What You Need to Know About Cataract Surgery in Dogs

Has your canine companion been diagnosed with cataracts? This common condition affects the lenses of their eyes, causing a cloudiness that can progressively worsen over time. As a loving pet owner, you need all the information you can get to ensure your dog receives the best possible care.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll discuss everything you should know about cataract surgery in dogs, including signs and symptoms, the surgery process, potential complications, and more.

Signs and Symptoms of Cataracts in Dogs

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of cataracts early on is crucial to addressing the underlying issue and preventing long-term vision problems in your furry friend. Common symptoms include:

  • Blurry or cloudy lenses
  • Redness or inflammation around the eye
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Decreased vision or difficulty navigating their environment

Regular veterinary eye examinations are essential to catching any potential issues early on, giving your pup the best chance of maintaining clear vision.

Eligibility for Cataract Surgery

Once a dog has been diagnosed with cataracts, it’s necessary to evaluate whether they’re a suitable candidate for surgery. Certain conditions, such as retinal detachment, retinal degeneration, glaucoma, or severe eye inflammation, may render your pup ineligible for the procedure. In these cases, alternative options must be considered to ensure their ongoing health and well-being.

For dogs eligible for surgery, time is of the essence. Performing the procedure sooner rather than later can dramatically improve their long-term outcomes. But how can pet owners prepare their dogs for this operation? This is where routine veterinary care plays a crucial role.

Often, the best way to keep your pet healthy is through prevention. Pet owners should consult their veterinarians regarding timely and effective measures for dog parasite prevention in Memphis. Regular vaccinations and parasite treatments can safeguard your pet against a wide array of illnesses, improving their overall health and increasing the likelihood that they will be a suitable candidate for cataract surgery if necessary.

The Cataract Surgery Procedure

Pre-Surgery Testing

Several tests will be performed before your dog undergoes cataract surgery to ensure the procedure’s success. These may include an ultrasound exam to check for retinal detachment or lens rupture and an electroretinogram (ERG) to confirm retinal functionality.

The Surgical Process

The process of cataract surgery involves the use of a technique called phacoemulsification. This entails using an ultrasonic device to break apart and remove the cloudy lens from your dog’s eye. Once the cataract has been removed, an intraocular lens (IOL) is inserted, allowing images to focus clearly on the retina.

Post-Surgery Requirements

After the operation, their veterinary team will likely monitor your dog overnight. Intensive at-home aftercare will be necessary, including administering multiple eye drops daily.

Keeping your dog regularly examined by a veterinarian is essential to maintain their tip-top condition while monitoring their eyes for potential issues. At PetVax Complete Care Centers hospitals, you’ll find professionals who will conduct thorough examinations to ensure your dog remains in the best possible health.

Recovery Time

The initial recovery period following cataract surgery is approximately two weeks, during which your dog will need to wear a protective cone and have their activity restricted to leash walks. You’ll also be responsible for administering various medications, including eye drops and oral medications. Following your veterinarian’s post-op instructions is crucial to obtaining the best possible outcome for your dog’s vision.

Success Rate and Long-term Outcomes

While there is no guarantee that surgery will restore your dog’s vision completely, the success rate is promising. Approximately 90% of dogs experience successful outcomes one year after the procedure, and 80% remain successful after two years. The key to long-term success is regular post-operative eye examinations and diligent ongoing care.

Complications and Risks

All surgical procedures have some risk, and cataract surgery is no exception. Veterinarians may encounter complications such as corneal ulcers or elevated eye pressure. Regular follow-up exams with your dog’s surgeon will help to identify and address any potential issues before they become more significant problems.

Do you want to learn more about pet eye care and the conditions that may affect your dog’s vision? Delving deeper into pet ophthalmology can provide invaluable insights and knowledge that will empower you to make informed decisions about your dog’s eye health. You may visit the website of animal ophthalmologists to read more about this fascinating topic and equip yourself with all the information you need to keep your pet’s eyes healthy and clear.

Cost of Cataract Surgery in Dogs

Though the cost of cataract surgery can vary, pet owners can typically expect to pay between $2,700 and $4,000. When considering this significant investment, remember that the procedure offers your pet a healthier, happier life with clearer vision.


Cataract surgery can improve your dog’s quality of life by restoring their vision. Early detection, proper care, and attention to detail are key factors in achieving the best possible outcome for your dog. Armed with the information in this guide, you’re now well-equipped to make informed decisions about your pup’s eye health, allowing them to see clearly again and enjoy their life to the fullest.