Comments on Cataract Surgery Dilemma

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Velma   Austin, Texas

6/24/2013 8:22:33 PM

I have a dog that is 15 years old. She has heart surgery that went well. Now her cataracts are getting worse and she is loosing her sight. I know she has only a few more years, but she was always an active dog and I would want her last years to be happy ones. The heart pacer was implante by Texas A and
M.
The vets were amazing, however we are trying to pay them. Another problem is I am an unemployed teacher and we don't have extra money to get her help.

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R.G.   Austin, TX

7/16/2011 3:51:46 PM

My 12-year-old dog developed cataracts four months after being diagnosed with diabetes. He could still see, but we could tell he was losing vision very rapidly; day by
day.
We went to a vet opthalmologist who told us that there was a high success rate of lens implantation in dogs like this, even considering age. She said if I didn't do it, there was a great chance of him developing a detached retina or glaucoma, a painful condition that could lead to removal of the
eyes.
That, scaring me to death, led me to decide to do the cataract lens
implant.
As it turned out, the left eye could not have an implant and she shouldn't have tried. She removed the lens of the eye. It developed a detached retina, for which she felt surgery wouldn't do any good. She said she didn't know until she got in
there.
The other eye has an
implant.
He did fine for a bit, but now has had every complication that can occur: the detached retina, glaucoma, uveitis, infection, corneal
ulcers.
He was on Rimadyl for nearly three months, which I took him off a few days ago because he had diarrhea, stomach upset, was staggering, lethargic, etc.; all the symptoms of Rimadyl complications. The vet said there are no other oral antiflammatories that help the eyes. Well, my family vet said he needed help with his system, or we would lose the
dog.

I got a second opinion last week, who took him off Methazolamide, which made a dramatic difference in his behavior.


At one point, he wouldn't move, wouldn't open his eyes, was lethargic, walked in circles, staggered, was imbalanced, weak, wouldn't eat, and wouldn't drink. While he has bouts of low blood sugar, it wasn't continually low through all these bouts. Throughout this ordeal, he has had continuing bouts of not eating and drinking and stomach
upset.
We should have taken our chances and let him be a blind, happy
dog.
He is moving back to his old self, but isn't there
yet.
He is on many eye drops and ointments, all of which are
expensive.

If you are considering this surgery, get a second and maybe a third opinion. The cost will be well worth it, as failure and complications are FAR more expensive. If the vet opthalmologist doesn't suggest an immediate physical before she does an expensive retina test, be leery.

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lynne   wallingford, CT

2/9/2011 3:14:46 PM

thanks for a very honest and upfront information on cataract surgery

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Karen   Montgomery, AL

8/9/2010 12:04:42 PM

I have a 11-year-old toy poodle and I'm pretty sure he's blind in his right eye from cateract. He seems to be developing cateract in his left eye. Even with pet insurance I can't afford to get his eye(s) fixed. Is there anythig other than surgery that can help him. I hate to see him go completely blind. He's constantly rubbing his left eye on the carpet, I suppose he's trying to see if it will clear up. Is there anyone that will do free surgery or is there a medication I can buy?

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PAULA   PINE BLUFF, AR

6/27/2010 11:50:35 AM

I JUST ADOPTED A POST PUPPY MILL DADDY. MARTY IS 8-10 AND HAS CATARACTS ON BOTH EYES. I WOULD LOVE TO GET THE CATARACTS REMOVED. I HAD BILATERAL CATARACT SURGERY MYSELF. I WAS JUST WONDERING ABOUT THE LENS IMPLANT? IS THAT PART OF THE TREATMENT?

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Lee   Orange City, FL

4/23/2010 7:33:11 AM

To anyone considering cataract surgery for your dog, please DON'T do it. We have a min pin 8 years old with diabetes, but in good health. He developed cataracts and had to decide whether to have surgery or not. We went ahead with it, and after about $4000 an cataract surgery, then complications, glaucoma, lasser, tube implant, etc. (plus surgeon's follow up not good, as well as coninuing fees), our dog is totally blind. He was a much happier dog when he had the cataracts and had vision with them, now he cannot see at all. If you have to make a decision, don't have surgery. Live with him and love him with all your heart as we are doing.

