Friday, February 16, 2018

Mason's eye removal (enucleation) and teeth extraction surgery: Let's talk money $$$

I know a lot of people don't get down right personal and talk about money, especially the exorbitant amount of money they just spent on a small animal.  Well, I'm about to reveal it all: exactly what I paid, estimates from the vet, estimates from the ophthalmologist/specialist. To be clear, the year is 2018 and the location is a city: Philadelphia, PA.

Mason's eye removal surgery, teeth cleaning, and 6 teeth extraction ended up costing me $2,139.71.  Ouch!  Just to be clear, I expected it to be $1000 less.  Not because the vet quoted me incorrectly, but because I didn't think Mason's teeth were that bad.  The estimate I got from my normal vet for eye removal surgery alone was $1,507.  If I were to get his teeth cleaned and 0 teeth pulled it would have been $500.  If I got his eye removed and teeth cleaned at the same time it would be $1,300 if 0 teeth were pulled.  Whaaaat? The teeth cleaning would basically be free and the eye removal would be $200 less? Can that be?? Yes, yes it can.  It has to do with anesthesia packages.

I spent another $270 for the histopathology (dissection) of the removed eye. This will tell me if he had primary or secondary (in this case, caused by his untreated mature cataract) glaucoma.  If it is primary, he will be started on glaucoma-preventing eye drops immediately.  If it's secondary, we just keep a good watch on his good eye.  I didn't want to spend $270 on his dead eye, but the ophthalmologist highly recommended I get this done and she wasn't making any money off that recommendation.

Before the surgery, I upgraded Mason to the most thorough blood test which was $275.  My thinking behind that was that I didn't want to put an unhealthy dog under anesthesia and risk him dying, and I also didn't want to pay $2,409.71 on a surgery for an unhealthy dog.

At my vet, a regular teeth cleaning with no extractions would have cost $500.  At Mason's previous vet, they quoted a teeth cleaning at $1,200! Make sure you shop around a little.  It's amazing and fortunate that pet healthcare costs can be broken down so efficiently into estimates - it is not like that for people at all!
A good amount of this surgery price was the quantity of teeth he had to get pulled, and more anesthesia time. The price of extractions depends on the number of roots the teeth has, the more roots the higher the cost.
1 root - $58, 2 roots - $68, 3 roots - $104, carnassial tooth - $112

I paid so much more than I ever thought I would spend on a pet.  But if Mason even lives for one more year it will all be worth it... but he better live to be 18 since it cost that much......


Here were the other estimates I received from Mason's ophthalmologist:

Intravitreal Injection:  $350
This is the least expensive and least invasive choice.  An injection in the eye destroys the cells that produce fluid in the eye.  By decreasing the production of fluid, the intraocular pressure should remain permanently low.  It's done during an office visit with local anesthetic.
I didn't choose to go this route because my ophthalmologist said that many owners who do this to a otherwise healthy dog end up having problems in the long run, but their dog will be to old/unhealthy to get it removed later. 50-90% (Ophthalmologist said 75%, vet said 50%, internet says 80-90%) who get this procedure will get phthisis bulbi (shrinking of the eye), which looks pretty nasty. Since the eye is still there, it can still become injured (it's blind, so the dog could bump it) and it could still get cancer or other diseases of the eye. In some instances more than one shot is required which really bumps the price up. 


 The ophthalmologist had me do a google search of "Phthisis bulbi" and she told me which images were actually it, because many inaccurate images come up in the search.

 This is a German Shepard with phthisis bulbi (shrinking of the eye)

Enucleation (eye removal) with histopathology (labratory testing of removed eye: $2,300 - $2,700
This could have included a prosthesis put in the empty eye socket to "fill" it before they sewed the eyelid shut.  My ophthalmologist used to do this to all her patients but since a few patients have rejected the implant years later she stopped making it standard procedure.  This prevents the caved-in look.

Evisceration with Orbital Prosthesis and third eyelid flap:  $2,900 - $3,500
This is when the inner eye is removed and replaced with a black ball, but the outer shell of the eye, eyelids, third eyelid, and all muscles remain intact.
 I didn't go this route obviously, but I did think about it.  This is the most "normal" looking option but it's also the most painful and relatively high maintenance.  Many of the dogs with this procedure will require moisturizing eye drops eventually. Mason's ophthalmologist said the only reason the price is higher for the prosthesis is because the dog will need to be on intravenous pain medicine for an entire day.  One of the vet techs even leaked to me that one woman who had this done to her dog was calling after a month asking if it was okay that her dog was still crying and moaning! In the end, prosthetic eyes are for you, not your pet. 

