How Do You Treat Dog Cataracts?
If you notice any of the symptoms above, it’s important to visit your veterinarian as soon as possible (especially if your dog’s breed is predisposed or elderly).
Your vet will ask for a health history, including the onset of related symptoms, and do a thorough physical exam, focusing on your dog’s eyes. Your vet may also do blood tests and a urinalysis to determine if any diseases could be causing your dog’s condition. If your dog’s diagnosis is diabetes-related cataracts, your vet will first start treatment for this disease to get it under control.
Most likely, your regular vet will refer you to a veterinary ophthalmologist specializing in eye disorders. There are several advanced diagnostic tests the ophthalmologist uses to determine the severity of your pup’s condition and if he needs surgery.
These can include:
If your veterinarian recommends cataract surgery, it’s important to act swiftly. There are limited medications, including topical eye ointments or eye drops, which can postpone the need for surgery, but cataracts will not go away without surgery. And cataracts in dogs can progress rapidly.
How Cataract Surgery Works for Dogs
According to Michigan State University’s Veterinary Medical Center, the long-term success rate of uncomplicated cataract surgery in dogs is about 85% to 90%. This means that at least 85% of cataract surgeries result in a dog who can see and has no increased pressure within the eye for at least one year. Complications are rare, but they can include retinal detachment, scarring, or infection.
The process begins with a visual examination of your dog’s eye, which your vet will do with a bright light and a magnifying lens. You may need to go to a veterinarian who is a specialist in animal ophthalmology — the study of ocular health in animals. A veterinary ophthalmologist will likely conduct your dog’s surgery.
Dog cataract surgery works in almost the same way as human cataract surgery, although your dog will likely be put under general anesthesia during the operation. Once anesthetized, your dog’s affected eye lens will be emulsified using ultrasonic waves in a procedure known as phacoemulsification. The lens will be removed and replaced with an artificial lens known as an intraocular lens, or IOL.
After surgery, your dog may be hospitalized for a night to recover. They’ll need to wear a cone to keep them from scratching their eye. Your veterinarian will provide you with eye drops to give your dog at home and will schedule future appointments for checkups.
What Are The Signs Of Cataracts In Dogs?
Like human cataracts, dogs develop a cloudy white or gray area over the center of their eye lens. Obviously, this is a tell-tale sign, but there are other symptoms to consider, including:
My 3 Favorite Dog Eye Infection Home Remedies (Safe and Natural)
Cherry eye is a condition that should be addressed quickly. Surgery is one of the only treatment options for cherry eye. Surgeries for dogs can generally be expensive, and cherry eye surgery can cost several hundred dollars, if not thousands.
Preparing for a vet bill after your pup’s cherry eye surgery is never fun, but it can help you save on the care your pet’s needs. Keep reading to learn more about what affects your dog’s cherry eye surgery cost and how pet insurance may help.
Cherry eye in dogs is a condition that affects their third eyelid. The third eyelid prolapses and makes the tear gland swell, creating a cherry-like polyp. Any dog can get cherry eye, but some dog breeds are affected more than others.
While not life-threatening, cherry eye can lead to other eye infections and injuries if left untreated. According to VCA Animal Hospitals, untreated cherry eye can lead to dry eye and seriously impair your dog’s vision.3
Treating cherry eye requires surgery to put the gland back in place. According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, your veterinarian will either stitch the gland to the connective tissue around the eye or cover the gland with nearby mucous membranes.4
Removing the gland is no longer recommended by the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists.5