Giving Stories | Patient Stories | Veterinary Clinical Medicine

Grateful for Restored Sight

Brix poses on a bed after her sight was restored

Recently, our hospital’s ophthalmology service received a donation from the grateful family of Brix, a patient that received cataract surgery. Below are comments made by Brix’s family and by Dr. Todd Marlo, the boarded veterinary ophthalmologist who performed the surgery.

What the Clients Say

Our fur baby Brix is our world.

Last September, when she developed cataracts overnight from diabetes, we were amazed that her sight would go so quickly. 

Having family in the Champaign-Urbana area, we knew of the College of Veterinary Medicine. We knew that the Veterinary Teaching Hospital was the place for Brix. 

Brix in November 2022 after losing her sight, left; Brix in March 2023 after cataract surgery.
At left, Brix in November 2022. She had lost her sight suddenly in September, a consequence of diabetes. At right, Brix in March 2023 after cataract surgery. “You can see she loves quilts,” says her mom.

Just as we do for ourselves, we researched the ophthalmologist that would see our girl. Dr. Marlo is fantastic, and he loves your pet like she is his own. We couldn’t ask for better care than we have received. 

People have said to us several times, “They can do cataract surgery for dogs?” 

Yes, they can! 

Giving Brix the gift of sight back is the greatest gift we could ever give her. 

Many said, “she’ll adjust to being blind.” She adapted because she had to, and we know she was sad. It wasn’t until she had her sight back again that we knew just how sad she had been. 

Before the surgery, she would try to play with her toys but couldn’t, and that broke our hearts. Now it’s like she’s a puppy again. The day the cone came off she returned to chasing rabbits in our backyard. 

We became donors to the ophthalmology service at the hospital because we’d like the service to continue to advance and be able to offer the services they do.

What the Doctor Says

In the ophthalmology service, we strive daily to restore vision and ensure ocular comfort for a large variety of animal species. Often, we see cases like that of Brix, where the animal has suddenly lost vision and their quality of life has dramatically changed.

It is the best feeling in the world to see these animals return to their normal activity level and start interacting with their owners again.

This gift will help the University of Illinois ophthalmology service continue to provide a high level of patient care.—Dr. Todd Marlo