Cataract Surgery

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Cataract Surgery

Postby PitBull-Lady » Tue Feb 07, 2012 11:20 am

thank goodness this is not for my dogs (yet) but my friend's dog is 6 and seeds to have cataract surgery done. Of all the surgeries we've had in our house for the dogs over the years, we've never had this one.

What can you tell me about the surgery and how the healing goes?
She's going in for a consult to a reputable place but still wants a person's opinion who's done it and helped in the recovery etc.

I did a search on the forum and came up with nothing for what people 'had' done, just that their dogs (or them) had cataracts or hope not to!

Any help is appreciated! Thanks guys.
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Re: Cataract Surgery

Postby Misskiwi67 » Tue Feb 07, 2012 3:56 pm

The surgery is most commonly done for diabetic dogs who have developed cataracts.

The lens is covered in a thin membrane, and a small circle is cut out of this membrane. If this goes well (ie, you didn't wait to long to do surgery so the membrane is weak), then an artificial lens can be put in place. To remove the catact, the lens is broken apart by a special machine in a process called phaecoemulsification. This process can sometimes cause the dogs heartrate to drop dramatically, but having seen it personally, it can be managed with careful monitoring.

The cornea is then sutured closed again, and will sometimes scar. There can be a lot of inflammation in the eye short-term after surgery, especially if there are any parts of the cataract left in the eye. Once the inflammation is controlled, then vision is restored.

If you do not do the surgery, the risk of cataracts is that the thin membrane will eventually rupture, usually leading to so much inflammation that glaucoma results. Glaucoma is an end-stage process at this point, and either chemical destruction or surgical removal of the eye is recommended at that time.

Surgery runs, on average, 2500-3500 per eye, and is only performed by surgical specialists (most often ophthalmologists).
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Re: Cataract Surgery

Postby PitBull-Lady » Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:41 pm

Thanks for the information MissKiwi. I sent it to my friend and can't wait to hear what she finds out from the doctor today. Her dog is only 6 so hopefully it is not super bad. Luckily her dog is not diabetic, but I know that does not necessarily help with the diagnosis etc. but still. Hoping for not too bad a diagnosis.
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Re: Cataract Surgery

Postby PitBull-Lady » Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:13 pm

I've got some good news. They had a great consult.

Just in case anyone was interested, here is the information from the consult. Keep in mind we live in a large metro area so the costs reflect elevated prices for any and every supply as well as terrible insurance rates etc. But the hospital is good, I've heard wonderful things from friends who have gone there and I even took Capone in there for a well visit while on a marathon just to check the place out and see what the facility looks like etc. It's pretty darn nice!

So the went in for a consult and did a few tests. There was a battery of medical tests but the most important was obviously the physical as well as the eye exam. Which was very similar to human tests where they test the eye for pressures, clarity etc.

Because he is a lab and Labradors are super susceptible to cataracts and glaucoma from the cataracts the doctor takes a very cautious approach. She said that despite not having diabetes, his cataract problem is similar to that of a diabetic dog so the surgery MissKiwi spoke above is what he would need to have done.

Poor guy is only 6 and has this problem already. He has some vision but it is compromised. The doctor said that the reason they don't like to do the surgery is because if his eye is not strong enough to support the lens he will end up blind so they prefer to do the surgery once he goes blind so then if something happens they are not ruining his sight. She said that they have seen this in Labs often and for some reason not the other dog breeds. If they surgery fails, they would remove the eye etc.

They would of course do both eyes at the same time and his recovery will be fairly quick, but what's cute, he's really attached to his sister and they must be together all the time. So they have already started to address the fact that since they normally cannot even go to the vet without each there that they have to start separating them for the inevitable surgery and prevent suture licking etc.

It's nice to hear about all this care they are willing to do for their rescue puppies.

Just in case you were wondering:
Consult fee was $300
Testing was $600
Surgery will be $3000
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