Gwen has Cataract Surgery

Gwen - Diabetic Border Collie after Cataract Surgey
Gwen – with brand new bionic eyes and Barbarella costume!

It has been an emotional week, at the end of an eventful few months. Poor Gwen has had a really rough ride since being diagnosed with diabetes, nearly dying in August and then adjusting to being almost completely blind. As mentioned in my previous post we had set ourselves the goal of restoring her sight, but very soon our focus had to switch to just keeping her alive, in the first instance, and then getting the diabetes back under control and returning her to a state of good health.

Eye Veterinary Clinic Leominster
Eye Veterinary Clinic, Leominster – a place where they work wonders for animals with eye problems

Well, we finally got there at the end of November, so with great excitement, me and Gwen set off to explore the possibility of cataract removal surgery at the Eye Veterinary Clinic near Leominster. Now, less than a month later, the cataracts have gone, Gwen has intra-ocular lenses, and we are all hopping about with joy and excitement on the one hand, and trying to keep her calm and rested while she recovers on the other.

The post-op care is sobering – she has to wear one of those awful collars of course, and we have to administer eye drops and other medications throughout the day, on top of her usual insulin, but it is so worth it! Taking her out for short walks is really exciting – she doesn’t know what to look at next, and the spring in her step has returned. No more bumping into fences … Her vision is not back to 100% yet – that will continue to improve for up to 3 months apparently, but even now, three days later, it is enough just having her watch us again, and to be able to negotiate the place easily and without warnings and assistance from us.

Market Hall Vets in St Clears
Market Hall Vets – our brilliant local practice. It felt like we were living there in the summer!

We’re not completely out of the woods, regarding possible complications,  until the 6 months is up, but they become less likely as time goes on, and as we got through the really volatile first 24 hours with flying colours, I’m optimistic …

We have nothing but praise and gratitude to the staff at the Eye Veterinary Clinic and our local vets practice Market Hall Vets in St Clears, who we feel have done wonders for Gwen and supported us brilliantly as well. We have spent a small fortune, of course, but no regrets there – this has been money well spent. Speaking of which …

Hats off to Mick and Drew

The cataract surgery couldn’t have happened without the help of Mick, my dad, who very generously passed on a sizeable chunk of money that he inherited off his good friend Drew. Any small savings we had started for the barn roof had been quickly depleted by the intense veterinary dramas of the summer, and so Gwen would have had to have just accepted her lot – which she would have done. She had adjusted to being blind, but seeing her try to sort out scrapping alpacas when she couldn’t tell the front end from the back was both frightening and sad.

We’ve all been given a second chance here, so the biggest possible ‘thank you’ goes out to Mick and Drew.

I regret that I never got to meet Drew, but we’ve heard the tales of his great compassion and consideration for all animals – we like to think he would view this as a good use of his legacy, even if it is wasn’t directly used by Mick himself!


  1. Ruth Cocksedgesays:

    Hi Rick
    It’s Ruth Cocksedge here, of Wisbech Grammar days. I hope you are well, sorry to hear about your dog though.
    A funny thing happened today – I went on a walk with a Meetup walking group from North Norfolk (I’m living in Cambridge nowadays). It was a linear walk, and I took a group from Wicken Fen back to my house in Stow-cum-Quy to walk back over the fen and along the river Cam. Anyway, in the back of my car was a woman called Helen Gill who was a contemporary of ours! It was an amazing moment, so much so that I went the wrong way and took a detour to my own house.
    She has a story to tell, very interesting, and told me you two have been in touch and she has visited you. It got me thinking about old times. She is in touch with Rosie Cave, and Sharon Addison and a bunch of other people I can only just remember. A woman called Jane Clark who I think I sang in the Mikado with.
    It made us both think of you anyway, so sending love and best wishes.
    Send some news and I will send more of mine if you like.
    Love and best wishes – for 2016 and beyond.
    Ruth xx

  2. Moira Taylorsays:

    Hey Rick, I just received your letter/card/photo and they brought back many memories. I will write soon via snail mail but just wanted to let you know I am still alive if not exactly kicking. Like your website. Love Moira.

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