The eye on the right is a prosthetic eye.  Source

Glaucoma and Cataract Laser surgery were also options, but I didn't receive an official quote since the ophthalmologist said they would be around $4,000 - $5,000.  That is way out of my budget, especially for a procedure that is not 100% successful.



Maintenance for comfort with topical drops 
This is only feasible for up to two years if you are lucky.  Human glaucoma drops stop being effective on dogs rather quickly.

I was paying $30 (pressure check only by vet tech) to $80 (pressure check and eye examination by ophthalmologist) every 1 to 2 weeks at the ophthalmologist.  When a dog's eye pressure is high, it needs to be monitored often.  If his pressure had lowered to a comfortable level and stabilized I probably could have had more time between visits.

Mason was on 3 eye drops 3 times a day. 
Dorzolamide cost $25 at my local vet or $50 at the ophthalmologist for a 6.8 mL bottle that would last approximately 4-6 weeks.
Predinsone Acetate cost $120 (I got it for $60 at Costco) for 10 mL and would last about 6-8 weeks, or $80 ($40 at Costco) for 5 mL.
Latanoprost (5 mL) costs $25 at the ophthalmologist, or $60 at CVS.

I went through my receipts and I spent about $455 on ophthalmologist visits and just about $230 on prescription eye drops in two months.

Pet (and people without insurance) prescription cost tips:
Go to Costco if you have one near you!!! You don't need a membership to get huge (50% for me) discounts on prescriptions!

Walgreens also has a prescription program where you pay a $20 yearly membership fee and can get a certain % off prescriptions.  It's called Walgreens Prescription Savings Club.  I don't remember exactly, but I believe if I joined the club I would've got Mason's $120 prescription for $90.


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Mason's eye removal (enucleation) and teeth extraction surgery: Days 5 - 7 (one week) post op

The swelling has been going down consistently every day.  He's been trying to scratch and rub his eye when his cone is off.  He's sneaky about it though, so I keep the cone on all the time when he's unsupervised. He's always rubbed his face/mustache on people and things to scratch it, and he's been doing that still and has been trying to do it with his eye wound.

 This photo and the next few are from his 5th day post op.
 Still a little redness.

 Eye wound is starting to be less "cone-ish". The swelling is going down and its getting closer to his skull.
Mason's ears stuck upright after I took off his cone.


On day six the redness in his eye was completely gone.  I stopped by my boyfriend's work and Mason made the rounds and was very happy about seeing his friends.  He was rocket-butting around in the field outside and had a couple good rolls in the grass.  He was feeling gooood.

 Mason on the 6th day.

His cone got all wet because he just drank some water.
Aww he's still just as cute.

Day 7 was pretty uneventful.  He's still himself and the eye wound continues to heal a little more every day.  He had his first provoked rocket-butt in the house (he only does it when provoked), which is a good sign of him not being in pain. I'm still giving him pain medication because I feel like it's better safe than sorry, but I'm starting to ween him off them now that he's one week out.

One week!


Monday, February 12, 2018

Mason's eye removal (enucleation) and teeth extraction surgery: 2-4 days post op

I'm happy to say that Mason is mostly back to being himself now.  He definitely ebs and flows in his healing.  After the second day's evening personality spike, he was back to being a little less himself the following morning.  By day four he is mostly back to how he normally is.  I've been giving him the maximum dose of pain killers every 8 hours throughout this time.  The vet thinks that's what could be upsetting his stomach, although his grumbly stomach and wet burps are getting less and less frequent at this point. He's had 3-4 instances of having a really small amount of poop slip out under his tail.  The vet said this is because the pain killers might be relaxing his muscles a little too much.  I've also noticed his nose is dripping clear liquid pretty often.

One thing I've noticed now that he's had his left eye removed is that when I'm walking him on the leash and I go to turn left I will often times end up tripping over him because he can't see my body language.  Although this has happened to us on walks a few times before, it's happening more now. This leads me to believe that he still had some, even though it was definitely very poor, vision in that eye before it was removed.
 On day 2 his eye is still very red and bruised.

 On day 3 he is still very happy to eat his textureless wet food.
On day 4 it looks like the redness is slowly subsiding.

