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How Much Is Dog Cataract Surgery

Criteria For Cataract Surgery For Dogs

Cataract surgery in a dog

Just because your dog has a cataract doesnt mean he should have surgery. Good candidates for cataract surgery must be determined by the veterinary ophthalmologist.

Major criteria needed to make your dog a candidate for cataract surgery include:

  • Good retinal function
  • No inflammation inside the eye
  • Normal pressure inside the eye

Dogs with mature cataracts may develop problems with any of these criteria the longer the cataractous lens is left in place. The lens blocks the transmission of light to the retina and over time, the retina degenerates and loses function. Mature cataracts often start to disintegrate. When that happens, inflammation within the eye can cause pain and increased pressure .

Dogs who are not good candidates for surgery are those with:

  • Hypermature/disintegrating cataracts
  • Retinal degeneration
  • Poor overall health that makes anesthesia/surgery risky
  • Behavior issues that prevent the owner from medicating eyes

How Long Is The Dog Cataract Surgery Recovery Time

The initial healing period following cataract surgery in dogs is approximately 2 weeks. Throughout that period, your dog will need to wear a cone at all times and have their activity restricted to leash walks only. You will also need to administer a number of medications to your dog during this time, including eye drops and oral medications. Carefully following your vet’s instructions is essential for achieving a good outcome for your dog’s vision.

Depending on the results of the 2-week follow-up appointment, your dog’s medications may be reduced, however, some dogs will need to remain on medication permanently.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet’s condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

How Much Is Dog Cataract Surgery

The price of dog cataract surgery averages $3,500. This figure includes the preliminary exam, ultrasound and ERG, anesthesia, surgery, use of the operating room, hospitalization, medications and post-op check-ups. However, surgical costs vary based on your service provider and location. Your furry friend and bank account can also reap the rewards of finding the best pet insurance.

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Dog Cataract Surgery Cost: 2022 Guide

Cataracts are cloudiness in a dogs eyes that can cause blurred vision and eventually blindness. Cataract surgery can help restore your dogs vision.

This surgery costs $2,700 to $4,000 for dogs.* Multiple factors can impact the total cost, particularly how severely your dogs eyes are affected. We at the Home Media reviews team have answered essential questions about cataract surgery for dogs and what costs to expect. Weve also recommended pet insurance providers that can help keep your veterinary bills low.

What Is Involved In Cataract Surgery For Dogs

Cataracts and Cataract Surgery in Dogs

Even though its stressful for you and your dog, canine cataract surgery is usually uncomplicated and conducted on an outpatient basis .

  • Your pup will be placed under general anesthesia, and the surgical professional will cut a tiny incision into the dogs eye.
  • Then, the surgical professional will use a technique referred to as phacoemulsification, where hell use a tiny ultrasonic hand-piece which breaks up the dogs cataract and aspirates it out of his eye. 3
  • Next, the surgical professional will insert an artificial lens inside the dogs eye in order to restore his vision.
  • The canine cataract surgery success rate is around 90 percent. Many dogs regain almost normal vision, even though most remain somewhat far sighted. The majority of pets vision continually improves over the week after the operation.

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    How Does The Surgery Work

    Your pet would be admitted in the morning of the scheduled day. In all non-diabetic animals we advise that no food be given on the day of the operation but water is fine. Diabetic dogs require special management and this will be discussed prior to surgery. Your pet is then given regular eye drops to dilate the pupils and a mild sedation. Ultrasound scans of the eye are then performed to ensure that the retinas have not detached. If a detachment were identified then we would normally not proceed with the cataract surgery.

    A general anaesthetic is given and we monitor your pet very carefully whilst he/she is asleep. This keeps the risks of the anaesthetic as low as possible. Your pet is then positioned onto his/her back and with the aid of an operating microscope and microsurgical instrumentation the cataract surgery is performed.

    Two tiny incisions are made into the cornea, which is the clear part of the eye. The eye is then inflated using a special clear gel called viscoelastic and a central window is carefully cut out of the front part of the lens. It is through this window that the cataract is liquefied and removed this process is called phacoemulsification and is the same technique used to remove cataracts in people.

    Most patients go home the same evening and require a check-up the next day. Although the majority of our patients that undergo cataract surgery can see well straight away it may take several weeks in some cases to regain their full visual potential.

    Are There Breeds That Are More Susceptible

    This condition is usually inherited, and several breeds are more susceptible, including Golden Retrievers, Siberian Huskies, American Cocker Spaniels, Miniature Poodles, Miniature Schnauzers, and Boston Terriers.

