This is Dan getting some Pepper love on Valentine's night. :)
You can see here that her eyes are barely open.
She's a bit of a lazy dog,
so when she had difficulty keeping her eyes open
that night when we got home from our date,
we didn't think it was that unusual.
We commented to our friends who kept the kids for us
that they must have played really hard to make her so sleepy.
The next day, she still seemed to have a hard time keeping her eyes open,
and I found her like this as I was getting ready,
but if you know Pepper at all,
you know that her being lazy isn't so strange. She's a cuddle bug.
And she still had a normal amount of activity, too, so she was ok.
But by mid week, she was pretty pitiful.
She could barely hold her eyes open,
and when I peeled them open, they were red and puffy.
It seemed a lot like allergies to me.
She only wanted to cuddle up to her mama,
and just acted super sad.
So Dan took her to the vet Thursday afternoon.
They did a tear duct production test. Fine.
They used dye to check for corneal tears/abrasions. All clear.
They used numbing drops, then dilated her eyes,
and took her to the back to do a pressure test for glaucoma.
That test was fine, too.
The vet really had no idea what was wrong,
and prescribed us some non-steroidal ointment for her eyes,
and was getting ready to send us home
when she noticed Pepper's right eye was not constricting back from the dilation.
She sent us home with the eye drops, and an anti-inflammatory,
and told us to check back in with her tomorrow.
When Pepper woke up the next day, she was completely blind.
The inflammation was much better, she could open her eyes,
but both her pupils were blown, and she could not see.
She bumped in to everything,
wandered around the house very confused and disoriented,
and ultimately just laid down because she couldn't make sense of it.
We immediately took her back to the vet,
we determined that her vision is gone,
and we have absolutely no idea why.
She ran a bunch of other tests,
and determined she is completely healthy other than her eyes.
They've sent off a blood titer for tick-borne illnesses,
and she did have a tick on her a few weeks ago.
That should come back on Monday.
However, her vision is gone,
and there's little hope for recovery of it.
No one has any clue why she lost it.
She has some symptoms of SARDS, but not all.
She has some symptoms of Uveodermatologic Syndrome,
but that is characterized by consistent constriction of the pupils, rather than dilation.
It's so sad. She doesn't bark when someone comes to the door;
she sits at her favorite window, but acknowledges nothing outside it;
we have to walk her out to use the bathroom because she can't yet find her way back to the door;
she doesn't race around the circle in our house anymore;
she doesn't go to wake the children in the morning.
It's so, so sad. We've all cried quite a lot over it.
I overhead Lana whispering to her two nights ago:
Don't worry, Pepper. It's going to be okay.
You're a Davis, and Davises take care of each other, no matter what.
Those big brown eyes have always been the very definition of puppy dog eyes.
Breaks my heart to see those huge pupils, and blank stare.
Fortunately, other than being sleepy from all the meds we are giving her,
and quite disoriented,
she is in good spirits.
If we spoiled her before....well, that's nothing.
We are going to care for her and love her and make her absolutely rottenly happy.