Leo the Boston Terrier One Year Post Enucleation



Yesterday, May 3rd, was the one year anniversary of Leo’s enucleation surgery.  Remembering back a year ago to how scared and stressed out we were and comparing it to where we are now…wow, the change is amazing!  Leo is a resilient, strong, brave and doing wonderful.  On occasion he runs into things, misjudges steps, and loses treats & toys on his right side, but other than those little things he is thriving.  Leo is the spunkiest 11 year old dog we know. 

In December we did have a health scare with Leo.  Out of nowhere the right side of Leo’s face swelled up.  We immediately took him to the vet and were prescribed antibiotics and pain medications.  When the vet was checking Leo out they couldn’t tell if it was an abscessed tooth or an infection associated to his enucleation.  Being that the antibiotics cleared up the issue right away and Leo has had no further facial swelling we learned that it was not caused by a tooth.  When a dog gets enucleation surgery bacteria can live in the eye area dormant for an extended amount of time and then all of a sudden decide to cause an infection, and that is what happened with Leo.

Leo also started gaining weight back in September and we just attributed to a change in dog food…we really didn’t notice the weight gain until around November.  Once we noticed the weight gain we got the kids back on the good dog food.  Unfortunately, Leo continued to gain weight.  We also noticed that he had a lot of dryness in his ears, areas of his fur were thinning and his energy just wasn’t as high as usual.  Leo’s wonderful vet (who loves him!) had us to blood testing and we found that his thyroid isn’t working correctly, which all of the symptoms we had noticed are warning signs.  Leo is now on medication for his thyroid twice a day.  Since starting the medication we’ve noticed that he has more energy and does his wiggle butt dance more often.  In time Leo should lose the weight that he gained and his fur will start filling in more.

Overall, Leo has had a great year.  He is amazing, happy, funny, loving, and all those other great things Boston Terriers are.  We look forward to sharing many more years of Leo stories with all of you and thank you all for following Leo’s story.  We are so happy to hear that Leo’s story helped so many families going through the same thing.  Leo says “snots, snorts and kisses to all.”



Leo still believes he is a beaver.


A smile makes the day brighter.


Leo doing some major bossing!


Golden Birthday ice cream treat.


Leo is an expert at staring contests.


Leo doing more bossing, but this was on his birthday so he had the right to 🙂


15 responses »

  1. Hi There! I was on the web and just found your blog about Leo. Thanks so much for sharing your story. My dog is on day 3 of her surgery and it was comforting to me to find your blog. Rumor (9 year old greyhound) was diagnosed with an eye tumor and we immediately opted for surgery. Of course she is all swollen and seems lethargic but it sounds like that is normal. I just am looking forward to her 2 week check up. Thanks again for your blog.

    • Awe, thank you. In no time Rumor will be back to her normal energetic self. They bounce back so quickly. The two week check up is amazing as the visible stitches get removed and the vet will feel the area and see if Rumor shows any signs of pain. It is a great check up.

  2. I see you haven’t posted in a while but I wanted to thank you for the in-depth write ups about Leo’s surgery. My 10 year old Boston, Todd, comes home today from the same surgery that he had on Tuesday. He managed to hit his eye post-surgery even in the cone so they kept him all week at the vet, which is great. I don’t know how I will feel when I finally see him but I know this is for the best. Again, thanks!

    • Sorry to hear that Todd and you had to go through this. Glad to hear that the vet did keep him extra to help him heal and protect his eye area. When we brought Leo home I was so worried about him getting bumped or hurt. The day we picked Leo up from the vet was bittersweet. I had worried SO much about him and he had never been gone over night before, so when we finally got to pick him up I was really missing him. When they walked him in the room he was all wags and so happy to see us and I couldn’t help but cry like a baby. I cried because the situation was so stressful. I cried because I had been so worried about him. I cried because I missed him. I cried because I was happy to see him. I cried because of how swollen he was. Yes, I cried (and so did my husband, but not as much as I did). Please keep us updated on how Todd is doing and I am so glad that Leo’s story was able to help 🙂

      • Thanks for the reply! He’s doing great, actually. He is still on a mild sedative so he won’t jump around and bump it but for the most part, he’s the same old dog. I was worried about getting him too; he definitely looks different and my middle boy is a little weirded out by the cone and the sutures. All we can do though is wait until those come out and the hair grows back around the eye. As they say, time heals all wounds.

