Enucleation Support Group

Enucleation is never undertaken lightly and only after all other treatment options have been exhausted. The procedure is irreversible, and the animal is permanently blind afterward. However, many of the conditions for which enucleation is appropriate may have already resulted in loss of sight. The short-term discomfort of surgery must be weighed against the long-term benefit of being pain-free. Sometimes it is difficult for us to imagine our pets without one or both eyes. We tell you “they are in pain”: but you’re not sure. We tell you: “there is no vision, all you will be doing is removing the pain”, but you’re still not sure. We tell you: “you probably won’t know how much pain they have been living with until you see them pain free”, but it’s still somehow hard to believe. Please read the testimony below from real clients and their fuzzy friends.

“Dr. Storey and the whole staff were very compassionate and kind to me and my dog JJ, who had to have both of her eyes removed due to glaucoma. JJ is an eleven-year-old Italian Greyhound. Though she developed glaucoma early on (about six years ago), she has been totally blind for the last 3 years. After seeing Dr. Storey, he said her eyes needed to be removed as soon as possible. According to them, (I am paraphrasing), a dog with uncontrolled glaucoma is in a lot of pain, and post-operative discomfort is minor in comparison. Now that the surgery was completed, I can attest to this. As soon as I picked her up from the hospital, it was like JJ became 5 years younger. She is perky, playful, and happy. Previously, this would only be the case for a couple of minutes a day here and there. It has been an amazing change and a blessing. As far as getting around, she has learned commands like stop, left, and right. I also try to make sure not to move furniture or leave items around. I want to thank the staff at Southeast Animal Eye Specialists again for everything you did for JJ.” – Terry & J.J

“My name is Tonni, and this is the story of my dog Max. He was diagnosed with glaucoma in April 2021. It was inoperable. This started Max’s journey with daily drops to help with eye pressure. They worked for a few months, but his left eye wouldn’t cooperate and sadly had to be removed in October 2021. I worried about how he would respond with only one eye remaining that already had very limited vision. After healing from the surgery, he was the same Max that I always knew with his tail always wagging. Max was then able to maintain for almost another year and a half before the other eye’s pressure became too high and subsequently had to be removed. Again, I was devastated by this news, but I knew that I had to make the right decision for Max to continue to live a pain-free life. Now with both eyes removed, he is still happy-go-lucky and his tail is always wagging. Max still plays with his dog siblings in the house, demands to sit in my lap, barks playfully, and runs out into the yard in an attempt to chase squirrels (lol – that’s my favorite). He knows how to get around the house as he did for many years when he could see, but he does bump into a door occasionally. Max can and does go out into the backyard day and night. The yard is pretty big, but he maneuvers just fine from the front to the back and back into the house again as always. Each of the enucleations was scary for me, but it was the best thing for Max! He’s doing great living his best doggie life!” – Tonni & Max
“Dealing with secondary glaucoma from a client’s point of view. Bugsy is a three-year-old, neutered French Bulldog who had an elective procedure done in hopes to save his vision. Due to the procedure being predicted to have been unsuccessful, I was given the option to enucleate the eye or place a prosthesis because even if there was a very small chance of success, there was a very high chance of developing secondary glaucoma. Bugsy was on seven different types of eye medications that had to be done every 4 hours, all ranging from antibiotic eye drops, pressure control eye drops, anti-inflammatory eye drops, eye lubrication, and pain management medications and several other oral medications as well. The next day after his procedure, Bugsy wasn’t himself. I say himself because his eye pressure was increasing, which caused him pain, and by his one-week post-op checkup, his intraocular pressure was greater than 50mmHg. Bugsy wasn’t active, he slept more, he would squint his eyes and paw at his surgical eye more frequently. Most of all, he just seemed depressed. By his two-week post-op checkup, I knew I was treating a blind eye. I elected to place an intrascleral prosthesis for cosmetic reasons. There was no point in Bugsy suffering with the pain from secondary glaucoma when there were options. Just two weeks after his original procedure where we were hoping to restore vision, Dr. Storey placed a prosthesis in Bugsy’s right eye. Surgery went well, and Bugsy got to come home the same night. When I say the next morning Bugsy was himself, I wholeheartedly mean it. He was happy, energetic, and lovey-dovey. I knew I had made the right decision because he wasn’t in pain anymore. Seven eye medications reduced to two eye medications, as well as keeping his lovely e-collar on for proper healing. These decisions we make for our animals are never easy, but I don’t think I would have ever had the courage needed to proceed with any of Bugsy’s procedures if it weren’t for Dr. Storey and his team. As clients, we know our animals because they are family members. They speak without speaking, all we have to do is listen and observe. I do not regret my decisions; Bugsy is happy and comfortable.” – Susie & Bugsy

“My girl Prue has been blind since birth. She had one underdeveloped eye and one eye with high pressures that needed drops. She used to never sit still, take naps, or want to be petted, always going in circles when she walked, and getting more and more frantic in her movements throughout the day. A few months ago we decided to have both eyes removed. The difference has been amazing! She gets around the house better than ever, and the best part is that now she can walk in straight lines, relax, take naps, and even comes to sit in our laps to get pets! Her quality of life has improved immensely, and the staff at Southeast were so friendly and helpful. She was back up and acting better within a day of the surgery. We even finally managed to get a focused picture of her! I couldn’t be happier!” – Ginger & Prue