Ta-Da 💫 And just like that, Watson can see!
Give us 1 day, and see what we can do! 🙌🏼
We have more work to do...
Meet Watson! Watson is 1 of the 4 Cavaliers that we took in from the Charlotte, North Carolina hoarding situation. Earlier this week Watson underwent his intake vetting and ophthalmology consult and he is already well on his way to a major transformation 💫
We don’t know how old Watson is and it is hard to “age” because of the severe neglect but at this time our best guess is around 10 years old. We understand he was flea infested and as a result has major hair loss, thickened skin, and is suffering from secondary skin infection. We are also treating him for bad ear infections.
Sadly, his eyes are a mess - he is suffering with dry eye, hypermature cataracts, luxating lens, and glaucoma. His left eye is too far gone and cannot be helped, so it will need to be removed. We are working on improving his right eye though and waiting to see how it responds to medication. While he didn’t have any vision when he arrived, since we have been able to effectively lower his pressure and manage his glaucoma in his right eye thus far, a small amount of vision has returned! He has an ophthalmologist recheck on the 19th where we will proceed with scheduling his left eye removal and decide at that time if anything surgically needs to be done with the right eye.
Lastly, a significant heart murmur was detected and so he will visit with our veterinary cardiologist for a full cardiac evaluation and echocardiogram so we can learn more about the structure and function of his heart, if he needs heart medications, and what precautions need to be taken ahead of his eye surgery. He also needs a dental and after learning more about his heart health we will need to prioritize his “under anesthesia” needs and see if we are able to tackle it all.
Despite all of Watson’s issues, he is in wonderful spirits and is such a happy, spirited boy! He has just enough vision right now to be able to make last minute adjustments when he is navigating and he seems to be enjoying exploring around. He is also loving the big bed and even puts himself up there for naps 💤 And he is soaking up every bit of love and affection that he is getting 💕 Watson is being fostered in Birmingham, Alabama.
UPDATE JANUARY 12, 2021: #TransformationTuesday goes to this little 🍑 Watson’s bum definitely got a glow up ✨ Check out the BIG difference between October when he arrived and January 🙌🏼 Shake those tail feathers Watson 💜
UPDATE FEBRUARY 2, 2021:
When Watson arrived into our care he had glaucoma that had been left untreated and neglected 💔 Glaucoma is both very painful and blinding and Watson was experiencing both. Sadly, one eye was not treatable and had to be removed, while there was hope for the other eye that some vision could be restored once the hypermature cataract was removed and the glaucoma well managed.
Watson underwent cataract surgery at the end of October and was started on medications to help keep his intraocular pressure low. Vision was indeed restored and we were able to keep his glaucoma well managed with medication for the past couple months. However, recently his foster mom, who is experienced with glaucoma, started to become concerned that his intraocular pressure was starting to increase despite the medications. It would take double the dose and more frequency of the medication to see the cornea clear and his ability to navigate was declining. Watson went in for a pressure check and it was indeed high. Unfortunately the medication was no longer an effective management therapy for him.
Glaucoma is not caused because of overproduced room of fluid, but because in inadequate drainage of the fluid. So the next day he underwent a laser procedure where essentionally little holes/channels were created in the eye so that the fluid would have somewhere to go instead of building up and creating the high pressure. Unfortunately Watson experienced some post operative inflammation that led to some really bad and blinding pressure spikes. It took medication around the clock to decrease the inflammation and the pressure and we feared that we permanently lost his restored vision. Still, our ophthalmologist remained hopeful that once the inflammation resolved, and the effects of the laser procedure could kick in, that not only would vision be restore but that the glaucoma would be better managed.
It has been 2 weeks since his laser procedure and I am happy to report that his vision did indeed come back 🙌🏼 and that we are now able to extend some of his glaucoma medication and lower his dose. He is still needing to be medicated every 4 hours throughout the night but is able to stretch it about every 6 hours throughout the day making it much more manageable. Today, he returns to the ophthalmologist for a recheck to check his pressures at the “6th hour”. If it is still low then we will slowly and careful try to keep extending the frequency of his medication.
Glaucoma is a constant balancing act and there is no treatment, just management. We hope that this laser procedure with the daily medication will remain an effective management therapy for him for awhile. We feel it is very important to give Watson every fighting chance to save his eye and his vision when we have first hand seen the increased quality of life and confidence he has because of it.
With every dog we learn so much and the experience and knowledge gained ultimately ends up being beneficial for another dog - in this case you remember another big, handsome tri-color boy named Archie who had a very similar glaucoma situation as Watson. As heartbreaking as Archie’s glaucoma journey was to us (resulted in the removal of both eyes), we are able to better help Watson because of our experiences. While we hope for a better outcome here with Watson, we know no matter, whether 1 eye or no eye, vision or blind, it weighs no bearing on Watson moving forward with an wonderful life where he will be so loved, cared for, and cherished 💕 We will be sure to keep you posted on his health journey
UPDATE DECEMBER 27, 2021: We knew this day would eventually come, and here we are. Today Watson’s other eye was removed as his glaucoma was no longer able to be managed and controlled.
When Watson came into our care after being rescued out of a horrific hoarding/breeding situation he was blind from hypermature cataracts and end stage glaucoma. One of his eyes was too far gone and had to be removed immediately but there was a teeny tiny little bit of hope for the other eye. We ended up doing cataract removal surgery for that eye, were able to get his intraocular pressure down, and a little bit of ‘functional vision’ was able to be restored. Watson was seeing for the first time in years and years and with a little bit of vision Watson truly came to life in the best, silliest, most hysterical way possible!
