Cataracts---a leading cause of blindness in dogs---occur when the ratio of water and protein in the lens is disrupted. This disruption occurs when there is damage to the biochemical system that naturally balances this ratio. There are many different forms and causes that make this happen. The most common cause of cataracts is inheritance of the gene in purebred dogs.
The cost of cataract removal can vary greatly for each dog due to such things as anaesthesia, lab work, medications, implants and post-surgical exams. A dog's size and weight are factors that affect these cost differences.
Extracapsular extraction involves a 180-degree incision in the cornea and manual expression of the lens cortex. This surgery is needed when the cataract is very dense.
Phacoemulsification uses ultrasound waves to break up the cataract, leaving a smaller incision and more thorough removal of lens fragments. This procedure has a 92 per cent success rate.
Intraocular Lens (IOL) Implants
Phacoemulsification with IOL replacement has been the standard treatment since the 1970s. Following the success of using IOL implants on humans since the 1950s, canines have also stood to benefit from these replacement lenses.
The total cost of bilateral cataract surgery with replacement IOLs is approximately £2,210. Due to the varying factors for the surgery, a veterinary ophthalmologist will determine whether a dog is able to have the surgery and provide a cost quote.