Love is Blind – Scully’s So Happy now!

Ni­cole had to make a heart­break­ing de­ci­sion so she could save her pup

Pick Me Up! - - CONTENTS -

In De­cem­ber 2006, when Scully the Labrador-boxer bounded into the vet’s where I worked, it was love at first sight for us.

He was only 9 months old, but his owner no longer wanted the adorable hound. But I did!

I had another dog at that point, Sandy, a Labrador­col­lie, but they got on like a house on fire.

Although Scully quickly picked up a few of Sandy’s bad habits – bark­ing lots and be­ing mis­chievous – I loved him all the more for it.

But, when he was just 4, Scully was di­ag­nosed with arthri­tis.

Fol­low­ing an

X-ray, the vet told me that he’d never seen an an­i­mal with such dam­aged hips and it was a mir­a­cle he was still walk­ing.

He was given med­i­ca­tion to ease the agony, and it helped.

Un­de­terred, Scully was the hap­pi­est hound, bound­ing around the park, play­ing fetch, hav­ing a great time.

No tears

Only, in 2015, that changed.

I started notic­ing lots of sleep in the cor­ner of Scully’s brown eyes.

And, when he yowled, he didn’t pro­duce any tears.

And he couldn’t open his eyes fully, as they were so dry.

Soon he was off his food too, and would howl in pain.

As a vet­eri­nary nurse my­self, I as­sumed he had an eye in­fec­tion, which is not un­com­mon.

Tak­ing him into work, Scully was di­ag­nosed with ker­a­to­con­junc­tivi­tis sicca (KCS).

‘It’s known as dry eye syn­drome, and can be caused by a re­ac­tion of the dog’s im­mune sys­tem, med­i­ca­tion, in­fec­tion or nerve prob­lems,’ the vet told us.

So we got Scully some spe­cial eye drops.

But noth­ing worked.

I hated see­ing my poor pup in so much pain.

Wor­ried, in July 2015,

I started notic­ing lots of sleep in the cor­ner of his eyes

I took him to see a spe­cial­ist in Edinburgh.

The spe­cial­ist gave him some stronger eye drops, but Scully didn’t re­spond to them, ei­ther.

Last re­sort

‘What am I go­ing to do with you?’ I said cud­dling him.

He re­ally wasn’t his usual sparky self, and I could tell that Scully felt ruff.

I wanted to try ev­ery­thing I could to make him better.

To­wards the end of July 2015, he had parotid duct trans­po­si­tion – a del­i­cate surgery, mov­ing saliva from a gland in the mouth to the eye.

It seemed to work at first, but soon his eyes were dry again. And Scully was de­pressed. Enough was enough. ‘One way to make him better is to re­move one of his eyes,’ the vet ex­plained.

It was a last re­sort to get my happy puppy back.

So, in Au­gust 2015, Scully’s left eye was re­moved

Af­ter a bit of con­fu­sion, my brave dog re­sponded well, and there was a lot of saliva building up on his other eye.

But then, un­for­tu­nately, an ul­cer grew on his right eye.

And he kept clos­ing it be­cause it be­came dry again and even more painful.

Now the vet gave me a sad­den­ing ul­ti­ma­tum.

‘We can re­move the right eye – or put him to sleep,’ he said.

Putting Scully down sim­ply wasn’t an op­tion.

We’d been through so much to­gether over the years.

He was fam­ily.

If the dras­tic surgery would help make him well and happy again, then I’d do it.

In October 2015, his right eye was re­moved.

Scully was blind.

New life

Ini­tially dis­ori­en­tat­ing, it was tough for him.

The poor fella bum­bled around, kept bump­ing into things, and he lost his ap­petite. But he soon ad­justed. Within just a cou­ple of weeks, and feel­ing surer of his sur­round­ings, Scully was full of beans again. He wanted to play non-stop.

My boy was back! These days I have to keep a close eye on him, but Scully’s con­fi­dent enough to run around on his own.

Peo­ple do point and stare when we’re out.

‘That dog has no eyes,’ they whisper, do­ing a dou­ble-take. Scully doesn’t care, though! In fact, los­ing his sight has height­ened his other senses.

From just hear­ing the sound of my jacket zip­ping up, he knows we’re off out for a stroll.

Scully can sense where ob­sta­cles are in the house.

And, of course, he can smell when din­ner’s served!

When we go to meet my mum from the bus, he knows where she is, even if there’s a crowd of peo­ple near her.

Choos­ing to re­move Scully’s eyes was one of the hard­est de­ci­sions that I’ve ever had to make.

But be­ing blind has given him a whole new leash of life.

now my lovely Scully-wag is full of beans!

Ni­cole Paprotny, 29, East Loth­ian

He was de­pressed and in pain

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