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JC   Regina, SK

4/21/2010 2:08:52 PM

My 9 year old Samoyed cross just had cataract surgery and she is diabetic. I was hesitant at first (she was blind going on three years because of the cataracts). When I went for my first consultation last month with the Ophthalmologist my mind was immediately made up as the success rate is between 85-90% success, how ever if my dog didn't get the surgery she would have had %50 more changes of having problems with her eyes (glaucoma, removal of the eyes etc). So don't wait to long to make your decision. The Ophthalmologist told me that I was lucky I came in to get it done now or else it would have been too late. So I am so glad I went with the surgery. My dogs is on medication and may be on inflammatory and glaucoma eye drops long term (because I waited to long to see an Ophthalmologist and waited too long get the cataract - which mostly likely caused some damage). But I would definitely do it all over again if I had too. So it is best to go and see a canine Ophthalmologist as soon as you notice cataracts appearing in your dog. Oh yeah, my dog is doing fantastic(3 weeks after surgery)!

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Ellen   dadkins991@comcast.net, MI

1/17/2010 8:42:25 AM

My 9yr old Toy Poodle, When we took him to animal Emergency, They checked him out an said he had diabetea an pancreatitis, Which in turn had lost his eye sight in both eyes. If he was to have catatact surgery,would there be a change he would get his sight restored, or what? this all took place so fast, He first got sick Christmas Eve
2009
We are just sick we don't know which way to
turn
It like we are loseing our Baby, I'm so
afraid.
Please give me some answears

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Deborah   Davenport, IA

2/21/2009 3:48:11 PM

I found that making the decision to opt for cataract surgery for my Havanese, Rocco, was the most difficult aspect of the ordeal. I spent much time worrying about the possible complications,
too.

I eventually concluded that the only way Rocco could have total sight and health in his left eye was if we got the surgery. Without the surgery, he would have been blind in the eye and we'd still have to treat the problems that having cataracts can cause with expensive
medications.

It should be noted that Rocco was only 18 months old when he developed the cataract. My animal eye specialist told us that younger dogs had a better chance at a positive
outcome.

Rocco had the surgery within two weeks of onset. It went very, very well. Post op care is demanding of the caretaker, but it is worth
it.

It has been almost 15 months since the surgery and he's doing great. He still gets check-ups to monitor both eyes and we are thrilled that his right eye remains free of any problems. The left eye requires one eyedrop daily of an anti-inflammatory medication which will probably continue for the rest of his
life.

It's a leap of faith that has worked out well for us. One thing to remember, though, is that dogs are incredible creatures. They adapt so well and never feel sorry for themselves. As their humans, we just need to find reassurance in the simple fact that we are always trying to do our best for them including making the tough decisions. Dogs will always accept and understand.

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Bear   Grand Rapids, MI

1/23/2009 9:13:08 AM

My beloved Bertha, a Bichon, had cataract surgery in both eyes. She, too, was diabetic. The surgery made a huge difference in her life. She could see well enough to enjoy her walks again, but maybe not well enough to see the bunnies running through the yard. I would certainly recommend it. The only risk with the surgery was the constant glucose monitoring necessary, which, of course, is an extra cost. Bertie was about 6 when she had the surgery, and lived to 13 1/2. I feel that the surgery gave her a better life.

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Bill   Richmond, VA

10/14/2008 8:02:12 PM

I have a 5 year Chocolate lab. He has diabeties and is on insulin twice a day. Now he is developing cataracts rapidly in both eyes. I am heartbroken by this, he is such a great dog and friend. I want his vision to return if possible, understanding there are risk with surgery, and in his case, he might not be able to have it because of the diabeties. But if I can restore his eyes, then I feel I must try.

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Rosie   Perkasie, PA

8/1/2008 8:30:38 PM

I too am going through the same dilemma. I have a 9 yr old Shiba Inu whom I just adore. She has cataracts in both eyes which are blinding her. She does remarkably well indoors. Outside is a different thing. I have been seeing a dog eye dr. I just am afraid that if I put her through with the surgery, complications could occur. She is happy. I still can walk her on leash and she does great as long as I watch her and keep her from walking into things. I am going to probably hold off on this...I feel that as long as she is doing so well indoors and is happy as can be, why take the risks. She even will sniff out her toys and play. We can't play fetch as when she was a puppy, but she does find it and does bring it back. Would love to see more people's comments on here.

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