Life

Challenges Lay Ahead For The Real Content Wolf

husky collie cross

Seeing as my blog is called The Content Wolf, I’m sot sure why I haven’t yet introduced the real life Content Wolf to you. This is Orla, our four year old Husky Collie cross who we rescued from The Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare (it’s an awesome rescue centre and lovely place, well worth a visit).

She’s an amazing dog, who has touched our life in a very special way. I often call her my shadow, because she basically goes everywhere with me. She helped inspire the name of my business, because she looks like a wolf.

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I am writing this post with sadness, because I know what is in store for my darling girl. However, I also appreciate that despite how difficult the next few months will be, I have a new challenge to take on, and I am going to throw everything I have into it. Orla has glaucoma, which the eye specialist says is the worst eye related disorder for dogs, because it can be so aggressive, it’s difficult to manage, and it’s like a ticking time bomb.

A year ago I took her to the vet for an eye check-up because I thought she had an eye infection. Turns out she has glaucoma, and the vet told me she would probably eventually lose both her eyes. I literally couldn’t hold it together in the vets, and awkwardly started sobbing in the treatment room. Orla has one blue eye and one brown eye, everybody comments on it, and it’s part of her charm. It made me so sad to think she might have to lose her eyes, and also go through a lot of pain and discomfort in the process.

Glaucoma can be treated in humans, but sadly in dogs it’s more difficult. It’s basically like having a constant migraine, because it causes pressure behind the eye. Dogs can hide pain quite well, so they may be in a fair amount of discomfort and they have no way of telling us how bad it is.

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In dogs you try and control the pressure with eye drops, and have regular appointments to get the pressure checked. If the pressure gets too high and the dog is suffering too much, then the eye has to be removed.

After the first vet appointment we contacted an eye specialist and have been going there ever since. They have worked really hard to manage this condition for Orla, but sadly, a year on, the pressure in her blue eye is increasing too much.

On Tuesday I found out she needs to have her blue eye removed at the end of the month. To be honest I was preparing myself for this. What came as a surprise was that the pressure in her brown eye is also increasing, and there is a high chance she will lose that eye soon too. My poor baby is only four years old, and she will soon go blind.

As well as having her eye taken out, there are a few other options. We could get a glass eye, or have a procedure where the front of her eye remains. However, both of these could cause complications, and I don’t want my girl to suffer any more pain.

Thinking about what she might look like with no eyes is very scary. A lot of people I have spoken to think that maybe she should be put down or how will she cope? Dogs cope very well without their sight, it’s only their third most important sense. Plus she’s part collie and very intelligent, so we think she will manage just fine.

Is it going to be tough? Yes. However, I am not going to complain about how cruel life is or say ‘why me’ or ‘why does this have to happen to my dog?’. The truth is Orla has been a gift to us, and having her eyes removed will not change this, in fact, it will make her more special.

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She will receive more love and care than she could ever hope for. I may break down in tears or experience bouts of anxiety, but I am ready for what lies ahead. I am going to take on this challenge and be brave for my girl. Training a blind dog will help me to grow as a person and learn more about canine behaviour.

This whole experience has actually shown me how far I have come. A few years ago, at the peak of my anxiety, I probably would have crumbled and struggle to cope with this situation. Now I have some fight in me and I am proud of how I am looking at things.

If I am a mess and unhappy then that’s going to make the next few months a whole lot worse for Orla. She’s very in tune to my emotions, so I will be strong for her. Here’s to a wonderful next few years with a delightful dog that has changed my life for the better.

p.s. if anyone reads this and is in a similar situation please leave a comment. Especially if you have a dog that has had two eyes removed, or your dog has just been diagnosed and you need someone to talk to like I did.

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