Volume 91, Issue 19

Tuesday, September 30, 1997

legal matters


Sight for sore puppy eyes

By Ian C. Robertson
Gazette Staff

A London ophthalmologist is ready to help Baby get her eyesight back.

Dr. Rick Quinn, a professor both at Western and the University of Guelph and member of the IV Institute of Ophthalmology, said he's prepared to help Baby, an Australian sheppard, if her situation demands it.

Baby is suffering from cataracts affecting one out of every thousand dogs. Quinn will assess the dog this week to see if she is fit for the surgery he has performed 40 times previously.

Because of its delicate nature, the operation can only be done by an ophthalmologist, not a veterinarian, and costs between $1,500 and $1,900, Quinn said.

The cost is what worries Kelly Mandich, Baby's owner. Mandich, who is single and works at IMT – a truck parts manufacturer in London, said due to other payments and responsibilities she can't come up with the necessary money for the surgery she feels Baby needs.

Mandich said in the two years since the cataracts began to develop, Baby has become inactive and refuses to move unless prompted.

Tyrrel Delangly, a veterinarian and director of the Oakridge Animal Clinic, heard of Mandrich's story and said he would be happy to put her in touch with a private individual who would be willing to help ease the cost of the surgery.

Delangly said the private individual, who has helped out in similar cases, wished to remain anonymous and would give up to $1,000 providing the surgery was deemed necessary by a specialist. He stressed only 10 per cent of dogs with cataracts ever require surgery and due to their acute sense of smell and hearing can live fulfilling lives without vision.

In response to the offer, Mandich said she was appreciative but would not accept the money as a donation but as a loan and would insist on paying it back in volunteer hours at the animal clinic or by a payment plan of some kind.

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Copyright The Gazette 1997