Mar 10, 2010
Now, first of all you need to know that I am an animal lover and we have 4 cats, a dog, a lizard and a pet rat at our house. Unfortunately, however, I was called in again, recently, for a little girl who was scratched in the eye by her pet cat named "The Captain" (I supppose like in Captain and Tenille.) She is such a fortunate kid because the scratch from the cat claw just created a small scar in the more superficial layers of the cornea. It appears that it will have no long term effect. I saw a lady last year where the cat claw actually caught hold of the conjunctiva and I actually had to suture the conjunctiva in the operating room. Another complete recovery, thankfully. I was quite concerned about the possibility of infection in both cases, but the antibiotic drops prevented that.
All this brings to mind other animal related eye injuries that I have seen over the years. The worst have been dog bits and for some reason, dogs seem to have a preference of going for the face. The funny thing is that it's not always the big Rotweillers, Pit Bulls and Dobermans you would suspect, but sometimes Shih Tzus and Jack Russells or other energetic little dogs. Our middle child Ashleigh, was actually bitten in the face (very minor injury) by a nearly blind Jack Russell while playing at the beach. Thank God I have never seen any snake bites, lizard bites, bat bats or otter bites (even though a man was just attacked by a rabid otter in Venice, Florida last week.)
Did you know that people who have pet tarantulas can develop severe eye irritation from the little spider hairs getting into the eye. It's a well known situation described in multiple medical journals, so tarantula lovers, keep those furry friends far away from your eyes. Definitely not a problem for me. And if you are tempted to play with a Walking Stick bug, beware, since these mild looking, but potentially angry little guys, can shoot an extremely irritating substance into your eyes.
I guess, the take home message is to just be careful and use common sense around pets, animals and insects. It's one thing to get scratched on the arm but quite another situation if it happens to one of your eyes.