On a recent Sunday evening, New Yorker Oscar Q. was watching his three dogs play when he noticed something unusual about his five-year-old Shih Tzu, Buddy: The dog’s left eye was dangling from its socket.
Oscar immediately took Buddy to the Animal Medical Center, who referred him to the ASPCA Animal Hospital (AAH) the following day. At AAH, Buddy was assessed by Drs. Kristen Frank and Anna Podgorska, and on Tuesday, Dr. Maren Krafchik removed his eye.
Displacement of the eyeball out of the eye socket is a condition known as proptosis, and it often occurs after fighting with a larger dog or following trauma to the face or head.
“I wanted to save his eye, but as long as he’s alive, that’s what more important to me,” said Oscar, adding that Buddy often plays with other dogs, but such a thing had never happened to him before.
Eye proptosis is not unusual in brachycephalic dog breeds—those with bulging eyes, short snouts and shallow eye sockets—like Shih Tzus, Pekingese, Pugs, Lhasa Apsos and Boston Terriers. For these breeds, even mild restraint or play can result in eye proptosis. Dog breeds with long noses and deep-set eyes are less likely to experience proptosis.
Because proptosis occurs most commonly after trauma, there are no real preventative measures pet owners can take. “Owners of brachycephalic breeds should be aware that their pet is predisposed to this condition and seek medical attention immediately in the event of proptos,” said Dr. Frank. “In certain cases, [eye removal] can be avoided with prompt medical and surgical intervention by a veterinarian.”
As of mid-August, 31 eye removal surgeries have been performed at AAH this year for a variety of reasons, including infections and deformities of the eye, diseases of the eye, and trauma like Buddy’s.
On the bright side, eye removal is usually tolerated well by dogs and cats, and Oscar says Buddy is recovering well. “We treat our dogs like kids,” he said. “And Buddy is adored by everyone.”
We are excited to announce that the ASPCA is granting nearly $1 million to Los Angeles Animal Services and the County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care & Control to facilitate life-saving adoptions of homeless pets in LA.
A portion of the funds will waive cat adoption fees for qualified adopters. This includes cats over four months of age in Los Angeles’ six city animal shelters, as well as all cats and kittens in the six county animal shelters.
The grant will also cover “make-ready” fees typically incurred by qualified rescue groups when they retrieve cats, kittens, pit bull type dogs and Chihuahuas from city and county shelters. These animals are most at-risk in the Los Angeles area, and this funding will improve their chances of finding safe and loving homes.
“Despite the best efforts of city and county shelters and rescue groups, the situation for cats in Los Angeles remains dire—over half of the cats who enter city and county shelters never come out,” said ASPCA President & CEO Matt Bershadker. “ASPCA research has shown that waiving cat adoption fees drives new and responsible prospective owners to shelters, dramatically impacting the lives of thousands of shelter cats whose futures are endangered.”
The funding, which will provide $520,000 to the County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care & Control and $400,000 to the City of Los Angeles Animal Services, will go into effect immediately. While fees will be waived, all adoption policies and procedures remain in effect, including existing criteria for potential adopters.
Disaster can strike at any time, so it’s important to be prepared to take action at a moment’s notice. But have you considered what to do with your pet? September is Disaster Preparedness Month, and we’re taking this opportunity to make sure that pet parents are ready to respond if necessary.
Here are three ways to make sure your family is prepared to handle any emergency: