How Much Does Cataract Surgery for Dogs Cost?
When a dog’s lens of its eye “clouds” up, it may be time for cataract surgery. Just like in a human, this surgery will replace the damaged lens with an intraocular lens implant, also known as IOL. The cost of this surgery is going to greatly depend on the surgeon performing it, the location, as well as the complexity of the situation. Cataracts are removed by board certified veterinary ophthalmologists.
How much is it?
- On average, this surgery can range anywhere from $1,400 to as much as $3,900 for both eyes. For those with pet insurance, check with the provider to see what is covered under your pet’s policy.
- The price can be cut in half if only one eye needs the treatment. Most of the time, however, both of the eyes will need treatment.
What are the extra costs?
- Extra medication will be necessary after the surgery is performed. Many vets will recommend that the dog stays at their office for several days. Every night in the hospital can add to the total price.
- Supplies such as specialized dog bandages will be needed to ensure that the dog avoids any bright lights for a few weeks after the surgery.
- If the surgery does not help the dog’s vision, some vets may recommend other surgeries or additional treatments.
What is going to be included?
- The vet is going to replace the bad lens with an implant, allowing the dog to see fully again. 9 times out of 10, this surgery works, but there is the rare case that the implant does not take. Be sure to consult with your vet to know the risks of this surgery.
- Most vets will be more than happy to give a free consultation before the surgery begins. They will be able to explain what needs to be done prior, during, and after the surgery to ensure that your dog has the best experience possible.
Tips to know:
- The risks of this surgery can include scar tissue, glaucoma, retinal detachment, and intraocular infection. Many vets also warn that an animal can die under general anesthesia.
- Dogs that tend to need this surgery include Golden Retrievers, Labradors, German Shepard, and many of the Terriers breed.
- A majority of the time, cataracts are present at birth. Cataracts can also become hereditary as well and can be found to become developed down the road later in life. Most vets have found that these can develop around the age of 8 years or older.
- This type of surgery is going to be considered a quality of life surgery, rather than a life saving surgery, so don’t feel as if you have to get this accomplished in order for your dog to live a longer life.
How can I save money?
- There are many alternatives that can help your dog’s health such as eye drops. Consult with your vet to explain alternative solutions. One such supplement that can assist with the dog’s cataracts are nutrient supplements that can help the dog see clearer again. These supplements are rather new so the results can greatly vary.
- If you’re set on getting this surgery done, it’s best to talk with at least 2 to 3 different vets to compare prices and veterinarian skills. Remember, when it comes to your dog’s health, cheaper is not always better.