Cow’s visit to the vet’s

Cow’s eye was getting better after his first visit two Fridays ago. He was able to open the eye until three-quarters full, but two days ago, the eye seemed to have deteriorated again.

So, today, off we went to the vet’s for another check-up.

The vet said Cow’s eye had not improved but it also had not deteriorated as far as he could see.

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So, I was given four options:

1. To just let it be and keep monitoring. The vet explained that his principle is to “first do no harm”. Being already 9 years old (which qualifies Cow to be an elderly cat), just as we humans, we would all have to deal with some aches and pains here and there. If our pain threshold enables us to live with it, wouldn’t we rather live with pain than to “fix things”, which could inadvertently bring further harm? Since Cow did not seem much troubled by the eye, we have to option of letting him live with the ulcer. After all, some Shitzus live with an ulcerated eye condition too. However, I would have to continue monitoring his eye daily and if it gets worse, we would opt for some sort of intervention then.

2. To go to the second level of treatment as discussed previously, ie. the Lysine treatment. To recap, Cow’s eye condition could be caused by the ever-elusive herpes virus (which has the ability to “hide” in the body). Lysine cannot destroy the herpes virus but a molecule in the Lysine could prevent the herpes virus from doing further harm. Furthermore, Cow just had a successful TEF (third eyelid flap) operation done in January this year and it’s only March now, and the ulcer has recurred. What IF his eye ulcer could really be due to the hidden herpes virus in his body? If so, the Lysine treatment might bring some relief.

3. To give Cow a mild sedation and debride the ulcer. Ulcers sometimes get “lazy” and refuse to heal on its own. Debriding the ulcer is “rubbing” it and this might “wake it up” and make it heal.

4. To put Cow under sedation, debride the ulcer, do the TEF (again!) and apply Gentamycin, which was the previous antibiotic used in January. However, gentamycin is a rather strong eyedrop and can cause damage to the kidneys, among other possible harm.

So we discussed what was best for Cow, given his condition now and decided on opting for No. 2 for now. So, it’s ten days of taking the oral Lysine, continuing with the sterile saline wash and the milder eyedrop. Also, to repeat the Denzo (papase enzyme, anti-inflammatory) for 5 days.

The above is done based on the “first do no harm” principle, which I agree. If this fails, we will go for No. 3.

The reason we decided not to go for No. 4 is that the TEF was already done in January, yet the ulcer recurrred just after 2 months. What if we do the TEF again, the ulcer heals beautifully and woe betide, it recurs again in 2 months because it was actually caused by the elusive herpes virus!

So, why not opt for the Lysine treatment now (to “check” if it’s due to the herpes virus) and see if it works.


Alright, let’s go home, Cow!

Let’s hope this treatment works.

One day at a time, literally…


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