Lucy Goose's Eye Infection

Animals are a big responsibility. They are living creatures who have feelings and are capable of suffering. I do my best to stay in tune to their needs, so when I was out in the duck pen during the afternoon of September 29, 2009 and noticed that Lucy's left eye looked lavender--even the white part of her eye, I had to inspect closer. I held her beak in my hand and tipped her head to the side. Her third eye (an eyelid that covers her eye so she can still see under water and not close her eyes) kept closing repeatedly over a glazed eye. It reminded me of the time I suffered a corneal abrasion--the cloudy film and the obvious discomfort in the light.

Oh, no! was all I could think. What am I going to do now?

I called an exotics veterinarian out in Spokane Valley who could see her the next day. All we could do then was wait overnight. I enlisted the help of my sister, Emma, (a true life saver) and the next day we drove out to the veterinarian who examined Lucy's eye with a bright light after applying some sort of eye numbing drops.

But, they just couldn't figure out what it was. They said it looked as if there was a foreign body embedded in her eye, in the corner, near the inside edge of the cornea. But they just couldn't see it well enough. Lucy needed to see the animal ophthalmologist.

Luckily they got us into their busy clinic the very next day. Poor Lucy Goose! Though she doesn't mind riding in the back of my Mazda Tribute (on a tarp), her eye obviously hurt. I wanted to alleviate her suffering as soon as possible.

After some time in the waiting room, where Emma and I heard stories from the owner of a Boston terrier, we were called into the back. I went out to get Lucy, while Emma held the doors for me. We put Lucy on the examination table and she squirted a slingshot poop out her hind end, just missing Emma, save for a small speck. At least it wasn't the green kind! That was the day before--at the other veterinary office.

The ophthalmologist examined Lucy's eye just as had been done the day before. The conclusion was that some foreign body was lodged in her eye. She evidently poked her eye on something sharp, presumably wire (because I found a piece of wire sticking out of the fence when I got home), and then her own body created a deposit of firm material that was sticking out of the wound. This material was clogging the wound, causing the infection to develop inside. If not removed, Lucy could lose her eye. She would be blind in her left eye forever.

The ophthalmologist suggested sedating her, scraping the part of the eye with the puncture wound out, so that the eye could heal anew. I moved Lucy to the operating room table, where she squirted a poop on the young veterinary intern's shirt before they could fit her with the mask and administer gas to put her to sleep. At one point the veterinary assistant said she was trying not to let me pass out, too. In my obliviousness I did not realize I was breathing it. I just said, "Oh, yes, I can smell it, too!"


Lucy's body slowly relaxed in my arms as she fell asleep. At this point, Emma and I agreed to go to the cafe next door and await the final results.

We sat down for coffee and Hawaiian sandwiches (mine was delicious with just fresh veggies, cream cheese, and pineapple) and waited for the ophthalmologist to return with post-op news. And he soon did.

He said something like this:
Lucy is just fine. We went in there and scraped the material out, so her eye will be a little sore, but she can take the metacam oral gel for another two days, but no longer than that as she would have to come in for a blood test to check her kidneys and liver. I'm giving you Ofloxacin Ophthalmic Solution USP 0.3% to put in her eye three times per day for ten days. She's awake now and ready to go home. Oh, and she laid an egg!
She laid an egg? Lucy Goose is only in her first year. She was born in the spring, so hasn't even seen her first spring as an adult yet. She's not, according to everyone who knows about geese, supposed to lay an egg until spring of 2010. But, apparently, as she awoke they heard a Ping! on the operating table and there was Lucy's first egg.

They wrapped the egg in a warm blanket and put it in a box, offering a bag of warm solution for the ride home. But, I informed them that it wasn't fertilized, so no need to keep it warm.

Lucy began feeling better, as indicated by her behaviors, right away. She wanted out of the duck yard so she could eat grass and she ravished my hair with her chewing frenzies. I measured the size of her egg against a turkey egg from last year and, despite everyone thinking the turkey egg might be bigger, Lucy's egg was much larger.

It is now a couple of weeks after the eye injury incident and Lucy is as good as new. She has not lost her eye and the injury was not over the pupil area, so it has not damaged her eyesight. Also, Lucy has not laid another egg which leaves me to wonder if it was only the trauma of the eye pain which caused her to produce an egg. Soon after returning home she did build a nest in the chest house out in the duck yard, but The Doodles quickly messed it up and she's not made another.

Total cost of eye injury: $388.05 after $200.00 discount. Lucy Goose thanks her Auntie Em for the I.O.U.