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Diabetic Dog Goes Blind and Owner Looks For a Cure

Codey before surgery; notice the cloudiness of his eyes.
Lancaster County Mom Comes to CARES in Langhorne to Help Her Yellow Lab

“He had the prettiest honey eyes,” recalls pet owner Donna Owens. “But then his eyes changed. I thought it was from old age,” she adds. Donna’s sweet yellow lab Codey, was diagnosed with diabetes last year. This year, Donna started to notice some cloudiness in Codey’s eyes. But, it was when he started to bump into things that Donna realized something was very wrong. She took Codey to her family veterinarian and he was diagnosed with bilateral diabetic cataracts. “I had no idea he would eventually go blind, but that’s what happened,” adds Donna. “He only had a small percent of vision in one eye and was totally blind in the other eye.”

Donna’s mom looked online to research cataract surgery and found Dr. Martha Low, board certified veterinary ophthalmologist at CARES in Langhorne. For Donna, from Lancaster County, that meant an hour and a half drive one way. “I got an appointment right away,” recalls Donna. “I knew time was of the essence. Codey was so depressed. He would sit in the corner and shake. It just broke my heart. I can’t imagine waking up one day and being totally blind,” she adds.

Codey with Dr. Low

Upon examination at CARES, Dr. Low determined that Codey was a candidate for cataract surgery. “I was so excited,” says Donna. “Dr. Low is just so awesome. She is knowledgeable, compassionate and friendly. I just love her. Every time I see her, I give her a hug. Everyone there is so friendly.”

Donna stayed locally to be with Cody and was able to visit him throughout the process. “I came down twice during the night to see him and sit there with him,” she says. “They would bring him into an exam room and set a blanket down so we could sit together.”

The surgery to remove the cataracts was a success. “He could see the next day after surgery,” says Donna excitedly. Today, Codey is doing fabulous. He enjoys playing with other dogs, going on long walks, ripping up his stuffed animals and catching pieces of cheese!

Codey after surgery

Donna’s advice to pet owners is to see a board certified veterinary ophthalmologist right away if your dog is diagnosed with diabetes. “I had never seen an ophthalmologist till I met Dr. Low,” she says. “I tell people right away to see one, as soon as they can. I just think Dr. Low is wonderful. And, to give Cody his sight back was awesome!”

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Codey loves going for rides in the jeep!