Canine Cataract Surgery vs. Medicinal Treatment

Treatment for a canine with cataracts currently offers two options, cataract surgery or treatment with medicine. While each method has its advantages, one clearly offers proven and predictable improvement in canine vision.

Canine Cataract Surgery

Veterinary ophthalmologists use phacoemulsification to break down the crystallized lens and, in many cases, utilize a lens implant in one eye in order to provide a dog with both far and near-sightedness. The removal of the opaque lens provides an immediate improvement to a dog's vision. Not all dogs are candidates for this procedure, as their general health and age must fall within certain guidelines. While there is post-surgical healing time involved and the treatment expensive, the results are more predictable than the medicinal option.

Medicinal Option For Cataracts

The medicinal option is a process of giving eye drops to your dog three to four times every day for three months to a year, depending on how quickly the cataract responds to treatment. The drops are an N-acetyl-carnosine solution that gradually lessens the opacity of the crystallized lens. Results of this treatment are unpredictable and vary depending upon the maturity and type of cataract. Injury-induced cataracts and those caused by diabetes frequently take longer to respond. Medicinal treatment can be used in dogs of any age or health condition, barring any negative drug interactions.

Both canine cataract surgery and medicinal treatment offer results in the treatment of canine cataracts. While the surgery's results are more predictable and immediate, the drops offer a less invasive option that can be used with most dogs. In either case, the dog can enjoy an enhanced quality of life with a return to clearer vision.