As for my feelings, I have gotten over feeling so bad for being the cause of his current pain.  We ran into a dog-buddy of his in the park and the owner immediately said he was sorry about the eye.  And later I was thinking just how not sorry he needed to feel about it.  Mason will be in less pain in the long term than he was with the eye and teeth.  I also feel like he's still just as cute as he was before his eye was removed.  This is pretty superficial, but I wasn't positive I would feel that way.  He was a remarkably hansom dog (this has even been verified by every vet he's seen - and they are professionals!).  I am just happy he can stare into my eyes for an awkward/uncomfortably long time and I still have an eye of his to stare back into.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Mason's eye removal (enucleation) and teeth extraction surgery: day of and 1 day post op



 Mason at the vet before the surgery

Day of Surgery:
I dropped him off around 8am at Northern Liberties Veterinary Center and cried when doing so.  They said he was Dr. Draper’s only patient today.  The woman at the counter said she could call me after they do the dental X-rays to let me know how many teeth would need to be pulled and that put me at ease.  I was expecting three, including one tiny really loose tooth he’s had for a couple months.  The nurse who took him in the back said she should be done around noon.  At noon I had still not received the X-ray phone call so I was hoping she had finished the surgery and not had to pull many teeth at all and just did it without calling.  At 12:30 I got the call that she thought he really needed six teeth pulled.  If she was being aggressive she even could have pulled two more.  This blew me away and shocked me!  I knew his teeth were pretty bad but I’m pretty good at brushing his teeth daily.  I got extremely anxious because he didn’t have that many back teeth to begin with and I thought he would never be able to eat kibble again.  I thought his life would change more significantly with that many teeth being pulled than losing an eye he was already blind in.  She said there was significant bone loss around the teeth because of pockets of infection that ate away at it. He had to get two teeth pulled on the bottom and I thought all his bottom teeth looked great.  All of the teeth were molars or carnassial teeth – large teeth with three roots.

I got a call from the vet at around 2:45 to let me know his surgery was completely finished. He was just starting to wake up from anesthesia and was looking around.  That was a relief.  The vet said he did great and handled being under anesthesia for that long well.  They wanted to watch him for a little while longer and I could pick him up at 4.

When I picked him up he was pulling on the leash to get to me and was wagging his tail a little.  On the walk to the car he crashed into walls with his cone a lot trying to sniff them.  His walking was slow and seemed a little off, too.  When we got home he was mildly happy to see my boyfriend – wagging his tail just a little again.  Many of the blogs I read about eye removal recovery said their dog was so happy to see them and didn’t seem any different when they picked them up after surgery.  Unfortunately, this was not the case for Mason.



His face has a lot of extra skin so those wrinkles are normal, normally just hidden under his fur.
At home I fed him his new canned food and he scarfed it down! He hadn’t eaten since the night before so I’m sure he was hungry.  It made me feel better that he was interested in eating his food. The vet recommended I give him half what he normally would eat, wait 2 hrs to make sure he kept it down, and then give him the other half if he readily ate the first half.  He ended up eating both halves. I gave him his antibiotic and pain pill with peanut butter and he drank an obscene amount of water. 

I sat next to him and pet him for a couple of hours.  I couldn’t tell if he liked it or not.  He never wags his tail when you pet him and the only way you know he likes it is if he paws at you to continue or moves his front leg so you can reach his belly better.  He did move his leg a little for me to scratch his belly, but he wasn’t acting like he normally did.  Also, I don’t know if it’s because he only has one eye now or because his good eye is a little droopy from the anesthesia or pain meds, but he looks a little pissed off all the time now.  Usually his token look is “concerned”.  He also is doing a lot of grunt-sighing.  He would sigh pretty regularly before, but this is different.

He wouldn’t sleep, which was very weird for him.  Sleeping is his #1 favorite activity.  He looked really tired and I would see his eyes get heavy and just when I thought he would fall asleep he would change positions. My boyfriend thinks its because the last time he fell asleep he woke up with six less teeth and one less eye and he didn’t want anything like that to happen again while he was sleeping.

I took him out to pee without the cone.  He sniffed a little and he peed quickly and then led me back to the house.  Normally, he’s very picky about where he pees and will take forever to find “the perfect spot”. When I took him out to pee before bed we were crossing the street and a cat was crossing the street at exactly the same time only 10 feet from us but he didn’t see it because it was on his no-eye side!  That made me feel pretty sad for him.

I was told by the vet that I can take his e-collar off him if he’s being supervised and I’ve been doing that.  He has no interest in scratching or pawing at his eye, but I put the cone on when I leave the room just in case.  He definitely prefers it off.

