Little Winston has recently become ill. He had a strange lump in his neck area, most likely a swollen lymph node. It didn't go away after a day and his eyes were really red. I have recently moved to the Seattle area and lost my job. I took Winston to an emergency vet in the area and we talked. She told me that except for his swollen lymph node and stinky breath, he seemed really healthy.

She suggested, based on my incredibly low funds, that we give him antibiotics and not to worry about his eyes. I asked if he was having eye problems or if I should be concerned about him going blind and she told me that the antibiotics should clear up his red eyes, because it was probably due to the presumed bacterial infection causing his lymph node to swell.

Well, I took Winston home and he's been taking 1 and a half tablets of Claramox 125mg since Tuesday night. His lymph node is almost completely back to normal. But he isn't really improving, behavior-wise. He is still sleeping/laying down all the time. He perks up his head when I talk to him but he isn't interested in doing much. His appetite does not seem to be affected, but he has always been a notorious food scarfer and he is eating much more "normally" now, which to me, seems sad. He still gets up and walks over for cookies (dog treats) but he eats them gingerly and is not jumping/excited like he was before this all started.

The thing is.... I think he IS going blind. His one eye, which was squinty and why I took him to the vet and pointed out to her, is now bluish. And I don't think he can see out of it, or at least not very well. His other eye is now acting like the first one and I don't know what to do for him. I tried calling around but none of the vets are offering payment plans. Quite a few pointed me to CareCredit and I knew it was a really long shot but I applied and was instantly denied. It felt a lot like nailing a coffin shut on my dog.

I know that going blind is not the end of the world but I feel really terrible. Winston is only two years old and he was so healthy just less than a week ago. I don't even know what happened and I can't do anything to help him. He seems to pitiful and I feel so incapable of doing anything. I don't have any credit cards and nobody will give me one now. I also don't have a job and have been on unemployment so I can't even beg my for an advance. I just am completely at a loss of what to do. I am really worried something ELSE is still wrong with Winston and him going blind isn't going to resolve it and then he will be even sicker and blind and I need help.

I looked at some financial aid things for veterinary care online but the only ones I found either discredit eye related issues or require a vet-signed note stating that Winston's alternative is euthanasia, which thank god it is not. I mean, the vet and I talked about it being cancer but she reassured me that it was so completely unlikely, I was relived. But I also asked her if it was possible he would go blind and she assured me that it was really unlikely and that his eyes being red and squinty was more like a sick child with itchy eyes due to an upper respiratory infection, like the cold.

I just don't have ideas as to what to do for Winston. I am terrified for him and I can't help him and I feel like the worst parent in the entire world. I tried calling the vet back this morning to see if she would be able to work something out for me or something but they were having an emergency and told me they would call me back. I didn't even get a chance to say what I needed before they said they would need to call me back.

I don't even know what to do. I don't want my baby to go blind or to die or something horrific because I lost my job.

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone's suggestions, I called around and spoke to the Seattle Humane people. They put me into contact with a vet who offered to examine Winston at no charge. We rushed over there and she saw him. Sweetest vet I have ever met and very reassuring. She was also worried about his eyes but does not think Winston is suffering any vision loss. I am so relieved. So very very relieved. She recommended that we keep Winston on the antibiotic that the ER-vet gave us and prescribed an eye ointment and an antihistamine. She said that the antihistamine is a different chemical makeup than benydryl. The vet only charged me for the medicines and said that she would like to follow-up in four days and that all the return visits my baby needs would be at no charge for the next 30 days. Once I got home, I put the ointment in his eyes and gave him the antihistamine. Hopefully he will stop trying to claw his face off... Right now I've been cradling him a lot and snuggling him. I am mainly just so thankful that things seem to be much more positive right now.

Thank you all for the love and kind words. I really don't know what I would do without my little fuzzy-butt and I can't imagine how difficult it would be to navigate pet-parenthood without a warm and compassionate group like

I'll keep everyone updated.

UPDATE TWO: Winston is doing so much better! He had been extremely lethargic the last week and today was the first day he nudged his favorite red chew toy and gave a little tiny jolt of playfulness. It made my heart swell with happiness. He is still sleeping a lot and I think that may have to do with all the drugs he is taking. But him curling up with his favorite toy was very inspiring to me.

As for his eyes, they are still bloodshot, but it a more "normal" manner. Before, the whites of his eyes were practically solid red and now they are obviously white with the red veiny imagery of a Clear-Eyes commercial. I know that they shouldn't be bloodshot either, but this is so much better than before. Also on the eye front, the blue is almost gone now. That weird filminess is gone so they have a blue shine to them in the light, but they don't look cloudy or hazy anymore. Plus I am beginning to see his beautiful, beautiful brown again. I was so worried I would never see his beautiful brown eyes again, everyone, I was crying this afternoon when he woke up from a nap to climb into my lap and looked up at me. And his eyes looked brown. I was so happy for him.

I can tell he is feeling better. He's starting to be more himself again - following me around the house, albeit slowly but this is welcomed to him just laying around looking terribly sad. The hardest part I think is keeping him from rubbing his face with his paws. (Or trying to use the furniture or my leg to rub his face against.) The ointment for his eyes is thankfully easy to put in and he doesn't seem to mind it one bit.

Winston seems to be healing and I just want to say thank you all again for keeping him in your thoughts. I love my little guy and I'm just beyond words to express how grateful I am for his recovery so far.

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So glad to hear Winston is so much better! Yay! You should be very proud of yourself: it's not easy losing your job, (as I've been there, done that (lay-off 2010)). You're a wonderful Mom to Winston, and I wish you both the very best! :)


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