Monday morning dawned with the sliver still embedded in Belle’s eye. I had purchased some new equipment, borrowed some magnification and tried like heck to get the little piece out Friday and Saturday, but it just was too small. I set the alarm for four in the morning and loaded Belle up and we headed to Omaha to visit Dr. Tonya McIlnay at Veterinary Eye Specialists of Nebraska. I had spoken with Dr. McIlnay via phone a couple of times over the last year, but this was going to be my first visit to her facility.
Veterinary ophthalmologists are few and far between in the Midwest, and I’m happy to report that we have a great one in Dr. McIlnay in this part of the country. Prior to her recent arrival in Omaha our closest options were Ames, Iowa, and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Unfortunately it is one of the few veterinary specialties that is a necessity for many dog owners. It is important on two fronts: one, because the eyes are such fragile organs and for anything beyond the basics a boarded specialist is needed, and two, because in order to get a CERF performed on a breeding dog the exam has to be performed by an board-certified ophthalmologist.
Thankfully for Belle the appointment was a quick one. I had planned on spending most of the day in Omaha, as I was certain they would end up having to put her under and they were working me in on an already busy Monday. With me holding, Belle cooperating, and Dr. McIlnay’s steady hands, we attempted to address the issue in the exam room. The initial attempts were unsuccessful, as the plant piece was incredibly small. Dr. McIlnay had one more trick to try prior to going the surgical route, which involved physically grabbing Belle’s eyeball with an instrument in order to better manipulate the foreign body. It’s times like this that I’m thankful for well-behaved dogs, as Belle was a trooper and Dr. McIlnay was able to remove the offending piece. After arriving home it became obvious how much discomfort Belle had been in, because she immediately returned to eating with veracity and her winning personality returned.
I can’t thank Dr. McIlnay enough for her help and I have to strongly recommend her to any of you who are in this part of the country. For more information you can visit their website at: Veterinary Eye Specialists of Nebraska.
Belle and Dr. McIllnay after the offending piece of plant had been removed:
I’m happy to report that it would appear that everyone is back to full-strength. Maggie has been getting around well and shown no further symptoms of her back issues. I’m still in the boot but my foot is actually beginning to feel better, and Belle no longer has a stick in her eye. Of course as I type this the wind is howling and the snow is coming down hard with the season’s first blizzard. But hey, at least the dogs are healthy.