Thank you, everyone for your kind thoughts and advice. I expect him to do very well after, although I expect it will take us some time to learn our "new" way of doing things. I feel like this is probably a lot harder on me than it is on him, but it just makes me sick to think about him going through this. Sunnylucy, you are exactly right..when they hurt, we hurt.
We really have no idea how this happened. We found him just after it happened as it was bleeding and none of it had yet dried on his face. We looked all over - all of the branches, everything.. no luck finding what happened. We have snow still, so we were able to track everywhere he had been for the last day. I guess it will likely forever be a mystery. I hope it was just a freak thing and never happens again!
The vet actually encouraged me to come watch the surgery, so I am going to take the day off to go do that :). I'm also taking Tuesday off to be there when he comes home.
I am, of course, worried about surgery tomorrow. The vet very appropriately went through all of the risks involved - a vagal reaction coupled with anesthesia = a heart rate that slows so much, or all together stops, causing death. The medication put in his eye to freeze the nerve may accidentally go into the brain. There could be muscle/nerve damage from him being down for so long... He has reassured me though that these are all rare and he does not expect any of them to happen, but it could.
I am very interested to watch this and see how it is done, but even being a nurse, I feel I may be a little squeamish.. Taking an eye out is just not a natural thing
. We really have no choice though. The alternative (euthanasia) is not an acceptable option for me.. He deserves at least a fighting chance and I will not let him suffer.
I will most definitely keep you all updated! I am expecting a call any time now from the office to update me on how he is doing tonight. He has a very sweet girl taking care of him this evening, so I really hope we can all rest easier tonight knowing he is more comfortable!