  3. I just have to say that reading all of this right now is really helping me cope with my current situation. I have a 6 year old boston terrier and I just found out today that she will need enucleation surgery tomorrow or Wednesday on one of her eyes as she had a corneal ulcer that was very aggressive that we couldn’t treat fast enough. I brought her to the vet on Friday after she had been squinting and seemed very uncomfortable. She was prescribe some eye drops and a special serum. On Sunday morning when she jumped up on our bed I tried to move her to adjust where she was sleeping and she let out the worst sounding cry. When I turned the light on I saw there was blood dripping from her eye. I rushed her to the emergency and they kept her there overnight. I got the call this morning that the eye cannot be saved and the best decision to eliminate her pain is to have it removed. I’ve been shaking all morning and can’t believe this has happened to her. I’m so so afraid that my happy go lucky full of energy dog will never be the same. Reading about your story and seeing the progress Leo has made is helping calm my nerves. If you have any advice at all I would love to hear it.

    • Stephanie,

      I am so sorry to hear about your Boston’s situation. The vets are 100% right that enucleation is the only way to go to eliminate her pain. Leo was in pain and that was so hard to see. Our dogs are very resilient and usually bounce back quite quickly. Her age, only being 6, will really help as she will be able to heal well and get back to her normal energetic self in no time. Hard part as a pet parent is letting them get back into the energetic play mode as you are so afraid of them getting hurt on the enucleation side or hurting their other eye. Biggest advice…be there for her, breathe, and know that she will do wonderfully. Right now she needs all of your strength, love and support. We are so glad that Leo’s story has been able to help in a very hard situation. Please keep us updated.

      • Thank you so much for the reply. It’s nice to hear from someone who has actually gone through this. She’s scheduled to have the surgery tomorrow and so far is having a bit of a rough time in hospital as she’s scared and anxious. It’s horrible to hear that. I am just looking forward to having her home again and help her in her road to recovery. Is there anything I should expect when I bring her home? Any tips on how to help her heal faster. She suffers from a bit of anxiety so I am just terrified that she will go through the rest of her life even more terrified.

      • How did her surgery go? How is healing going? Knowing that she now has a blind side make sure to talk to her before just reaching out and petting her when you are on her blindside…we do that with Leo that way he knows someone is there and isn’t just startled by being touched. We also try to make sure not to move furniture around too much as Leo has limited vision in his other eye and we want him to stay familiar with his surroundings…really helps relieve stress and anxiety on the dogs part.

  4. Your information has been extremely helpful and comforting to me. My baby Angus he is going to be 3 had is eye removed 10/1/2016 After repeated attempts of trying to heal a corneal ulcer that appeared overnight. I believe he injured it out in the fields, but not sure. Doc thought it was irritation from grass seed in his third eyelid but he didn’t have one. He assumed he had previous eye surgery but he didn’t. It’s difficult thinking about him at the docs office picturing him in a crate but know it’s for the best and will be hard not letting him play with our other two dogs. Thank you for your information.

    • Carolyn,

      Very glad that Leo’s story helped you during this trying time. I am so sorry to hear about Angus’ enucleation. Now that he is 5 days post surgery how is his healing going? They heal very quickly and trying to keep them still and not let them play is very hard. Our other two dogs were so worried about not being able to be around Leo during his beginning healing.

      • Ms. Roxanne,

        He is doing so much better. Doc said even Saturday after surgery he was wanting to run and play. I took him for a 5 day post op check and doc said he was good. Doc did not give antibiotics and said there was no infection. He doesn’t want to change his resistance, so I will bring him about every 5 days for postop checkups. He’s a small bt only 20 lbs but my social butterfly. Thanks….

      • I love hearing that he is doing so well and not having to take antibiotics. Leo, due to his age and us choosing to have the prosthetic, did IV antibiotics prior to coming home and a run of them once he got home. I’ve only ever met a couple Boston’s that weren’t social butterflies…they are so sweet and friendly. Hope his healing continues to go well and thank you for sharing his story 🙂

  5. I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart, for this blog.
    As I sit here bawling my eyes out about to pick up my Boston Terrier Buster this morning after his surgery.
    I’m scared to see him, I’m scared for his pain, I’m scared for his recovery I’m scared for all of it.
    After reading your timeline I’m hopeful.
    I know this is going to be a long road of recovery for our entire family.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s