AHT Case Studies- Buster O'Grady
Paul O’Grady’s celebrated dog, Buster, is one of the most famous pets in the country, with regular appearances on his owner’s TV Show. However, his most recent appointment was at the Animal Health Trust’s Unit of Comparative Ophthalmology
Buster arrived at the Clinic as an emergency case on Saturday 30th September, having been referred by his own veterinary surgeon. He was seen by Miss Jane Sansom, Head of the Unit of Comparative Ophthalmology. Following a full examination of Buster’s left eye she diagnosed what is known as a ‘melting ulcer’ - a serious condition requiring urgent attention.
Intensive medical treatment was started immediately. In order to save his eye, Buster needed to have antibiotic drops every two hours over a period of days to bring the infection under control and stop the melting of the corneal tissues. This type of treatment can only be given where there is a dedicated nursing and clinical team providing 24 hour cover for seven days a week. Buster’s condition was monitored constantly for 3 days, at which stage Miss Sansom decided that surgery was required. The infection had responded well to treatment but had eaten away a large and deep area of the cornea (front window of the eye). Thankfully, the specialist surgical team at the Trust were able to anaesthetise Buster and graft a patch of conjunctiva over his eye to prevent it from rupturing.
He needed very careful nursing following the operation, to ensure that that the graft had every chance of survival. Nursing during this period is critical and the patient must be kept comfortable with pain killers. Ophthalmology Nurse, Sarah Gray, said “He may be a celebrity but he was the perfect patient. He was always so pleased to see everyone and seemed to quite enjoy his stay with us. He is such a character and we were all delighted that we were able to treat him so successfully”.
He stayed at the Trust for a further two weeks until he was well enough to return home on 12th October. Paul O’Grady came to the Trust himself to collect Buster and was obviously thrilled to be re-united with him. “It’s been so difficult not having him around” he said “but it was a great comfort knowing that he was in such good hands. The work that the Trust does is fantastic and I am so grateful to them for saving Buster’s sight”.
Buster will need regular check-ups to ensure that the eye continues to heal. The graft will then be adjusted so that it reduces in size to give Buster the best possible chance of normal vision.
A week later Dr Jane Sansom visited Buster at home for a check up, she said "he is doing well, the eye is visual and comfortable, the graft has taken." Paul is delighted that Buster is now back to his usual self.