' via surgeries. He then insisted that it's not.
Vet No. 2 was Dr. C. Accordin to her, she mentioned that she herself ain't that experienced in eye probs. But however, she mentioned that it could be alota possibilities & yes her ducts could be a lil' small, or, it could be a case of a blocked duct but nothin can be confirmed unless she's put under G.A. to flush it out. Even then, some dogs will tend to have blocked ducts often & it'd be back to square 1 after the 'flush'. We did the orange dye test again. Same results as before. She then recommended me to an eye specialist Dr. L.
So I proceeded to Dr. L. He was so shocked to see her stained face & said its one of the worst case he's ever seen. Never mind bout that~. Same thing, the orange dye test. Nothin flowed through as usual. He then checked her eyes with the 'torchlight' & some other equipments etc. After bout 10mins or so, he concluded that she has got 'no tear ducts'. He then explained to me further that some dogs (very rare) are borned w/o any tear ducts. Thus, the tears produced cannot flow into the nose & throat. Sadly, she happens to be one of the few. Only way is through surgery to create artificial ducts by 'pokin'. After a wk or 2, we'll have to return to him & she'll be under G.A again to remove the 'sticks' to support the openins of the artificial ducts. Even then, it's not a 100% cure as the ducts could close up within a wk or so (just like human ear holes). So I enquired how many of these surgeries were a success (as in the ducts did not heal back). He said it's bout a 50% chance it wouldn't. Minimum cost for EACH eye was $800. Also, he mentioend that IF durin the surgery to expore her tear ducts, she was found to not have the 'passageway' leadin to the nose & throat, more complications would arise (so would the fees). But it's a 99% chance that it wouldn't happen accordin to him. Anyways, I did not proceed with the surgery. Not with the fees issue but rather, the risks even though he mentioned there weren't any.
Few months later as I sent them for their jabs to another vet, I also enquired on her eyes. This time, she admited to me that she's not very specialized in eye probs. But nonetheless, she still decided to 'check it out'. She said its not really possible that she doesn't have any tear ducts as she can see them. With the help of her assistant & his views, they said yes the ducts are indeed present. She then proceeded to recommend me to another eye specialist, Dr. H.
Immediately, I went over. Over there, Dr. H mentioned that all 4 of her ducts are visible to her. She then did a tearin test to see whether she has a prob of excessive tearin. The result was a 20mm of tears in a min. Much more than the usual 15mm. After that was the orange dye test. Same results, no signs of drainage. After a while of observation, her conclusion was that she has a condition whereby her eye lids are a lil' rollin inwards, called "Entroprian". Such that the fur on her inverted eye lids are sorta 'irritatin' the eyes a lil' & also obstructin the tears from flowin through the tear duct successfully or completely. A surgery would solve this by 'liftin' her eye lids down n up just slightly. Very slightly. End result would be a very very minor stitch scars. This would be about $400-$500 for both eyes. However, this would not stop her from tearin totally. But it would be a very very good improvement in reducin it. BUT, it could also be a case whereby she has 'lazy punctas'. Meanin that her ducts are 'lazy' in a sense that its doesn't wanna work well in allowin the tears to flow through smoothly. Accordin to Dr. H, no findins yet for this. It's juz a very common thing for dogs. In this case, if it really is a case of a 'lazy puncta', nothin could be done.
All these different diagnosis on my gal has led me to think, can vets here really be trusted fully? How many more different views am I gonna get should I decide to bring her to another? Actually I do not really wish to put her under any surgeries as there're after all risks in ANY sugeries (Even tho some mentioned to me that there's totally NO RISKS @ all.) All I wish to know is the underlyin problem. Imagine if I were to go ahead with the artificial duct surgery as suggested by Dr. L above, what would have happened? As Dr. H mentioned that she has all 4 ducts. Would he still have proceeded to 'poke the holes'???
Why izzit that 2 eye specialist vets have 2 totally different diagnosis????
oh yea not to mention, I tagged along for each of my sister's visits. Most of the time I didn't really know why I was there in the 1st place. All I did was hang around...smellin other doggies there...not to mention 'doin my business' when I can no longer tahan.
Anyways, regardless of how stained my silly sister face is...I still love her to 'bites & pieces" literally haha.
Lotsa luv & smoochies,
Velvet aka birdy!
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