Eye injuries in dogs is unfortunately quite common. Enucleation (removal of the eye) is sometimes necessary. After surgery, most dogs can be expected to live normal lives and adjust quite well to having one eye.
Reasons for eye removal
Injuries such as lacerations, proptosis (where the eye is forced out of the eye socket), blunt injury to the eye and/or eyelids, foreign body injuries, congenital deformities, cat claw injuries, dog bite injuries, cancer, lacerations of the cornea, gunshot pellet wounds and severe head/eye socket injury from being kicked by a horse or hit by a car may cause such severe trauma to the eye that is may need to be removed. Insect bites and chemical injuries (such as mace being sprayed into the eye) may also cause significant damage. Dog bites and cat scratches can be especially dangerous since they deliver bacteria along with the injury, which can quickly lead to infection.
What to Expect
There are two options as far as specific procedures to remove the eye. In one procedure (an exenteration), all of the tissues are removed including muscles. An enucleation. The eyeball is removed and the eyelid edges are sewn shut, making it appear as if the dog has his eye closed. After surgery, the surgery site must be protected. A cone collar will help prevent your dog from scratching the site. He may also be prescribed oral antibiotics and pain medication. Expect to see some swelling at the surgical site and possibly mild bloody discharge. Both of these effects should subside within a few days.
Cost will vary depending on your vet, but according to Northwest Animal Eye Specialists, enucleation will cost £829 to £1,085 (as of June 2010).
Sometimes surgery to remove the eye is inevitable, but it should be a priority to see a vet immediately for any eye injury your dog suffers---no matter how minor it may seem at first. Keeping a cone collar on hand to put on your dog to keep him from rubbing, licking and scratching his injuries. Advances in veterinary medicine have made it possible to save the dog's vision more frequently than in the past.
If your dog experiences severe swelling or oozing at the surgical site after surgery, or otherwise shows signs of not feeling well (such as fever, lethargy or not eating), call your vet immediately.