How Is Cataract Surgery Performed on Dogs and Cats?

Cataracts remain a concerning health issue for pets, like dogs and cats, affecting their eyesight and overall quality of life. This article outlines cataracts’ causes, symptoms, and treatments, including surgical procedures. You’ll also learn about post-operative care, preventive strategies, and the importance of regular vet check-ups for early detection.

Cataracts in Pets

Our beloved pets, much like us, can suffer from various health issues. One of the most common yet overlooked areas of concern is their eyes. Cataracts in animals, similar to human cataracts, involve the clouding of the lens within the eye, which can significantly impair vision and may ultimately lead to blindness. Various factors, including aging, diabetes, trauma, or genetic predisposition, can cause this condition.

Pet Eye Conditions

  • Cataracts: Cataracts are a prevalent eye issue among older pets, particularly dogs. It leads to the lens clouding, impairing the animal’s vision, and can progress to total blindness if left untreated. You might notice a bluish-gray or white color in your pet’s pupils if they have this condition.
  • Glaucoma: Glaucoma manifests when there’s excessive pressure in the eye, which can damage the optic nerve and lead to vision loss. Symptoms include excessive tearing, visibly enlarged or swollen eyes, and discomfort.
  • Conjunctivitis: Commonly known as “pink eye,” conjunctivitis stems from an infection or allergen that causes the inflammation of the conjunctiva, the membrane that lines the inner surface of the eyelids. Signs include redness, eye discharge, and frequent blinking.
  • Uveitis: Uveitis is inflammation of the inner parts of the eye. It can cause symptoms such as redness, pain, and an unusual glittering appearance. Uveitis can indicate an underlying systemic issue, like an infectious disease or immune-mediated condition.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy: This degenerative disease affects the photoreceptor cells in the eyes, leading to night blindness initially and then progressing to total blindness. It’s more common in specific breeds and is inherited, with no known cure.

Cats are susceptible to specific eye problems, including corneal ulcers, feline herpesvirus, and high blood pressure, which can all impact eye health. Regular check-ups with a vet that provides expert eye care for cats are essential to prevent and manage these issues.

Examining Pet’s Eyes

Examination of a pet’s eyes is crucial in detecting early cataracts and other eye diseases. Veterinary eye exams typically involve checking for any visible signs of disease, examining the lens, and measuring intraocular pressure, which is crucial in diagnosing conditions like glaucoma.

Preparing for Pet Eye Surgery

Preparation for pet eye surgery begins with a thorough examination of your pet’s overall health and specific tests for the eyes. The vet will then discuss the best surgical options, commonly phacoemulsification, for cataract removal. This method uses ultrasound to break up the cataract, which is gently removed through a small corneal incision. This procedure usually takes 1-3 hours and requires your pet to undergo general anesthesia.

Eye Surgery Services

Regarding eye surgery services, treatment quality should be your top priority. You can get vet eye surgery services in Kirkland, WA, in many places, but choosing a practice with excellent veterinarians and state-of-the-art equipment is essential. Intra-operative care includes placing an artificial intraocular lens and replacing the natural, diseased lens.

Post-Operative Care for Pets

Post-surgical care is essential for a successful recovery following dog cataract surgery or cat cataract removal. Initially, your pet may need an Elizabethan collar to avoid eye damage. Follow-up visits are necessary to monitor healing and to adjust medications as required.

Ophthalmology Specialist

In any case, when it comes to your pet’s eye health, an ophthalmology specialist should be your go-to resource. From their knowledge of intricate surgical procedures to their experience in post-operative care, they have the expertise you need. For more information, you can always return to their homepage and browse through the services and resources they offer.

Importance of Regular Eye Examinations

  • Early Detection of Diseases: Regular eye examinations allow for the early detection of various eye diseases, such as cataracts, glaucoma, and corneal ulcers. The sooner these conditions are identified, the better the likelihood of efficient treatment and preserved vision.
  • Check Health Progress: Regular eye check-ups help monitor the progress of existing conditions. It can help determine whether the treatment is working or if there’s a need for change.
  • Prevent Vision Loss: Untreated eye conditions can lead to severe vision loss and blindness. Regular eye examinations can help prevent this by treating conditions as soon as they arise.
  • Assess General Health: Often, other health issues like diabetes, hypertension, or certain infections display initial symptoms in the eyes. Regular eye exams can help in detecting these issues in a timely.
  • Rule out Breed-Specific Issues: Certain dog breeds are prone to specific eye problems. Regular check-ups can ensure that these concerns are detected and treated proactively.


Navigating through pet cataracts can be challenging, yet the advances in veterinary medicine render eye conditions manageable. Early detection, expert care, and appropriate intervention ensure your pet’s vision remains healthy. With comprehensive eye examinations, proactive pet healthcare, and post-operative follow-ups, your furred companions can live a comfortable, satisfying life.