Is cataract surgery for dogs worth it? Tips and Tricks

Are there risks with cataract surgery for dogs?

All surgical procedures with pets or people come with some level of risk. Complications stemming from cataract surgery in dogs is rare, but some complications seen by vets following cataract surgery are corneal ulcers and pressure elevations within the eye. Taking your dog for a follow-up exam with the veterinary surgeon is essential for helping to prevent issues from developing after the surgery.

How much is cataract surgery for dogs?

In general, pet owners can expect to pay between $2,700 and $4,000 for cataract surgery with the average cost being $3,500.

What is the process for cataract surgery in dogs?

Each veterinary hospital will do things a little differently however, in most cases, you will drop your dog off either the morning of surgery or the night before. Your vet will provide you with detailed instructions regarding feeding and care leading up to surgery day. Be sure to follow your vets instructions carefully.

  • Before the surgery begins your dog will be sedated and an ultrasound will be performed to check for issues such as retinal detachment or rupture (bursting) of the lens. An electroretinogram (ERG) will also be done in order to confirm that your dogs retina is working properly. If these tests turn up any unexpected issues, unfortunately, your dog may not be suitable for cataract surgery.
  • Cataract surgery will be performed under a general anesthetic. A muscle relaxant will also be administered to help your dogs eye sit in the correct position for the operation. Cataracts in dogs are removed using a technique called phacoemulsification. This procedure uses an ultrasonic device to break up and remove the cloudy lens from the dogs eye. This is the same procedure that is used in cataract surgery on people. Once the lens with the cataract has been removed an artificial lens implant (intraocular lens, or IOL) can then be placed in the eye to allow s to be focused clearly onto the retina.
  • Typically the vet performing your dogs surgery will recommend that your dog stay overnight for monitoring following cataract surgery. Intensive at-home aftercare will be required following surgery, including the use of several types of eye drops, multiple times each day.
  • Cataract Surgery for Your Pet | What to Expect | MedVet Veterinary Ophthalmology