I also spent the evening making him a soft e-collar.  It was good to take my mind off the pain he was in and it made me feel like I was doing something to help him. He really hated the plastic cone the vet gave him and I couldn’t imagine him getting any sleep in it.  I went to Petco before to buy wet food and the soft cones there were $40! I wasn’t about to spend that on something he would only need for a week after dropping the money I did on his surgery.  I used the plastic cone as a pattern. I made the cone out of canvas, some bias tape, cut up plastic clothes hangers and velcro.  I ran the bandana he usually wears through the loops to tie around his neck because it was soft and thick and probably wouldn’t dig into his neck. I don’t think it bothers him to wear it. 


 The e-collar in progress.

He slept on his bed on the floor by our bed the first night.  We didn’t want him in the bed because he isn’t supposed to jump and we didn’t want to bump him in the face by accident in our sleep.  He seemed to sleep through the night.

Day 1 Post op:
I got up while he was still lying in his bed and went to the kitchen to prepare his food.  I was so happy to see him walk into the kitchen wagging his tail.  He ate his food quickly again.  He still has an odd walk, like a limp.

He’s been sleeping a lot today.  He left his bed to come sit on the couch with me, which is something he normally does, so that was good.

He was very happy when my boyfriend got home.  He let out one small bark (usually he barks a few times when people come to the door) and got up off the couch to greet him and was wagging his tail a lot.  That was reassuring.  But shortly after that he vomited just a little bit.

He woke up in the afternoon from sleeping and I took him outside.  When he got off the couch I discovered he had some poop mooshed under his tail.  He still hasn’t had a bowel movement, but the vet said it could take 24 hours because of the anesthesia .  This time he led me around the whole park we live across the street from, and his ears perked up when he saw a squirrel.  He is still walking slow but normal now.  When we got back inside I cleaned up his butt and then when I went to put on the e-collar he had a nice long  grumble about it.  Then he seemed like he was going to vomit again and he probably swallowed some.

 Sleeping on the couch on Day 1 post surgery in his home-made e-collar

Late afternoon was a huge turning point for Mason: He pooped (after almost 48 hours) and more importantly he seemed like he was himself again! We had a couple of friends visit and he got up to bark at them when they were at the door, and then seemed very happy to see them! Whole hearted tail wagging and everything!  His good spirits lead us to give him some roasted chicken from our dinner, which we NEVER do! I went to bed feeling so much better about this decision after seeing his personality come back for a few hours.


 Mason's eye is very red, has some swelling, and you can start to see the development of a massive bruise that takes up almost all of the shaved fur area

Mason's eye removal (enucleation) and teeth extraction surgery: History


I, of course, had a freak out the night before my 8 year old dog Mason’s surgery.  I was unsure if I was making the right decision.  It’s a lot of pressure making a big decision like that for another being. I was put at ease after I did a couple hours of late-night Google searching and read so many amazing recovery stories of dog eye removal, however, I found very little about tooth removal and nothing about getting both surgeries done at once.  I wanted to be that resource for other anxious dog moms and dads.


Mason's History:
I adopted Mason when he was 3 years old from a rescue in Delaware, but he is originally from Taiwan.  His pregnant mom was abandoned in an apartment.  The rescue took her in and she gave birth to mason and his sister.  They were in people’s homes until Mason was adopted out to a family in Taiwan.  They kept him for 1.5 years, until they had a kid.  That’s when he was flown to the US to the sister shelter in Delaware.  I think his temperament has a lot to do with the fact that he’s never been a shelter dog. I would argue that he’s the best dog I know, and I think many friends and anyone he’s met him for at least 5 minutes would support that claim.  He’s relatabley awkward, charms people by scratching his mustache on their legs, doesn’t beg (unless he knows you are weak), and loves getting pets although he won’t wag his tail to show it (a clear sign of weakness).  His striking good looks are only out shined by his good behavior.  He’s very low energy aka chill, and we bring him everywhere – from local bars to friends’ parties to weddings to art studios, and even on long canoeing and camping trips.

 Mason as a puppy in Taiwan

  

Mason on the nose of a kayak

 Mason being zip lined over a treacherous river during a camping trip

Mason on one of our many canoe and camping trips
Mason (in his altered tube with a plywood floor) and I tubing the Delaware River

Mason wearing his backpack on a hiking/camping trip with a similar sized buddy
 Mason with me at work



Mason’s eye history:  Mason has had a cataract in his left eye (from here on out referred to as his “bad eye”) for at least the past couple of years.  His eye looked really white and cloudy.  We’ve always figured he didn’t have very good vision even before the cataract. He ran into a fence once, and he loses track of his ball (excuse me, I meant sacred orb) when we throw it often.

