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My 15-week old labrador puppy was just diagnosed with corneal ulcers by our vet. He was having a lot of discharge from both eyes and the vet said that his corneas are covered in lots of tiny scratches from the windchill. It is very windy, dry, and cold where we live in Canada, especially during the winter. The vet says that this is a common problem for dogs In our area at this time of year, as while the dogs are out for their walks, their eyes are open looking around, and getting blown by the harsh windchill. Vet gave me 2 tubes of eyedrops (1 medicated eyedrops, and a separate lubricating eyedrops). I need to put eyedrops in 4 times a day. He says that the lubricating eyedrops need to be put in everyday through the winter and every future winter ongoing for the rest of puppy's life. During the vet's examination, poor puppy had strips of paper inserted above his eyeballs twice (apparently to test tear flow), and a number of different liquids administered to his eyes, coloured dye to check for the scratches, etc. during all this the veterinary assistant held puppy's body tight to stop him struggling, the vet asked me to help hold the head still, and the vet also used strength to hold puppy to administer the various tests. I'm sure this traumatised him and did not set me up to a good start when it came to my turn to administering the eyedrops at home.
At home, I find it near impossible to administer the eyedrops. I have tried the approaching from behind so that the puppy can't see the eyedrops tube until the last minute, kneeling behind, standing behind, watching YouTube videos (which show demonstrations on calm dogs not my wriggly stubborn stressed labrador). The only times I've been able to administer eyedrops are when I wait til he's sleepy/sleeping then do a surprise attack or try to struggle with him and power on through. With my husband's help we are sometimes able to hold him still but the amount of force we need to use (wrapping him in a blanket/constricting his movement/ holding him strongly) and that we are forcing him to submit to something against his will, I feel is damaging my relationship with my puppy as I can already see he is starting to mistrust me because he's nervous when I'm going to next try and put in the eyedrops. If this was just a temporary thing I could come to terms with man-handling/wrestling/forcing him to submit to the eyedrops, but as I will be needing to do this multiple times every day, all winter long, for the rest of his life, I worry about the harm this will do to my relationship with my puppy, not to mention it just feels plain wrong being this forceful manhandling my dog (even if it is for his own good). My lab is usually much more calm and trusting with tight hugs and so on, but I think his experience at the vet and following treatment from me is doing no good. Should I power on through? Any smart ideas? Dog goggles to protect his eyes from the wind do they exist? Clever gadgets to make administering eyedrops to dogs do they exist? Any help would be much appreciated. I hate that my puppy is not able to trust this. It's just simple eyedrops but he REALLY REALLY a doesn't want me to do it.... And if I keep waiting til he's forgotten so that I can do a surprise attack I feel that will just make him more distrustful. Please help if you can? Any suggestions would be much appreciated and needing your support.
 

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Hello! My dog is nervous by nature so whenever I have drops of any kind or any other medicine I have to give her, I have to be smart on how I administer it. Granted, she is only about 12 lbs so going to be easier to handle than your lab. I use a lot of positive reinforcement. I offer her treats when she comes, make her stand still, and give her treats throughout the process. I often have her sitting in my lap and tip her chin up, which seems to work well. I think the slower you administer the drops, the better. That way it won't seem like such a scary process. Maybe if he sits still long enough for only one drop, reward him and let him be free for a little bit. A little while later, do it again. Start small and build your way up until you can give the full dose in one setting. I would agree that manhandling will not be the best way to go. If you also get him used to you touching his face and sitting still when you're not going to give him eyedrops, that will help as well. Even just pet around his eyes or gently grab his head so that he gets used to it! Also, try to always end on a good note and find something to reward him for, no matter how small!

Best of luck!
 

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Its difficult when you are still building the relationship with your dog. Ours at age eight, trusts me enough, she will allow me to put drops in her ear(s) or eye(s) if necessary, despite it certainly not being something she enjoys. When we first adopted her, she needed both ear and eye drops and it was a problem getting her to let me administer them. It took some restraint and lots of verbal praise and treats, but we got it done. Now she lets me, but I get that oh no look from her.
 

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I suspect from your description that your puppy has this:Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS) or Dry Eye in Dogs | VCA Animal Hospitals
Since this will be a lifetime health issue your puppy will need to learn to sit still for eye drops. I would start with a tired puppy, wrap him in a blanket, lay him on you lap butt toward you, gently hold him under his chin and tilt his head back. Hubby is standing in fron with a can of cheese whiz or puppy kong filling. Feed puppy small amounts while you gently restrain his head. Repeat. As he becomes accustomed to being restrained he will begin to relax. You need to hum or sing while holding your puppy. It may sound silly but by doing so you will have to breath which will make you more relaxed. Most people hold their breath which creates tension, that feeds right into your puppy. Time and patience will teach your puppy to accept the eye meds.
 
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