JoJoe our Rescue Shar Pei

Here's a video from earlier this year of JoJoe our beautiful black Shar Pei we rescued from a shelter in SW Michigan in August 2008 after spotting his picture on We realized, while still at the shelter, that JoJoe was completely blind. No one at the shelter appeared to have noticed.

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Upon taking JoJoe to our vet the next day, we discovered that his right eye was completely covered with pigmentation from an untreated condition very common in Shar Peis called Entropia. This condition causes the eyelids to curl inward causing the dog's eyelashes to rub against his eyeball which causes an ulcer to form on the cornea and eventually total pigmentation of the cornea.

His left eye had a large ulcer in the center of his cornea caused by the same condition. Someone had allowed this dog to go blind. Perhaps they couldn't afford it, or were just plain ignorant of the medical conditions that frequently plague these very special dogs. It would appear that his previous owners bred him, at least once. Any reputable breeder of shar Pei would never breed a dog with as many faults as JoJoe has (dont get me wrong, he is a very good looking dog, as far as shar pei go, but there are a lot of little flaws that would keep him and his offspring from the show ring).

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That wasn't the worst of it. - JoJoe had tested positive for heart worm. A death sentence if left untreated.

Our desire to get the best possible veterinary care for JoJoe led us to the Michigan State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital in East Lansing. The availability of specialists played heavy in that decision.

Heart worm Treatment involves a series of injections given monthly over several months each followed by a 24 hour observation phase. JoJoe was not pronounced heart worm free until this past January. Some dogs don't make it through the treatment.

While at MSU, JoJoe saw some specialists who recommended tacking his eyelids temporarily to allow his ulcer to heal 'possibly' leading to some return to vision. Surgery to alter his eyelids (entropion Surgery) would have to wait till after the heart worm infestation was cured.

After the corneal ulcer in his left eye healed, We noticed something wonderful - JoJoe could see! OK maybe Just a little, but he could see well enough to see obstacles and not have to rely entirely on his 'scent map' anymore. Now, he can see well enough to chase a toy around, or follow your hand if you are treating him.

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We figure JoJoe has recovered 30 to 40% of his vision in his left eye - still mostly blind. For 8 months or so we dosed his eyes with a ophthalmic lubricant 3 times per day. He had the entropion surgery the day after this video was shot (July 09) and is doing great. No more eye lube 3 times a day, and the vet said we might see 'some' return of vision on his right eye (the badly pigmented one). That would be great! It's hard to describe the satisfaction Holly and I feel when we see JoJoe staring intently out the front window at the neighbor across the street's kids playing in their driveway... 250 ft away...

The original video was shot using the inexpensive ($179) Sony HD 'Webbie' video camera (Model: MHS-CM1) in 1280x720 30p mode (the camera default).

More Pictures of JoJoe:

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tjojo007 (28K) tjojo008 (29K) tjojo009 (29K) tjojo010 (29K) tjojo011 (29K) tjojo012 (29K)