How likely are you to figure that an abscess behind the eye could have anything to do with what goes into the mouth?
The mouth and the eyes are different things, aren’t they? They are not in any way connected, are they?
Lola is a Golden Retriever puppy. Like most dogs of her age, she has to try chewing on everything at least once. Usually, after testing things out, some of the pass as good to chew and some do not.
Rose bushes aren’t one of the things you’d figure would make it on the okay-to-chew list. With Lola, however, somehow they did–thorns and all. Lola thought it was a perfectly fine idea.
All seemed well until Lola lost interest in some of her favorite biscuits. That was strange but not strange enough–she was still eating her food and drinking normally.
Until one day when she yelped when she tried to open her mouth.
Her dad, knowing about Lola’s habit of chewing sticks and roses, took her to a veterinarian right away.
At the veterinarian
The first thing Lola’s veterinarian wanted to rule out was masticatory myositis. Myositis is an inflammation of muscle tissue–in this case, the masticatory, or chewing, muscles. It is a painful condition during which chewing, and even opening the mouth, hurts.
But that was not what was ailing Lola.
With negative tests for the first suspected culprit, Lola’s veterinarian decided to take x-rays of her skull. He was looking for foreign bodies or fractures.
Suddenly, while she was still on the exam table, one of Lola’s eyes seemed to have bulged out of its socket. What on Earth happened?
Lola’s dad was quite distressed. When he dropped Lola off, she was a happy, normal dog with no worry in the world other than opening her mouth. And now her eye was protruding from her head.
The veterinarian was just as shocked and confused as Lola’s dad. That is not a normal effect of either anesthesia or imaging. The veterinarian has never seen anything like this happen before.
At the specialty hospital
The bulging eye is what brought Lola to a specialty hospital for a CT scan. Hopefully, that could offer some answers. And, indeed, it did.
The CT scan revealed a pocket of fluid behind Lola’s bulging eye–and abscess. This most likely happened after a thorn burrowed into her tissues.
The abscess extended down the side of the face to the jaw, which explains why she had pain opening her mouthDr. Kara Gornik, Tufts Foster Hospital for Small Animals
As a result, Lola was also blind in the affected eye.
Having a diagnosis, the veterinarians drained Lola’s abscess and put her on a long course of antibiotics.
It took six weeks but then Lola found full relief. Her eye returned to where it belonged and she could open her mouth without pain.
Lola did not learn that chewing on rose bushes was a bad idea but her parents did.
Case Solved: Retrobulbar Abscess