When in doubt, go to the vet

I have been known to take my dogs to the vet for something that turned out to be nothing. And I have found that I’m given the same medicine for a multitude of ailments.

Mometamax: works on itchy spots and stinky ears alike. (Buy it online and save.)

And who hasn’t googled something like “Why is my dog’s tooth turning brown?” and believed only the most dire web diagnoses?

You don’t feel so foolish though, do you, when it turns out something is wrong with your dog, and thanks to your early action, he’s going to be just fine.

Sometime in the last year, we noticed Leo’s eyes getting crustier than before. I thought it might be an allergy to all the cheese we shove in his face, but when one eye started oozing green goop, we went to the vet. We got some neo-poly-dex drops and the goop seemed to clear up. Or at least it wasn’t green for a while.

Then his eyes got crusty again, then goopy, and the day I picked him up from camp, he had green goop in both eyes.

Lucky for us, we have a doggie eye doctor in the neighborhood! And lucky us, she could see us that afternoon!

Leo tries to read the smallest line on the eye chart.
Leo tries to read the smallest line on the eye chart.

After a couple of tests and a peek in his beautiful brown eyes, Dr. McCalla diagnosed Leo with pannus, or chronic superficial keratitis, which is very common in German shepherds.

The bad news is that it needs lifelong treatment. The good news is that it’s not painful and we caught it very early. Usually, the dogs Dr. McCalla sees are in a lot worse shape. If left untreated, it can cause vision loss.

So, I’m very relieved that we took Leo in when we did, and I’m happy to put eye drops in his eyes twice every day for the rest of his life. He’s less excited about that part.

I sensed a little bit of uncertainty from the vet tech and the doctor when they first approached Leo. One of them even said something about not being able to trust (some? all?) German shepherds, but he was a prince. He squinted a little when they tried to stick stuff in his eyes, and we had to back him into a corner to do the tear test, but he didn’t cry or menace in any way.

The doc made a big point of saying that in 30-plus years of working with dogs, Leo is one of the nicest German shepherds she has EVER met.

Prince Leo

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Published by Kari Neumeyer

Writer, editor, dog mom, ovarian cancer survivor

10 thoughts on “When in doubt, go to the vet

  1. Way to go! Good let mom on several levels. I wasn’t near as good many years ago when my mastiff bit the vet (just a little).😧

  2. That’s awesome he was so good at the vet! I’m sorry it’s going to be a lifelong thing. That’s a shame but at least you caught it early!

  3. Oh, poor Leo, but sounds as if he handled it like a champ. Love the reading-the-eye-chart-caption–too funny! I know what you mean about dog bias, too. Seriously, the dog we’re petsitting (but I want her to be my dog forever!) is half doberman, and even though her ears and tail were thankfully never clipped, we still get a lot glares and protective stances from other dog owners at the dog park and on the trails. Ironically, Seriously is one of the most gentle and even-tempered dogs I’ve met, and she backs away from conflict without signs of aggression. Still, people think what people think, sigh, sigh. Hugs to Leo.

  4. I am so sorry for Leo but thankful that you were able to catch it before it got worse. I have to take exception with the comments from your vet’s office. I have had four German Shepherds and they were all the sweetest dogs in the world! One was even a retired police K-9 and I had no worries about him letting my children play and crawl all over him. I don’t understand why they have a bad reputation. We were even told that it might be difficult to get homeowners insurance with German Shepherds. I have met many small breeds that would take a bite out of your ankle in a heartbeat! Haha! Take care of your sweetheart and I hope they know he is a great dog. ♥ (Sorry, for the rant. It just brought back all of the feelings I had when someone said something about my Shepherds.)

  5. Oh, I’m sorry to hear Leo has that, but very good that you caught it early! For me, yes, green goop = a trip to the vet! That’s great that he was such a good boy at the visit and got praised for his nice behavior. I must admit, I sometimes worry about Rita since she is part GSD and afraid of strange men – especially when they come near her momma – but she is always such a good girl at the vet, even when they are poking and prodding her. (Love the “eye chart” caption!)

  6. I’m glad you caught it early and hopefully Leo won’t have any vision loss. That’s quite a compliment for you and Leo that he’s been the best German shepherd your vet’s worked with in 30 years.

  7. Glad you caught it early. Linus had a similar goop problem with one of his eyes and we thought it might be an allergy. Our vet said probably allergies and it would clear up in a few days. It took much longer, but eventually all was well with the goopy eyes.

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