Bailey is a young, inquisitive German Shepherd dog that got a little too close investigating some horses and ended up in a touchy situation! Bailey came in on emergency after being kicked in the face by a horse. She came in with a cut over her eye, bloody nose, and swelling at her eye. Amazingly there was no obvious fractures on her face, eye orbit, nose, teeth, or jaw. Her eye quickly became the most significant and concerning injury.
The eye already looked hazy and red. Some main concerns with blunt force trauma to the eye can be rupture of the globe, inflammation inside the eye (uveitis), detached retina (with blindness), and secondary glaucoma. Thankfully, she did not have a rupture of the eye, but she clearly had uveitis already starting. Uveitis can be a painful process that can lead to some secondary complications that may end up in permanent blindness and chronic pain. In some cases, the eye may have to be removed for the comfort of the pet.
Due to inflammation of the eye, her retina was unable to be visualized and assessment of her vision was not possible at that point. Treatment was started immediately in hopes to decrease inflammation, increase comfort, and give time to see if she would be visual from that eye as the inflammation decreased. Oral pain medications and several topical eye drops were started. Within a few days, Bailey was doing much better and she was able to see from that eye again! By the 2-week recheck, she appeared normal and her eye pressures maintained normal. It appeared that she was one lucky girl and had no permanent damage from the interaction with the horse. With such a positive outcome, we are happy to have Bailey as the canine Pet of the Month for AHS!
Felix is a sweet little stray kitty that came up to his (now) owner’s house. This kitty was determined to be younger to middle age. Felix was itchy and had some external parasites and ear mites. We treated these with topical therapies successfully. Felix continued to itch. He was started on corticosteroids and his itch resolved. Felix had to stay on low doses of daily corticosteroid to control his itch. Most of his itchiness was focused near his head and shoulders.
Felix likely had allergies. We had controlled the parasites which can lead to allergic skin disease so likely Felix had seasonal allergy or atopy or food allergy. Most food allergy itches do not respond to corticosteroid medication very well so atopic dermatitis was the likely diagnosis for Felix. Atopic dermatitis is a genetic defect in the skin barrier and immune system barrier in the skin. Allergies cannot be cured but managed. Felix did very well until this fall when he started to itch severely on the corticosteroids. Higher doses of medication and topical cortisone sprays had to be used to keep him comfortable. Felix’s owner had also started him on a hypoallergenic diet in case some food allergy had started concurrently but Felix continued to itch. High doses of corticosteroids were helping but have many short and long-term side effects. Cats are more prone to diabetes on longer-term higher doses of corticosteroids. For this reason, it was decided to attempt to transition Felix to cyclosporine. Cyclosporine is an immunosuppressant medication which modifies the immune system in the skin barrier. The medication can lead to significant gastrointestinal signs in cats and some cats do not tolerate it well. Felix did well. The medication can take a month to be effective.
Felix did very well after the 30 days and is on a maintenance dose of cyclosporine now. He is a very happy and comfortable cat with controlled allergies. Cyclosporine is a great option for some cats for atopy. Felix is a great example, and that is why he is AHS’s feline Pet of the Month.