Cataract Surgery
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Thread: Cataract Surgery

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    DefaultCataract Surgery

    Has anyone here got any experience with having cataract surgery on their dog. My dog Diesel is a 2.5 yo Chocolate with diabetes (has been on insulin for just about a year).

    I just got back from the vet and she examined his eyes as usual. We see the vet at least every 3 months. He has the beginnings of cataracts in both eyes. She advised me that they could progress quickly or over the course of several months (which also seems quick to me). So - I am going to bring him to a veterinary opthamoligist next week. She explained that the surgery is very successful and that because they implant an artificial lens, the cataracts do not grow back. That is quite wonderful I think!

    Anyway - if you have had experience or know of a case where cataracts were removed from a dog - please share - I want to know what to expect, what to be concerned about, what recovery looks like. I am sure I will get plenty of info from the Ophtamologist!

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  3. #2
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Lawrence (ex-Topeka), KS

    DefaultRe: Cataract Surgery

    I don't know about cataracts in dogs -- I know more about cataracts in human eyes but the anatomy of the two is very similar.

    A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens located just behind the iris and pupil. The lens focuses and projects the image onto the visual receptors (on the retina) at the rear of the eyeball.

    Puff was recently diagnosed with having mild cataracts a month ago during her annual vet physical exam and shots. I would expect a gradual decrease in visual acuity over the next several years rather than months.

    I was diagnosed with cataracts a few years ago, more severe in my R eye than L and about a year ago I had the R lens replaced. It was a simple day surgery that took about 2-3 hours total time from prep to discharge and resulted in 20/20 vision in that eye. Recovery was quick and IIRC not very much special recovery. I'll probably get the L eye done early next year. The experienced symptoms leading to a decision to have the replacement included a cloudy/fuzziness in visual acuity, star patterns of lights at night, diminished night vision. If it wasn't that I do a fair amount of driving both day and night, I might have delayed replacement for a few more years

    Since you live in NJ, you might consider a veterinary opthamological evaluation at the UPenn CollVetMed near Philadelphia since it's somewhat near plus also one of the top Vet colleges/Teaching Hospitals in the world. My experience using K-State's CollVetMed Tchng Hospl is that they have more skilled specialists and the costs are less, sometimes far less, than with the local vets. Since I'm retired, I don't mind the 50 mile trip to Manhattan, KS.

    I'll ETA the UPenn website:

    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    DefaultRe: Cataract Surgery

    That is a good point Bob. I had pretty much decided to go to Red Bank as there is a renowned Vet Hospital there with an Opth on staff who was recommended by my vet. I'll check into UPenn as well.

    Thank you for you personal experiences. It is good to know it is simple.

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  6. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    DefaultRe: Cataract Surgery

    thankfully i haven't had this problem.
    as a diabetic of longstanding, i can tell you that healing is ALWAYS impacted by surgery--the forced inactivity and the physical stress plays H*ll with both control of sugars & recovery.
    you would be wise to repeatedly stress Heavily your dogs diabetes to all involved--don't just assume they have read his chart/records and are acting accordingly--they are human and their brain is full of thoughts that crowd out the ones they should be having sometimes!
    also for example, humans are told to NOT take sugar-control medications the day of surgery. with a dog, and their activity, it may be much more, or less, complicated--you need to get specific advice on this.
    good luck!


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