Our goal for your pet is to improve the quality of life by restoring functional vision. Good communication is very important in the success of the surgery over your pet’s lifetime. Committing your pet to our care is a responsibility we welcome and cherish. At the time of your first visit with us, you will receive a guide that we created to help answer some of the many questions you may have during the time before and after the cataract surgery is performed.

 

My dog is a candidate for surgery – What now?

Depending upon the age and overall health of your pet, pre-operative tests may include blood work, urinalysis, ear or teeth cleaning and x-rays to evaluate the heart. Most of these tests and treatments can be done with your regular veterinarian. Eye tests will be scheduled to make sure the retina (“film of the camera”) is healthy. These two tests are an ultrasound of the eye and an electroretinogram (ERG). These tests are done without anesthesia and are non-painful to your pet. A light sedation is usually given. The ERG and ocular ultrasound will be performed within 2 weeks before cataract surgery is scheduled (usually the day before surgery). Your pet will be dropped off in the morning (8am) and stay for the day. When the tests are completed, we will call you with the results and give you a time for pick-up (usually in the evening) or we will keep him the night for the surgery the following morning.

 

Ultrasound of the eye: image in black and white of the eye

Tests, cataracts, surgery, ultrasound, eye, imaging, retina, detachment, ERG, examination
Tests, cataracts, surgery, ultrasound, eye, imaging, retina, detachment, ERG, examination

Electroretinography (ERG): Functional test of the eye

Lens that is cataractous as it appears white

Lens is not in place (luxated) and there is a retinal detachment
that appears like 2 white lines making a « v ».

Tests, cataracts, surgery, ultrasound, eye, imaging, retina, detachment, ERG, examination
Tests, cataracts, surgery, ultrasound, eye, imaging, retina, detachment, ERG, examination

Electrodes in place for an ERG.

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Normal graph for a functional retina

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Many dogs can have inflammation within their eyes due to the cataract itself. You may be given drops or ointment to put in the eye even before surgery is performed. Be sure to continue any prescribed medications until directed otherwise. Take a close look at your schedule during the first 4-6 weeks following the planned surgery to make sure this will be a good time for your family to commit to postoperative care of your pet. Eye medications will be required several times daily and slowly decreased over several weeks depending on your pet’s progress. It is possible for some pets to remain on some kind of eye medication for life, no matter if they have undergone surgery or not.