Dog’s eye surgery at Virginia Tech veterinary hospital helps save another dog’s vision

“The stars aligned in this case,” said Daniel Rothschild, a resident at the teaching hospital involved in the surgery

A grateful patient who received eye surgery at the VTH - Susie Q (Andrew FJ Mann, © Virginia Tech)

BLACKSBURG, Va. – When Jim DePierro took his 2-year-old morkie poo to the vet, he had no idea what would come next.

Recommended Videos


“The veterinarians said Susie Q had a malignant tumor, a melanoma, on her eyeball,” DePierro said. “They’ll probably end up taking the eyeball. I almost fainted.”

DePierro, worried for his pup, quickly set up an appointment with the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Virginia Tech for the following week.

On the day of the surgery, he received a call that took him by surprise.

Another dog had lost its eye a night before and it couldn’t be reinserted.

So its owner gave consent to allow clinicians to use corneal tissue from its eye to replace what was taken during Susie Q’s surgery to remove cancer.

Daniel Rothschild, a resident at the teaching hospital involved in the surgery, said the turn of events was nothing short of a miracle.

“It was serendipity that a dog came the night before that lost its eye. We try to do the same thing with corneal tissue transplant as we do in people, but in dogs, we don’t have donor tissue. The stars aligned in this case.”

In the end, everything fell perfectly into place for Susie Q thanks to the help of another furry companion.


About the Author:

Jazmine Otey joined the 10 News team in February 2021.