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Behind the Scenes: Restoring the Eyesight of a Diabetic Dog

Reviewed by Dr. Peter Kintzer, DVM, DACVIM on Monday, August 3, 2015
Posted January 20, 2015 in A Pet's Life

A beautiful and heartwarming video went viral when a formerly blind dog got to see his family after undergoing surgery. The video (below) was posted to YouTube by Benjamin May. In the description, May talks about his dog Duffy.

“He's a rescue dog and he's had a lot of struggles with his health. He developed diabetes and lost his eyesight. With medication we got his diabetes stable and he qualified for eye surgery to give him back his sight. Here he is seeing my parents for the first time in months.” 

Wanting to know more about this amazing story, I did some research of my own and found out that the Veterinary Referral Center in Malvern, Pennsylvania, made possible Duffy’s renewed eyesight. Specifically, Dr. Brady Beale, the talented veterinarian who performed the procedure on Duffy.

I had a chance to interview Dr. Brady Beale about her clinic and the procedure. Find out what she said, and watch the video, below:

Q. Tell me what drove you to become a veterinarian?

A. My love for animals started when I [was] very young. My parents let me fill the house with dogs, gerbils, rabbits and fish, and each Christmas I asked for a special tool to make my stuffed animals come to life.  My summer jobs were always in kennels, zoos and aquariums.  I feel very fortunate to have found a career in the perfect niche that combines my love of animals, science and medicine.

I have been focused exclusively on disease of the eye since 2003. After graduating from vet school at UPenn and staying for a one year internship, I completed a 3 year residency in Ophthalmology at NCState.

Q. Could you tell me a little bit about your clinic?

A. I work within a multispecialty veterinary practice, and my work is limited to the diseases [of] the eye.  Most of our patients are dogs and cats but we can see rodents, rabbits, reptiles and others who might be suffering from a painful corneal scratch, infection, glaucoma or sudden blindness, to name a few. 

Q. Who is the dog [in the video]? And where is the dog from? 

A. Duffy is an 11 year old Irish terrier who was rescued by the May family when he was young. When we first met Duffy, he was blind from his diabetic cataracts and cowered in the corner of the exam room, quiet and frightened.  The YouTube video demonstrates his remarkable transformation once his vision was restored!

Q. What brought the dog to your attention and why was the dog blind?

A. Veterinary specialists work closely with the veterinarians in their community so when a family brings reports that their family pet has lost vision, their veterinarian refers them

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Tori has more than 2 years of experience in the pet health industry and is junior editor of IDEXX’s Pet Health Network team.

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The opinions and views expressed in this post are those of the author's and do not necessarily represent the beliefs, policies or positions of all veterinarians, Pet Health Network, IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. or its affiliates and partner companies.