03 February 2011

Cataract Surgery for Your Dog.mov

Surgery to remove cataracts in dogs is very successful in restoring normal vision. The cloudy lens is removed by a process called phacoemulsification and a ...

Toby was diagnosed earlier this year

with diabetes and within about two months he went completely blind was bumping into things was falling over it was awful it was it was just awful for us and I'm sure even worse for her he just kind of became more alone and stayed to himself a lot more quit hanging out with other dogs we just couldn't couldn't have her living the way she was living he's my kid vision so often something we take for granted not only in ourselves but in our pets as well but what happens when that vision fails I didn't want to leave her I wanted to take her everywhere I went I mean yeah we had a couple scary moments you know one one time he fell in the pool and I'm here luckily she was there to got him to the side I don't believe he could have found his way out so you know we were hands didn't we were going to come home one day and and you fear the worst would happen to do like most living beings dogs and cats rely on vision as one of their principal sensory devices although most domestic animals do not see with the same detail as humans there are many similarities let's take a look at the structure of an eye in simplified terms the eye has five

basic components first is the outer protective shell consisting of the cornea and sclera next are the pupil and iris which dictate the amount of light entering the eye similar to an aperture on a camera then the lens which like on a camera brings everything into focus then the retina which acts as an image receptor of light entering the eye and finally the optic nerve which connects the retina to the brain there's no real way for us to know exactly what dogs or cats actually see however based on current research it is possible to make some educated assumptions about their visions like so many members of the animal kingdom dogs and cats use binocular vision to judge distance in dogs 30 to 60 degrees of their central field of view overlaps thus creating binocular vision enabling the perception of depth it was commonly thought that dogs only see in black and white however recent studies in dogs and cats suggest that they perceive yellow and blue colors in comparison to humans to perceive yellow blue and red colors hence dogs rely primarily on contrast and movement in visual identification a cataract by definition is opacity of the

lens as in humans cataract is one of the most common diseases to affect vision however unlike in humans cataracts and dogs and cats are primarily inherited other causes of cataracts include diabetes trauma chronic inflammation inside the eye and retinal degeneration the exact mechanism of cataract formation is unknown however molecular changes in the lens fibers and proteins occurs resulting in loss of transparency cataracts are usually first noticed as white spots within the normally black pupil as the lens becomes progressively opaque and vision deteriorates so that only light and dark perception exists Molly wasn't fetching her treats and she had a hard time going down the front stairs walking into everything hiding constantly she couldn't go in and out of the house it just progressed is getting worse and worse currently there are no medications effective in treating or preventing cataracts it is important to note the cataracts are not a growth or a film across the lens but an abnormality in the lens cells that affect their ability to transmit light the only treatment for cataracts is the surgical removal of the lens prior to surgery

additional tests may be required on your pet an electro retina gram or an ERG as well as an ultrasound may be necessary to determine if the retina is healthy if the retina is not functioning properly the I may not be a good candidate for surgery your veterinary ophthalmologist will tell you if these tests are required if your pet requires regular grooming it is advisable to have them groomed prior to the procedure bathing swimming grooming and strenuous activity must be avoided for two to four weeks following surgery as your pet will be wearing a plastic head collar as part of their post-operative care should you take your pet to the groomer how the face and ears clipped short to prevent the fur from matting it is very important to bring all of your pets medications with you on the day of the surgery as the health care team will need to use them throughout the day the surgical procedure is very similar to that which is used in humans the patient is closely monitored throughout the entire operation the surgery is done in a sterile operating room with the same equipment used in human ophthalmology the most common technique for cataract

removal is called phacoemulsification this procedure is minimally invasive allowing the surgery to be performed through a small incision in the cornea three millimeters or less phacoemulsification uses high-frequency ultrasonic waves emitted from the tip of a small probe to break the solid lens into a liquid so that it can be vacuumed out of the eye a synthetic lens then replaces the dysfunctional lens the incision is closed with sutures and the surgery is complete in some cases a lens is not implanted and it is important to note that even without a lens site will be improved your veterinary ophthalmologist will tell you if a synthetic lens is right for your pet you have some concerns your you're very worried about it he came home with a halo on which was to protect his eyes was a little bit difficult because he worked very hard at trying to get the Hilo off he had an Elizabethan collar and that was the worst part of the whole thing but to be honest but after the first 24 hours you find you're very comfortable even give nummies drops and things like that instructions at all their enough you

just learn to do it when administering eyedrops hold the head up nose pointing upwards gently pull the upper lid back to open the eye and drop the medication directly on to the eyeball wait five minutes between different drops to avoid flushing out the previous medication if you are required to use both eyedrops and ointments use the ointment last wipe away any discharge from the eye with a clean moist tissue or face cloth it is important that you contact your eye care professional if you notice any change in the eye for example if the white of the eye becomes more red or the surface of the eye becomes hazy or blue in color or if your pet suddenly start squinting these could be indications of a problem or accidental injury that might require medical attention possible complications include chronic inflammation glaucoma retinal detachment and infection three days of the operation the dope was back to normal eating more sociable a lot more sociable again and just a completely different dog once the surgery was done about 24 hours later which was the following morning because she had it done real early in the morning I put her down with her food to

eat and she started eating her food and she turned around and looked and I could tell that she could see me because her tail started wagland and I got down on the floor and started moving and she was following me with her eyes and it was it was just amazing it was so incredible toby is like a brand new dog he is almost like a puppy the puppy that I got 12 years ago he can see again and he's he's a very very happy dog it's it's like a miracle it is like a miracle giving the dog back his side again she has gone from being a very lethargic geriatric dog to just being a puppy again it's given her back so many years of her life you know says the procedure he's a lot more social dog you know he's interacting with our other dogs better a lot more active you know doesn't hide underneath the table anymore your pet should regain functional vision soon after surgery this procedure has a ninety percent success rate restoring your pet's ability to function in a world with clear vision and and to think that you know we might have considered not doing it and the option you know she's perfectly healthy dog so rewarding to see them getting back you know so

many useful years of their life again you