Our Story Part 1

Peanut’s retina detaches and we find a specialist to reattach it and restore vision

In April of 2014, our dog Peanut’s retina detached. Peanut was originally rescued from the pound as a senior one-eyed dog. So when the retina detached in his only remaining eye, he went blind immediately. We were first referred by our vet to Dr. Denise Lindley of Animal Eye Consultants in Crestwood, IL. Dr. Lindley referred us to a surgeon named Steve Sisler employed by the Eye Care for Animals practice in Wheeling, IL. Eye Care for Animals is a national chain headquartered in AZ. In 2014, Sisler was one of 6 veterinarians in North America performing this surgery. We had a very brief conversation with Sisler over the phone. He told us several things:

  1. We needed to make the decision about doing the surgery and have it done asap because the longer we waited the less likely Peanut’s vision would return.
  1. We were told by Sisler that “he loves Shih Tzus” and that “Shih Tzus make great candidates for this surgery.”
  1. Sisler quoted a 90% success rate. We should have never believed him. Dr. Lindley herself had said that her experience told her the success rate was more like 60%. And over years of meeting and connecting with other clients of Eye Care for Animals, we have NEVER heard of a successful retina reattachment surgery performed by Steve Sisler. In fact, we’ve had the opposite experience.
  1. He told us about three possible problems with the surgery:
    1. cataracts
    2. vision may not return despite a successful reattachment of the retina
    3. a small bubble of silicone oil that could be removed in a follow up procedure

On April 10 of 2014, Sisler performed retina reattachment surgery on Peanut’s eye. Within 48 hours after the surgery, the inside corner of Peanut’s eye begins to bulge forward.  This was the beginning of a nightmare that would continue for more than a year — a year of three eye ulcers, a second emergency surgery, periods of blindness, glaucoma, and eventually permanent blindness.

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