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mick miller

Any advice on protecting working dog's eyes from thorns?

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So, my little hard working cocker suffered a mishap on the beating line today. After plunging head first into a thick mesh of bramble and blackthorn she emerged, having successfully flushed the bird she was after, with quite a severe injury to the eye. A blackthorn or hawthorn had penetrated the pupil between the pupil and cornea, gone through the lens and damaged the retina.

 

Despite the advice of the old farts on the beating truck that told me it was 'just a scratch' and tales of how 'Jonny's dogs were so tough he used to sew them up in the field covered in muck and blood' I chose to nip down the vets toot sweet. Good job I did as they said if I'd have left it more than 12 hours they would have had no chance at saving any sight whatsoever.

 

As it is it's going to cost me the best part of two grand to hopefully keep some sight, she's off for a revisit at one of the best ophthalmic centres in the UK on Thursday morning, where, fingers crossed they can perform a cataract operation to prevent any further infection and protect what's left of her sight in that eye. Worst case the retina will completely detach by then which means I'll have a dog that looks like Nelson as the eye will have to go.

 

Therefore I wonder, is there anything that can be done to protect from this or is it simply a case of bad luck and living with the risks?

 

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You can get mesh goggles for dogs. Sold in the USA and Mainland Europe mainly for tracking dogs, far better is keep them away from the real nasty stuff, its not worth the vet bills. Brambles and such are ok but a shoot that keeps a lot of blackthorn as cover needs to respect the beater and his dogs more. My dog tore his ear badly this year and two years ago I had an operation (yes full on one) to remove seabuckthorn that managed to completely penetrate through my knuckle joint!

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Occupational hazard, you've been unlucky. I

That's my thoughts and very unlucky at that, I've not seen it happen in a lot of years beating. Plenty of scratches from brambles etc but no actual eye injuries

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My niece's springer had a thorn go into his eye, several operations later, and he's now got a plastic lens fitted to his eye and as far as I'm aware he can see out of it. Not sure of all the details but I can find out if it's any help Mick.

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I often pick thorns out of her, mostly bramble but there's plenty of hawthorn and blackthorn about too on the estate. Maybe it's a case of just sticking with the dogging in and take her rabbit shooting with me in future and give the beating the finger, well at least as far as working her with me goes.

 

She's only just two and a half, hopefully this won't ruin her working life with me?


My niece's springer had a thorn go into his eye, several operations later, and he's now got a plastic lens fitted to his eye and as far as I'm aware he can see out of it. Not sure of all the details but I can find out if it's any help Mick.

 

That's what they hope, best case, is possible. Tricky part is the retina, now partially detached, if it doesn't get any worse they will go ahead with the operation, replacing the pupil with the plastic lens, but there's also damage around the pupil so that may not be possible in this case.

 

I'm keeping my fingers crossed as I love that stupid dog to bits.

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Sorry to hear about your spaniels mishap, something similar happened to my springer a few years ago. He got a thorn in each eye, luckily my vet is a leading eye specialist and I have him on speed dial. Within an hour my dog was undergoing treatment and after several visits he was fine. Good luck with your cocker, I'm sure everything will work out fine.

Edited by toontastic

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Rayban wayfarers (like Ray Charles) and an elastic band.

 

Mind you, you would do well to grab a bag of the sunglasses and the elastic bands.

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I would think that the estate that you were working for would help on this one. The estate that I use to work my dogs on always paid the vet bill if a dog got injured I do wish you and your dog well.woodfordpigeon

Edited by woodfordpigeon

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I would think that the estate that you were working for would help on this one. The estate that I use to work my dogs on always paid the vet bill if a dog got injured I do wish you and your dog well.woodfordpigeon

Unlikely.

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sorry to hear the news about the dog mate,,

 

keep ya chin up mate because the farm where I used to go fishing had a working collie with one eye, and as the farmer said ,,she was and is the best working dog he has ever owned,

 

its like where I beat, they would not give you a penny, that's why my English springer wont be used for beating, I,m only gonna use him for the picking up and for my own shooting, hes coming on well,

 

hope everything goes ok with your dog dave,

 

all the best to you both mate

 

Bob

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Well, she is out from the op. The eye could be saved but the pupil and lens was too damaged to have a replacement lens fitted. She'll have the use of that eye, it'll be long sighted permanently now though, I may have to buy her a monocle.

Edited by mick miller

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sorry to hear the news about the dog mate,,

 

keep ya chin up mate because the farm where I used to go fishing had a working collie with one eye, and as the farmer said ,,she was and is the best working dog he has ever owned,

 

its like where I beat, they would not give you a penny, that's why my English springer wont be used for beating, I,m only gonna use him for the picking up and for my own shooting, hes coming on well,

 

hope everything goes ok with your dog dave,

 

all the best to you both mate

 

Bob

No more beating for her Evo, can't risk it. She can do hide work, and retrieving my rabbits plus I'll keep at the dogging in pre-season as the cover is mostly tall grass, nettles and reed.

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Lovely looking cocker.

 

Mine had a similar episode last year but not as deep. The eye glazed over, but the vet prescribed antibiotic drops which healed it over within a fortnight. For these hard hunting cockers it's always a risk. At first I was too keen with mine, now I always stop them jumping barbed wire or stock fences or entering really sharp cover.

 

Hope it turns out ok.

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Sorry to hear that, my lurched got a thorn in her eye a year and a bit ago. Luckily she got away with it and the eye specialist saved her site, she now only has a small Mark on her lens that doesn't seem to bother her to much.

Best of luck with the recovery.

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It was a pretty major trauma, the thorn went straight in through the pupil and lens, she doesn't do anything by halves that dog! Thanks for the support everyone. She's out now and recovering well, I pick her up Monday, can't wait.

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Yes it is very tough, our last spaniel lost an eye through this, mind you it did not slow her down she was still going flat out at sixteen, Then we discovered a tumor and had have her put down

 

Mick

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Are you my long lost twin?

Must be, my title is based on the famous greyhound it is said my grandfather won and lost a fortune on him, but still managed to leave my father a few houses.

Mick

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