Does your pet have cataracts? Cataracts are a white/gray opacity that develops in the structure known as the lens. As a cataract develops, your pets vision may become impaired. There are many causes for cataracts including genetic, age related, secondary to trauma, or secondary to other diseases such as diabetes mellitus. The only treatment for cataracts is surgical removal. The procedures and equipment used to remove cataracts in dogs are the same as those used in humans. In most cases, an artificial lens is replaced in your pets eyes. After successful cataract surgery, your pets vision will be restored to near normal.
The first step in pursuing cataract surgery is bringing your pet in for an initial consultation with Dr Low. The second step is returning for pre-cataract surgery testing, where a set of specific tests will be done to see if your pet is a candidate for surgery. If your pet passes all the tests, cataract surgery will be scheduled. The surgery itself will take place at another facility with whom we have a trusted relationship with. After surgery, your pet will return to see Dr. Low for all of the rechecks and follow-up care.
Your pet can develop tumors of the eyelids or any part of the eye. Many eyelid tumors can be removed using just local anesthetic, thereby avoiding the need for general anesthesia. Other tumors that are large or more aggressive in nature may require general anesthesia and surgical removal.
Distichia are "extra" eyelashes that grow from the margin of the lid and may touch or rub on your pets eye. This can be irritating, causing tearing and corneal ulcers. These lashes can be frozen (cryotherapy) and removed.
The cornea is the clear, outer portion of the eye. If the cornea has a deep ulcer, puncture wound, laceration, or abscess, it may require a grafting procedure to help it heal.
Enucleation means 'removal of the eye.' If your pets eye is painful and no longer visual, it may need to be removed. There are several procedures that can be performed for a more cosmetic appearance.
In certain cases, an intra lera scl prosthesis may be an alternative to enucleation. Many people feel it provides a much more cosmetic appearance. In this procedure, the eye is opened and the contents (lens, iris, retina, etc) are removed. Next, a silicone prosthesis is placed inside the eye, and the eye is closed. With this procedure, your pet retains the "shell" of the eye. The eye will continue to move since the muscles remain attached to the globe, giving a more natural appearance. Dr. Low will let you know if your pet is a candidate for this procedure.
Has a red lump suddenly appeared in the corner of your pet's eye? Your pet has a 3rd eyelid and there is a gland associated with this eyelid that that may come loose from its attachment and be seen in the corner of the eye. The best treatment is to have this gland surgically replaced.
There are many other surgical procedures available to your pet. Dr. Low will discuss these procedures with you and answer any questions you may have.