Caring For And Coping With
Sick Or Injured Pets
Our beautiful kelpie-cross Jett was two years old when a stone from the ride-on lawnmower I was driving flicked up and hit him in the eye. I felt instant and extreme fear and guilt as my son Charlie and I raced him to the local animal emergency hospital.
Jett’s right cornea was severely ulcerated with only 10 per cent left and there was a high possibility he could lose his eye altogether.
I was absolutely devastated and guilt-ridden, cursing myself that I should have known better after all of my training working with animals. ‘Why did I not put him inside while I was mowing?’ I kept asking myself accusingly.
Part of Jett’s treatment was to keep him quiet for seven weeks, totally house-bound only going out on a lead for toileting and returning inside immediately afterwards. This was no mean feat for a very active young kelpie-cross. Jett was by nature an absolute livewire and a great running companion for my husband Nicholas.
There was also extensive daily oral and topical medication and weekly visits to our local vet. I had total trust in our very caring vets and followed their advice to the tee.
Fortunately, Jett’s eye recovered well and I am forever grateful for that.
To give Jett the best chance of recovery, I found it very important to take our trusted vets’ advice and adhere to their treatment plan. Then I could know I gave Jett and his eye the best shot of recovery. I also knew I had to let go of the self-punishing thoughts because holding on to them was in no way beneficial to Jett or his recovery or our family.
To do this, I practised coming into presence by becoming aware of my breath and focusing on the task in front of me at that moment. This was especially important as the tiredness from 2am toilet trips kicked in. It brought back memories of the fatigue I felt from nightly feeds when my sons were babies.
Jett did really well accepting his quiet, comfortable place in the corner of our family room where he got to spend a lot of time with us. It actually turned out to be incredibly bonding for all of us, with a renewed closeness between our dear Jett and each of the four of us.
I learnt to change his main feeding time from night to morning so Jett was able to toilet during the day rather than at 2 in the morning. Even Jett found it a bit chilly to be going out then.
Jett wore a bell-shaped collar to prevent him from itching his eye along the ground or pawing at it, or knocking or poking his eye on an object.
As the weeks went on, Jett was able to sit outside in the fresh air and sunshine for short periods and I ensured there were no bushes or objects his eye could connect with.
It was a great relief for me to watch Jett recover and return to his old livewire self roaming and running free through the beautiful bush around us.
I wish you and your pet all the best with recovery from illness or injury.