Dog Eye Surgery

Although it is not one of the most invasive or complicated procedures, dog eye surgery can nonetheless be an involved, expensive process that requires careful planning and post-operative care. The most common canine eye conditions requiring surgery are glaucomas, cataracts and melanomas. There are a variety of surgeries that are commonly performed on the canine eye, depending upon the condition and its progression as well as on the health and age of the dog.

Types of Canine Eye Surgery

The most common eye surgeries in dogs are simple procedures to remove an obstruction that develops on the eye, such as a cataract. For these procedures, your dog will require a general anesthesia treatment in order to be unconscious for the duration of the surgery. The surgery itself can typically be accomplished within a couple of hours, and your dog may be able to go home with you on the same day as the procedure. In some cases, he will have to remain under veterinary care at the hospital overnight, which will incur additional expenses.

Other canine eye surgeries are to remove inflamed tissues or other objects that may interfering with your pet's vision or eye health. In some cases, your dog's third eyelid or surrounding skin may become infected. In these situations, that tissue may need to be surgically removed if you and your veterinarian are unable to reduce the swelling or irritation with the help of other treatment methods.

A third type of canine eye surgery is a total removal of the eye itself. This procedure is reserved for serious conditions that may pose a threat to your pet's overall health. Melanomas and other forms of cancer fall into this category, as do some other types of diseases as well. Generally, your veterinarian will make all attempts at preserving your pet's eye, even if he is unable to save any of your dog's vision in that eye. These procedures are more involved than other dog eye surgeries and require several nights in the hospital, as well as long term and detailed post-operative care.

Determining Whether Your Pet Needs Eye Surgery

Fortunately, the majority of canine eye conditions can be remedied with the help of medicines and other treatments, and eye surgery is a relatively uncommon procedure amongst dogs. Conditions that require surgical correction oftentimes do not arise until your dog is advanced in age, and you and your vet should discuss the feasibility of putting your dog under the surgical knife in these situations. In some cases, the risks associated with surgery do not outweigh the potential benefits.

In general, take your pet to the veterinarian as soon as you notice any signs of vision problems or growths on his eye. If you detect unusual discharge or any other abnormal physical signs involving one or both of your dog's eyes, have him examined by a vet right away. The sooner that you can diagnose and begin treating his condition, the less likely that surgery will be necessary.