    In one large study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, researchers analyzed medical records of more than 27,000 dogs from the UC Davis veterinary clinic to compare the incidence of 24 genetic disorders in mixed versus purebred dogs. They found that the risk of cataracts was significantly higher in purebreds. The breeds with the highest rates of cataracts in this study were Silky Terriers, Miniature Poodles, Brussels Griffons, Boston Terriers, and Tibetan Terriers.

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    When To Take Your Dog To The Vet For Cataracts

    If your dogs breed is susceptible to hereditary cataracts, its essential to bring it for routine vet checkups so its eyes can be monitored. Hereditary cataracts can start causing vision problems in dogs as young as 8 weeks, leaving them blind by 2 to 3 years old. According to Canine Journal, the following breeds are most susceptible to hereditary cataracts:

    • American cocker spaniels

    What Are The Benefits Of Dog Cataract Surgery

    Dog Cataract Surgery | MedVet | What to Expect | Veterinary Ophthalmology

    The primary benefit of a successful dog cataract surgery is that your dog will once again be able to see clearly, improving its quality of life and overall health.

    If cataracts are left untreated, your dog can become blind and experience further inflammation, causing pain and leading to other eye problems. For example, inflammation from the cataract can block the eye from draining properly, resulting in a build-up of fluid. This can lead to glaucoma, a painful condition that creates significant pressure inside the eye.

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    Cataract Surgery Cost In Dogs

    The clouding of the eye lens in dogs is not uncommon and it is similar in people. Sometimes it can cover a partial part of the eye and sometimes it can cover the whole eye which makes it hard for the dog to see and focus.

    In dogs, cataracts can be caused by a number of things but the most common ones are diabetes, eye inflammation, old age, and sometimes low level of calcium.

    The most common way to cure this is through surgery, with a procedure called phacoemulsification, where the old lens is melted, and a new artificial one is placed.

    Cataract surgery will probably cost you between $2700 and $4000.

    Why Do We Need To Check The Retina The Nerve Tissue

    The retina must be healthy for cataract surgery to restore vision. Many purebred dogs such as Labradors, Australian Cattle Dogs, Australian and Silky Terriers, Poodles and Cocker Spaniels can have retinal disease. The most common retinal disease is PRA which is an inherited disease. PRA in the early stages can cause poor night vision, then later poor day vision but also often causes cataracts to form. In many cases the early signs of PRA are missed, even by the most diligent of owners, and it is assumed that the cataracts are the cause of the vision loss. In these cases the dog is blind because of the cataracts and the PRA, and cataract surgery will not restore vision.

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    So How Much Is Cataract Surgery For Dogs

    This is one of the more expensive procedures your dog might require. Cataract surgery for dogs costs an average of $2,700 $4,000. This includes:


    Post-surgery treatments


    Although costly, the price is worth it. Cataract surgery for dogs has a long-term success rate of 85% to 90%.4 That means most dogs regain their vision and experience normal intraocular pressure for at least a year after surgery. There are potential complications, such as retinal detachment or scarring, but these rarely occur.5

    Symptoms Of Dog Cataracts


    Just as humans develop a cloudy spot in their eye, youll notice a white spot in your dogs eye that will continue to grow.

    It will look like a gray or white film that spreads across the eye from the center. This film stretches out from just behind the retina. However, there are some other signs that you should look for.

    These symptoms include:

    • Constant pawing at eyes

    While you can help dogs by cleaning their eyes and wiping away tears before they form into a crust, you will likely need to get cataracts surgery once your dog begins to develop a white spot. Your vet can provide a guide on how to prevent some common issues for dogs with poor vision.

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    How Do You Treat Cataracts In Dogs

    The only way to treat your dogs cataracts is through cataract removal surgery.

    Cataracts in dogs cannot be reversed by any other method when they have formed, meaning the only way to restore vision would be to physically remove the cataracts themselves.

    There are eye drops that can reduce the chance of a high risk dog developing cataracts, but there are no options outside of surgery once they have formed.

    Cataract removal in dogs involves breaking up and removing the cloudy portion of the eye, to then be replaced by an artificial lens that will allow the dog to see clearly again.

    Not only will this procedure restore vision for dogs with cataracts, but it will also eliminate future complications and pain that can develop as a result of cataracts in the future.

    Eyelid Tumor Removal Cost In Dogs

    As our dogs progress toward their senior years, the formation of tumors on the eyelid is not uncommon to be seen.

    Usually, they are benign, but given the age, your dog may want to do a check-up after the tumor is removed.

    It is always recommended that these formations be removed as soon as possible, as they can irritate the eye, which could lead to other problems.

    In many cases, a procedure called V-plasty is used to remove the tumor and the place itself usually heals fast.

    Removing the tumor from the eyelid of your dog will probably cost you between $250 and $650.