A stupid alley cat really threw this story off.  There’s a stray cat who has a litter of 7+ kittens every season and likes to give birth to those kittens in our neighbors alley, which is adjacent to our alley (We live in Philly – everyone has an alley!).  Mason and our friends’ dog Banjo were of course out in the alley trying to see the cat and kittens through the fence.  Apparently Banjo’s owner discovered a scratch on her eyebrow the next day and thought it was probably from the momma cat. I figured Mason must have gotten whacked too. He had a few days of squinting in his bad (left) eye.  After that eye started to get better his third eye lid would show in the evenings when he got tired on his right eye.  Another few days after that both his eyes weren’t looking very good – constant squinting and the third eye lid showed up in the evenings still.  I started doing hot compresses on his eyes (he had eye problems before and the vet recommended this and it really help) for a couple of days and when that didn’t help anything I scheduled an appointment with the vet.

 Mason's eyes after the cat incident
 Mason's third eyelid showing

I started going to a new vet with this appointment (explained later) and she definitely wasn’t an ophthalmologist.  She did all the eye tests and everything was normal except he had a mature cataract (duh) and had high eye pressure.  Her pressure readings were all over the place from 21-50 I think because she wasn't the best at taking the readings. In comparison, his other healthy eye has consistently had the pressure of 9.  His weird eyes were not a result of the cat.  They were caused by glaucoma. The vet recommended I see an ophthalmologist in the next two weeks and she sent Mason home with a glaucoma eye drop.  I found three doggie ophthalmologists in the Philadelphia area: Upenn in Philly, VSEC in Levittown, and Center for Animal Referral and Emergency Services (CARES) in Langhorne all had a range of wait times for new patients from 3-12 weeks.  I scheduled a far-out appointment for two of them and told them to call me if anything opened up.  CARES called back with an appointment for Mason after a week.  I was thrilled because I had scowered the internet for info on these doctors, and the CARES ophthalmologist had great reviews mentioning her. Dr. Martha Lowe gave him a full exam for $135 (half the price of the other two ophthalmologists) and I was, and still am, very impressed with her.  His pressure measured 21, but he still was able to see light and shadow in that eye. She prescribed him with two glaucoma eye drops:  Cosopt (dorzolamide/timlol) and Prednisolone acetate.  On the following visit his pressure was still high and she said he had lost the ability to see light and shadow.  She also prescribed a third eye drop, Latanoprost, and that’s when I noticed an improvement in Mason’s eye.  It started to look less blood shot and he started chewing rawhides again.  His pressure ended up stabilizing in the low-mid 30s for a few visits and then it got very high again.  The ophthalmologist said that a pressure in the 30s can be comfortable, but it’s likely the pressure spikes and drops throughout the day, so it’s possible he’s in pain at times.  With the pressures like 50, he definitely has a constant headache.  His eye was always bloodshot, was visibly bulging, and started to get a blueish tint to it.  The vet said the blueness was because the pressure was so high.

 Mason's bad eye with mature cataract
 Mason hates the vet.  Leaving the door open while we waited for the doctor helped his anxiety a lot, which helps keep his eye pressure from spiking.

Here is a list with the date and Mason’s eye pressure measurement:
  • November 22nd, 2017: 21-50. prescribed Cosopt (dorzolamide/timlol) eye drop
  • November 28th: 21. prescribed 2 eye drops: Cosopt (dorzolamide/timlol) and Prednisolone acetate
  • December 12th: 50. prescribed a third eye drop (Latanoprost), declared blind in bad eye
  • December 28th : 33
  • January 12, 2018: 67. ran of Latanoprost so he missed a few doses which explains the very high pressure
  • January 19th: 50
  • February 2nd: 49
  • February 6th: eye removed
 Mason also has the very beginnings of a cataract in his good eye.  This was pretty sad to hear, but I saw how slowly his bad eye went from being an immature cataract to a mature cataract.  It took around 2-3 years.  The ophthalmologist said there is nothing you can do to prevent a cataract, but she did recommend Ocu-glow.  Ocu-glow is a pill with antioxidants that are supposed to benefit eye health.  It is the most researched dog eye vitamin on the market.  They have done more clinical trials than any of its competitors.  And no, I am not sponsored by Ocu-glow, but man, do I wish I was because it costs $75 for 90 pills, and at 35lbs Mason has to take two a day, so they go fast.  As this is the only hope for his good eye, I am throwing all my money on this product. Fingers crossed! 

