Cost of Cataract Surgery for Dogs (2023 Guide)

How much does cataract surgery for dogs cost?

Cataract surgery for dogs can cost anywhere from $2,700 to $4,000. Several factors can affect your total cost, including your location, pre-operative procedures, individual eye conditions, and post-operative assessments and medications.

Factors affecting the cost of cataract surgery in dogs

Let’s take a closer look at each factor that affects the cost of canine cataract surgery.

Preoperative procedures

Your dog needs to be diagnosed before any surgical procedure is planned. You will need to visit your veterinarian’s office for an initial eye exam, preliminary diagnostic tests, and blood tests to evaluate your dog’s overall health.

Based on these results, you may be referred to a veterinary ophthalmologist, who will perform a self-examination of your eyes and may order electroretinography (ERG), an eye ultrasound, and comprehensive blood tests. According to Animal Eye Specialists, these initial procedures cost between $200 and $1,200.

The condition of each eye

Your final cost depends on whether your dog requires surgery on one or both eyes and whether you choose to have an intraocular lens (IOL) inserted. IOLs is often recommended to restore your dog’s vision as close to normal as possible. Dogs can still see without an IOL, but they will be farsighted, meaning distant objects will be clear but near objects will be blurred.

Surgery on one eye without an IOL costs significantly less than surgery on both eyes with an IOL in each eye. These costs can vary by veterinarian, but these are the averages according to Animal Eye Specialists

  • Monocular (no IOL): $2,600
  • Monocular (with IOL): $2,800
  • Both eyes (no IOL): $3,400
  • Both eyes (one IOL): $3,600
  • Both eyes (two IOLs): $3,800

Postoperative evaluation and medication administration

After surgery, dogs will sometimes be hospitalized overnight for observation. Once home, your dog will need a cone collar or recovery collar ($10 to $35) to prevent him from scratching his eyes. They will also need antibiotics and eye drops, which may be needed for weeks, months, or indefinitely. A post-operative follow-up visit with a veterinary ophthalmologist may also be necessary to ensure successful surgery.

Your position

The cost of any vet visit, service or procedure depends on your local veterinarian’s fees. The higher the cost of living in your area, the more likely you are to have to pay for a veterinarian.

What is cataract?

ONE Dog cataracts develops when the lens of a dog’s eye becomes cloudy and dense. The membrane prevents light from passing through the lens to the back of the eye. This can blur your dog’s vision, as if he were looking through a foggy window, and eventually lead to glaucoma and blindness. Cataracts can be hereditary and can significantly affect your dog’s quality of life as he ages.

It’s ideal for Early diagnosis of cataracts, especially before they are fully grown. Once the cataract has matured, the entire lens will become cloudy and your veterinarian will not be able to see the retina during examination. At this point, your pet may be partially, if not completely blind. Either way, your veterinarian will likely refer you to a veterinary ophthalmologist because surgery is the only treatment for cataracts.

What are the benefits of cataract surgery in dogs?

The main benefit of successful canine cataract surgery is that your dog will once again be able to see clearly, improving his quality of life and overall health.

If cataracts are not treated, your dog may go blind and become more inflamed, causing pain and leading to other eye problems. For example, inflammation caused by cataracts can prevent the eye from draining properly, leading to fluid buildup. This may result glaucomaa painful condition that creates significant pressure inside the eye.

When to take your dog to the vet for cataracts

If your dog’s breed is genetically susceptible to cataracts, it is essential to take him for regular veterinary checkups so that his eyes can be monitored. Hereditary cataracts can begin causing vision problems in dogs as young as 8 weeks of age, causing them to go blind by 2 to 3 years of age. According to Canine Magazine, the following dog breeds are the most popular susceptible to hereditary cataracts:

  • American cocker spaniel
  • Boston Terrier
  • Gold recovery
  • Miniature poodle dog
  • Miniature Schnauzer
  • Siberian husky dog

Based on, cataracts often develop in older dogs, starting around age 9. This is an ideal time for your veterinarian to check your dog’s eye condition. Dogs with diabetes are at increased risk of developing cataracts, which tend to develop and become painful quickly.

How cataract surgery works

The ophthalmologist must ensure that your dog is a good candidate for cataract surgery before scheduling the procedure. The ophthalmologist will perform preoperative testing, including an eye ultrasound to check for retinal detachment or swelling and an ERG to check your dog’s retinal function.

Cataract surgery in dogs is outpatient, meaning you can take your dog home the same day. Your dog will be under general anesthesia for the procedure. Surgeons use a method called phacoemulsification, in which a small instrument emits ultrasound waves to break up the diseased lens and suction it out of the eye. The surgeon will then insert an intraocular lens (IOL or artificial lens) into the eye to restore your dog’s vision.

Recovery time after surgery is about two weeks and will include monitoring your puppy’s eyes, administering oral medications and eye drops, and making sure your dog does not aggravate the area with cones or collars recover. A postoperative visit with the ophthalmologist should be scheduled after two weeks.

The bottom line: Does your dog need cataract surgery?

If your dog is diagnosed with cataracts, you should consider cataract surgery, especially if the cataract is mature. At this stage, your dog may be battling blindness. Surgery will help relieve pain and improve its overall health.

Cataract surgery for dogs costs between $2,700 and $4,000. This price may increase depending on your location and the diagnostic testing required.

We recommend enrolling your dog in a pet insurance policy to help cover the cost of cataract surgery and additional tests or prescription medications that may be needed for treatment. Although pet insurance providers do not cover it pre-existing conditions and will not cover the cost of cataract surgery if your dog has already been diagnosed, enrolling your pet while it is young will ensure you are reimbursed for cataract surgery and other important procedures. We found that Lemonade, Point And Healthy feet offers the best coverage for canine cataract surgery.

More resources on pet insurance

Below are some additional pet insurance resources so you can determine if a policy is right for you and your loyal companion.

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