“What happened to Fig’s eye?”
The most common question I’ve received since taking Fig into our home is “what happened to his eye?!”. When I adopted Fig I was told he had suffered from a bacterial infection while he was on the fur farm, causing the loss of his foot, and most of his toes on the remaining feet. It was thought that his eye was also damaged due to this infection, but as he’s grown older we’ve been able to identify that many of his problems are genetic abnormalities.
The issue in Fig’s eye is what’s referred to as Microphthalmia, which means when he was born his eye was smaller and less developed than a normal eye. Animals born with this abnormality tend to have a prominent third eyelid (something all canines have, but you will typically only see while they are sleeping). The white part of Fig’s eye that you see in most of our photos is actually his third eyelid and not his actual eyeball. This issue is commonly found in #doublemerle dogs which is due to the combination of certain genes found in dogs that posses the #merle coat that lead to this particular eye deformity as well as others. It’s thought that Fig, being bred for fur, developed this abnormality because of the way he was bred. While he has an array of genetic deformities he also has the most magnificent coat of any animal I’ve ever met.
Fig is completely blind in his left eye, for a time we thought he could see shadows, but as it turns out his other senses are just finely tuned to compensate for his lack of vision. Despite this it does not limit him at all, he’s just as happy and healthy as Juniper and other foxes.