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    What Happens After Surgery

    Once the cataract removal surgery is completed, the dog is left behind at the hospital for at least one day so that the vet surgeon can monitor for the development of post-surgery complications.

    The period after the successful completion of a canine cataract surgery is quite critical as it typically has an impact on the dogs long-term prognosis. In most cases, dogs that have undergone cataract surgery will regain their sight almost immediately, but it is also possible that this process will take some days.

    It is recommended that dogs that have undergone cataract removal surgery wear a protective collar for at least two weeks after the procedure to shield their eyes from accidental trauma.

    The vet will also recommend the use of eye drops and oral medication, with the frequency of usage typically decreasing till the dogs eyes are completely healed.

    Will My Dog See Better After Cataract Surgery

    My Dog’s Cataract Surgery Experience

    If your dog has cataract surgery in their future, you may wonder how soon their vision will be restored after the procedure.

    While this may vary from dog to dog, its estimated that about 95% of dogs can see better as soon as they wake up from the procedure.

    Their vision will continue to improve as the weeks go on, making cataract surgery in dogs a successful surgery.

    The positive outcome of dog cataract surgery relies heavily on proper post-op care and long term management.

    Though a dogs vision may decline slightly in the years following their procedure, a proper management plan from your veterinarian will help your dog maintain their vision as long as possible.

    This will include going to all follow up appointments, administering any medications that are prescribed, and watching out for any post-op complications.

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    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 vet’s instructions carefully.

    Pre-Surgery Testing

    • 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 of the lens. An electroretinogram will also be done in order to confirm that your dog’s retina is working properly. If these tests turn up any unexpected issues, unfortunately, your dog may not be suitable for cataract surgery.

    Surgical Procedure

    • Cataract surgery will be performed under a general anesthetic. A muscle relaxant will also be administered to help your dog’s 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 dog’s 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 can then be placed in the eye to allow images to be focused clearly onto the retina.


    What Are The Signs Of Cataracts In Dogs

    Like with 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:

    • chronic eye redness
    • Bulging of one eye compared to the other
    • Noticeable vision problems, especially in dimly lit conditions

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    Does My Dog Need Cataract Surgery

    Cataract removal surgery in dogs is considered an extremely successful procedure for many struggling pups.

    If your dog has developed cataracts and is experiencing a decline in their vision, your pup may be a great candidate for dog cataract surgery.

    While the only way to know if your pup needs the surgery is by speaking with your vet, most dogs with cataracts affecting their vision can benefit.

    While your dog may need cataract surgery, they may not always qualify for the procedure.

    The ideal candidate for the procedure will have no other serious conditions of the eye, and should not have any medical conditions that make anesthesia a serious risk.

    Every dogs situation is different, but your vet can always steer you in an appropriate direction.

    How To Treat Cataracts In Dogs

    Dog Cataract Surgery Cost 2016

    Dog cataract surgery is the only sure way to treat them. Some products, such as Lanosterol eye drops, claim to reduce or even cure cataracts in dogs. While cheaper than surgery, the science is flimsy. Multiple studies have failed to find any evidence that Lanosterol can restore lens clarity.3 If youre considering trying one of these products, consult your vet first.

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    Dog Cataract Surgery Costs And How To Save

    As your dog ages, you may notice that their eyes are beginning to develop a bluish haze. This may be due to a condition called Lenticular Sclerosis .

    Veterinarians consider this a normal change in your dogs eye lenses as they age. It shouldnt significantly impact your dogs vision.

    However, if your dogs eye looks white and opaque, or if you see white spots on your dogs eyes, this could be a sign of cataracts.

    Cataracts occur for a variety of reasons, and they can greatly impact your dogs quality of life. A mature cataract can result in complete loss of vision for your pup. A hypermature cataract can result in fluid build-up in the lens capsule and cause pain.

    To treat your dog, your veterinarian will likely recommend cataract surgery, which can cost between $2,700 and $4,000 on average.This is not an expense most pet parents can pay out of pocket. But pet insurance can help you pay for cataract surgery, so you can get your dog the care they need and keep them seeing clearly.

    What Will Happen If The Cataract Is Left Untreated

    Untreated cataracts might luxate or slip from their tissue holding them in place, and free them to float around inside the eye where they may settle and block regular fluid drainage. It might cause glaucoma, which may lead to permanent blindness. A cataract also may start to dissolve after time, and cause painful, deep eye inflammation.

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    Can My Dog Live With Cataracts

    Yes. Cataracts arent fatal, but there can be complications associated with cataracts that may be uncomfortable. These include uveitis , development of glaucoma, or detachment of the retina. If your pup isnt a good candidate for surgery, however, they can adapt to being blind and learn to live a quality life with the condition.

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