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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My little girl has some sort of eye problem that no one where we live can identify. The vets (4 of them) have done rounds of tests and do not know what is the problem. My vet has contacted a Opthalmology specialist, and he has no idea either. My chi came from Kentucky (USA), and I am in Canada, so I am hoping it may be a condition not normally seen in my area and one of you may recognize the symptoms.
It affects both eyes and she has had it since I got her 3 months ago. I can keep it at bay with tetracycline, but it has not cured it. Both eyes have ulcers on the corneas, and these continue to change. Eyes are Photo-phobic, and sometimes watery, sometimes dry. The vet has described the development of small veins beside the iris that "arborize" (that is: they spread out from a central spot similar in pattern like small tree branches) At it's worst stage, the eyes were extremely inflamed and full of pus.
The first conclusion the vet's came to was that she had a injury to the eye (scratch) but ruled that out. Then they thought it was a strain of the Herpes virus, but ruled that out. thirdly, they thought it as a type of parasitic infection, and are now not sure what to make of it.

If anyone out there knows something, or even can refer me to a doctor who may specialize in Chihuahua's eyes I would really appreciate it. I really need to find my baby the help she needs.

Thanks in advance to you all!
 

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I'm trying to boil this all down so I can better understand your situation, please correct me if I missed a detail.

You have a female chihuahua puppy (~9 months?) who has had chronic idiopathic corneal ulcerations (not sure what you mean by "continue to change"). They are very sensitive to light, often teary, and sometimes dry. There is occular discharge and inflammation, and the veterinarians observed arborizing neovascularization near the irises.

Just to sort out the mechanism for you, something is causing the eye to be irritated, as a result, the eye gets swollen, and the irritation causes ulcers to the eye. The discharge is a result of the body's immune response to the infection, and the blood vessels beging to form and branch in order to try and repair the ulcerated areas. Antibiotics can help the infection, and the eye should heal itself overtime if there isn't a more serious underlying cause to the irritation. Here's a few differentials the veterinarians I work with sometimes pursue:

Differentials:
1. Corneal trauma - ruled out due to chronic nature of problem (unless your chi is a big eye scratcher, and you didn't use an e-collar?)

2. Viral infection - possible viral infection (Herpes, Hepatitis, Adenoviral etc..). In this case, no stereoids should be used, and treatment of the viral infection is difficult.

3. Parasitic infection - extremely rare...

4. Bacterial infection - although you are treating with antibiotics, tetracycline may not cover the spectrum of organisms that may be infecting your pups eye. Has your veterinarian tried any other antibiotics (BNP, cyclosporin, Terramycin), opthamalic, oral, injectable? Have they administered any steroids to reduce inflamation? (BNP with Hydrocortisone or Dexamethasone). Perhaps your pup is having a tough time absorbing the eye meds (this is VERY possible), and another method of administration may be necessary. Even a culture/sensetivity diagnostic may be needed to see what kind of organisms are infecting the eye.

5. Foreign Object or Growth - spotting one of these on a chihuhaua is very very difficult even for the best clinicians. Carpet fibers, hairs, can get lodged under the eyelids, and squamous cell carcinomas can develop under the eyelids, or in the corners of the eye.

Hopefully some of this information is able to help you figure out what is wrong. Don't use it as a way to self-diagnose your pup, but more as a signal that there are more options and things that can be tried, hope is not lost!!

The only way I think you can get to the bottom of it is to see an Opthamologist who can solve the puzzle, and hopefully you'll be doing that very soon!!

-Nate
 

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have they taken a swob from the eye to do a culture and sensitivity test - this will then give your vet the list of antibiotics that the infection is sensitive or resistent too

good luck and keep us posted
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
wow! Thanks you guys. I am impressed and touched!

you did get the details correct. Here is a bit more info. as far as I know it, as I am not in a medical field, and so my understanding is limited.
My dog, Zuzu is 11 months old, and I got her when she was 9 months old. In the time that I have had her, she has not had any trauma to her eyes - and there is no indication (according to the vets tests/exams) that she has before hand either. The condition is in both eyes equally, and when I first got her, they noticed under examining her that she had a few old scars on her corneas, so she has had this problem before.
Other than Tetracycline, she has had the following medications for her eyes:
Viroptic, for a viral infection. Tobramycin, a opthalmic antibiotic. Voltaren, and Isopto Atropine.

I am not clear what exactly the corneal changes are in nature, but that is how the vets have referred to it. My Vet and the Opthamologist have discussed her case, and neither one of them is, as they put it "familiar with anything like this". They discussed the possibility of Zuzu having something called (I do not know how to spell this, so I am spelling it phonetically).... Ooveeitis. However, neither thinks that is what she has, since she does not have all the symptoms associated with it.

They are thinking of now trying her on a anti-imflammatory, non-steriod medication called (again, phonetically spelled) "ensed" or "insed"

As for seeing a Opthamologist, I would gladly do it, but I have been told there isn't one in the province in which I live. I would also be happy to fly to the closeset one, but that is the Dr. my vets have been talking to already, and he does not recognize what it is my dog has, and has all her medical history already. I am considering going anyway if I have to, but I am doing my homework first to see if I can find someone who might know more, or know someone who does know more.
Never fear, I have no intention of diagnosing my dog myself.

I will talk to my vet about if they can/should do a culture and sensitivity test as you both suggested. That's certainly worth a try!

I thank you both very much for your assistance and information, and well wishes. I am really very worried about it all, so your responses are greatly appreciated.

Stephanie

P.S. I'd post her picture on here if I could figure out how to do it. I'll work on that.
 
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