It’s been about a year since then and we’ve been fighting tooth and nail against the glaucoma to keep his vision including administering eye medication every 4 hours around the clock (and yes, that includes in the middle of the night 💤) to work to keep his intraocular pressure low. Unfortunately that medication has now stopped working for him, his intraocular pressure became very high, he lost his vision, and he was in pain. So today he had to undergo a somewhat emergency enucleation to surgically remove the eye and relieve him of the pain and pressure.
Watson may have lost his eyes but he has gained so much in the last year since he was rescued out of a horrific, filthy hoarding house - family, love, comfort, exceptional vet care, furiends, good groceries, truly anything and everything he could ever want or need, as well as a year of vision under his belt that will give him the confidence he needs to be able to move forward 🐾
Watson’s surgery went well and he is now back in his foster home in Birmingham, Alabama resting and recovering. He will return to the ophthalmologist in 2 weeks for suture removal and we will be sure to keep you posted on how he is healing and adjusting ❤️🩹
UPDATE JANUARY 10, 2022: Handsome Watson is now two weeks out from his eye removal surgery and was a pawfect patient for his suture removal today. Watson unfortunately lost both of his eyes to end stage glaucoma which had been left painfully untreated at the time he was rescued from an awful breeding/hoarding situation. Watson doesn’t need his eyes to experience what he’s missed out on for so long…. LOVE 💕 And he’s receiving an abundance of it 🥰g ❤️🩹
UPDATE MARCH 31, 2022:After Watson’s eye removal in December, due to end stage glaucoma, he unfortunately developed a bad infection. While we were able to treat the infection, because he had a prosthesis in place of the eye he would need to have it removed or else it would always be a source and risk of re-infection. Additionally, he’s grown to be very uncomfortable on that side of his face and so it was time to move forward with the procedure which would hopefully eliminate any future infection concerns and also help us to identify the source of his discomfort.
2 weeks ago brave Watson underwent that surgery to remove the prosthesis where it was then discovered that he was having a bad internal suture reaction adding to his discomfort. Those sutures were removed and new suture material used. The prosthesis was sent out to culture where there was no remaining bacterial growth found. We are so happy to report that he’s had a good, routine recovery and his external sutures were able to be removed yesterday as he’s all healed up 🙌🏼
We are hopeful that this is finally the end of his very long, and very difficult journey with his eyes 🙏🏻 He’s been absolutely amazing through it all but certainly deserves easy, feel good, happy days ahead 💜
*Watson will continue to remain in our care and with his furever foster family, who has experience with blind dogs, due to his very special needs 💕
UPDATE OCTOBER 23, 2022:When Watson arrived into our care back in October 2020 we had just sprung him, and several others, out of a North Carolina shelter where they were had been held as evidence for over a month in a cruelty/hoarding case. Watson was in such horrific shape that the shelter aged him at 15 years old. He was emaciated, hairless, covered in scabs, had end stage glaucoma with his eyes literally popping out of his head, infections all over, and was just in really, really rough physical shape. Now 2 years later, Watson doesn’t even resemble that poor dog we took in. He’s been given his dignity back and restored to health and happiness ✅
We knew Watson wasn’t 15 but he was impossible to age due to the gross neglect he endured. 2 years ago our best guess was about 10 but without much of a basis. Behaviorally it’s also hard to gauge because of his many impairments and limitations - of course including having no eyes. All that said, when we learned about Embark Vet brand new Age Test that launched earlier this month, we knew Watson was the perfect candidate! 🐾
The Embark Dog Age Test is an epigenetic test which measures the amount of methylation in a dog’s DNA and translates it to their calendar age. The test can estimate most dogs’ ages within 5 months in either direction of their true calendar age! We are really excited about this new science which is particularly useful for rescued and adopted dogs who often have no known birthdate or age. You can learn more about the science and testing here: https://embarkvet.com/resources/dna-methylation-age/...
Outside of being just super curious to learn more about Watson, having a better idea of his age and his life stage is very important to know so we can make the best and most informed decisions regarding his health 💜 Watson’s saliva swab was mailed today and results take about 8 weeks but we will be sure to post an update once they come in! 🧪
UPDATE NOVEMBER 19, 2022:Watson arrived into our care back in October 2020 in absolutely horrific shape after he had been rescued out of a terrible hoarding / puppy mill situation and then sat in a shelter for over a month. By the time he made it to us he was emaciated, hairless and scabbed, anemic, fighting infections, and had end stage glaucoma that would require the removal of both of his eyes despite all attempts made to try to save them and his vision. Due to the many years of neglect and abuse that Watson faced leaving him in such poor condition, along with his blindness and limitations, he was impossible to “age”. So when Embark Vet released their Age Test last month, we knew Watson was the perfect candidate! 🐾
In addition to being super curious to learn more about Watson, having a better idea of his age and his life stage is very important to know so we can make the best and most informed decisions regarding his health 💕 So we sent off his swab and just got his results back today! 🧪
WATSON IS 13 YEARS, 8 MONTHS OLD! 🎉
It breaks our hearts that Watson endured around 12 long years in a really terrible situation, but we are so happy and so thankful to have been able to restore his health and happiness and ensure his super senior years are just the best ever 💜
ABOUT THE TEST: The Embark Dog Age Test is an epigenetic test which measures the amount of methylation in a dog’s DNA and translates it to their calendar age. The test can estimate most dogs’ ages within 5 months in either direction of their true calendar age! You can learn more about the science and testing here: https://embarkvet.com/resources/dna-methylation-age/...