Mason’s mouth history:  When I adopted Mason at three years old he had already had his teeth professionally cleaned once.  I go through periods of brushing his teeth for 2-3 months and then I’ll get out of the habit and not brush them for a month.  His bottom teeth look very white and clean and his top back teeth weren’t looking too hot. The ones in the way back had a lot of yellow tarter and it was even brown in some spots.  His breath was bad, bad enough to earn him the nickname “Mr. Stink”.  I noticed his breath would improve a lot when I would brush his teeth often.  He is a slow eater.  It would take him 3-4 minutes to finish a bowl of kibble.

 Mason's teeth.  That small tooth next to his canine has been pretty loose for a couple of months and I knew it would have to be pulled.




Information about Glaucoma and bad teeth
There is a wealth of information about Glaucoma on the internet and I recommend you read that.  It’s even better if you get a good vet/ophthalmologist and ask them a ridiculous amount of questions. This is just how I understand it – in layman’s terms as they say.

“Dr. White” checking in! (I am not any sort of doctor, this is just a funny joke – my last name is White and I’m giving medical advice, get it)

“DR.” WHITE’S FACTS ABOUT GLAUCOMA:  
 The eye is filled with clear blood that is constantly circulating through the eye.  My dog’s ophthalmologist described the eye as having a faucet and a drain that facilitates the movement of this clear blood.  When a dog has glaucoma, it’s like the drain is filled with a bunch of rice (presumably from when you washed out the rice pot and didn’t empty the drain catcher – c’mon I hate that!).  It will still drain, but it will drain slower than it should and the eye’s pressure will rise as a result of this slow draining.   Mason was prescribed two eye drops at first. I don’t remember which does which but one of them was to slow down the rate of the “faucet”, and the other was to prevent any other “rice” from building up in the “drain”.  Fun fact: I asked the ophthalmologist where it drains to and she said it is reabsorbed by the body.  No, your dog isn’t crying tears of clear blood.

There is primary and secondary glaucoma.   Primary is genetic, and secondary is caused by something else. Primary is often caused by the dog having too sharp of angle to their drain and is more common in specific breeds. Secondary is often caused by diabetes, as blood sugar levels can cause the pressure to spike so high that the dog can go blind in a number of hours.  ***Glaucoma is also caused by cataracts*** This is something I had no idea of and was never told.  Signs of glaucoma are squinting, watery eye, bloodshot eye, and bulging.  If your dog has cataracts and then you notice these signs you need to act quickly!!  If the pressure gets high enough it will cause permanent blindness. Another fun fact: Vets refer to the eye as the “globe”.

There is no cure for glaucoma in dogs.  Human glaucoma eye drops are prescribed but they become ineffective in a matter of months to up to two years if you are lucky.  Even glaucoma surgery doesn’t offer a permanent solution.


“DR.” WHITE’S FACTS ABOUT BAD TEETH:
This is loosely what my vet said interpreted by my bad memory:  Pockets below the gum line form when the gum disconnects from the tooth.  Bacteria can get inside these pockets and eat away at the tooth and at the jaw bone that holds the tooth. The result is bone loss and the tooth becomes unstable because its roots/support system are compromised.  This can cause pain that your dog just learns to deal with.  If bad teeth are left in for a long time the bone loss will continue.  This can eventually lead to the jaw bone being broken easily because of the weak points in it!!  Someone I know even has a dog that's teeth got so bad that they just cut the front half of its bottom jaw right off! And its happy as can be. The vet said the body is able to refill the lost bone once the teeth are gone.  She also said that she knows of dogs with no teeth that are still able to eat dry kibble!  Dogs really are amazing and resilient and that’s a fact that both certified veterinarians and “Dr. White” can agree on!

And if you would like to read a more professional description of glaucoma and it's treatments, I recommend this website: www.animaleyecare.net/diseases/glaucoma/

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Wings & Wildlife Show at the National Aviary

I'll be participating in this art fair next weekend (Nov 6,7, and 8) at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, PA.  It'll be my first.  Busy doing so much prep for it!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Some of the better snake reference photos

Couldn't resist posting these work-safe "python" google search gems that I am currently using for reference.
 Uncertain thumbs up
 I have a whole folder of Britney and albino python on my computer... best not-supported-tail references by far

 This one is just cute.
Really great watermark.