View Full Version : PLEASE READ-Need Advice on Eye Disease/Surgery

21st January 2011, 10:12 PM
Our 4.5-year-old CKCS, Harry, was just diagnosed with three different eye diseases: cataracts in both eyes, dry-eye syndrome, and a luxated left lens. We understand that the luxated lens is causing him a great amount of pain.

We just started him yesterday on an anti-inflammatory eyedrop, as well as a drop for the luxated lens that is supposed to keep it from getting worse.

Our estimate for a surgery to repair both eyes' cataracts, as well as the luxated lens, is $3,300 at one teaching hospital and $5,000 at a private vet hospital.

We do not want him to live in pain, BUT is there a way to manage these problems without surgery (ie. medicine alone)? We know that he is nearly blind, but we will have a difficult time coming up with that much money.

Has anyone else here had to face eye disease with accompanying pain? Has anyone else been in this predicament?

Thank you!

Lanie and Dave

22nd January 2011, 12:51 AM

Have you been to a certified veterinary ophthalmologist? If not, I would recommend seeing one as they are most knowledgeable of the latest and greatest with eyes and could best tell you if there are management options versus surgery. I have one Cavalier with severe dry-eye and our regular vet said we had done everything we could and surgery or eye removal was our only option. The ophthalmologist of course said surgery was going to be our last resort and she had some options for management we needed to try first. We have been on her program for two weeks now and his eye has drastically improved and his mood is reflecting it. Hope that helps!

23rd January 2011, 03:24 PM
Hi, CVFlagg,

Yes, we took him to the doggie eye doc, but we got the impression that they were pushing surgery and perhaps up-charging us on everything, even meds. One visit -- our first -- cost $400. We're just looking for a more objective opinion. We probably will pay for the surgery as he is young and loves his walks/hikes/paddling trips with us. We'd just like to know if there is a way to manage the pain without surgery.

Thank you so much for your reply! Any other advice would be appreciated.


23rd January 2011, 07:04 PM
I think if you have had this advice from a specialist it should be taken. Eye problems are very, very painful and your dog has several at once. Some of those conditions if caught early and treated with drops, can be halted, and then not require surgery, but once they advance to a certain point then the only option because of pain, is surgery.

You could go speak to a different eye specialist but you will probably get the same recommendation I think and the cost would be better put toward the surgery.

One thing I would be asking is how much sight would be preserved if the surgery was done. If this were just one eye and not much sight would remain I'd consider the lower cost option of having the eye removed (which a vet can do). On the other hand you have a younger dog and if there is promise of good quality of sight and life with the surgery -- then that is the responsible way to go.

If you know the breeder, please send them this diagnosis as the parent dogs and offspring should never be bred again or other offspring risk these painful conditions. :( Cataracts should be something the breeder is watching for, and all breeding stock should have been eye tested -- this generally would pick up cataracts.

I am guessing you don't have insurance to ease the burden of cost a bit?

23rd January 2011, 09:13 PM
Thank you, Karlin, for your reply. We will probably go ahead with the surgery due to Harry's pain and quality of life. We do not have insurance for Harry. The cataracts are in both eyes, but the ophthalmologist thinks he would have a good outcome with good sight in at least one eye.

Harry was a rescue, but, believe me, if I could contact the breeder, I would give her a BIG piece of my mind! We also suspect Harry has SM -- with the scratching issue, the yelping in pain sometimes when touched, and the fly-biting -- but we have to deal with his eye issues first.

Again, thanks for the advice.


26th January 2011, 02:58 AM
So sorry to hear about your issues with Harry.

I have Nash (my non Cav) who is a Cocker Springer mix, and due to diabetes, he developed cataract's and now has glaucoma. He also has a luxated lens in one of his eyes.

We were not able to afford the cataract surgery (hubby was unemployed at the time) and Nash was over 10 when he developed them. He has coped very well blind, and most people don't even realize he is. We manage his glaucoma with drops (3 different drops 5 times a day). And I've found that Costco (I don't know if you live in the US) has the best prices on them (and I've priced everyone). We made the decision to stay with the drops still they stop working (this does happen), as we hate putting our diabetic 'under'.

The Opthamologist didn't mention pain with the luxated lens but we did know he was having pain with the glaucoma. But, the drops have controlled that very well, and his pressure is excellent, and he is pain free. He's a very happy dog. We're fortunate to live in an area with a great Vet school, and great Vets coming out of that school.

The biggest thing with the cataract surgery is not to wait too long. Cataracts can progress, and with Harry being a young dog, if you can get the surgery done, I'd do it. We were given prices originally of around $2500 an eye, or both for a little under $4000. If you have a Vet school within driving distance, you might do better there.

Hope I've helped a little.

Cindy and Claire my lil Ruby