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My 11 year old Chihuahua mixed has been diagnosed with cataract on one eye. I'm wondering how many of you would recommend having surgery. Is surgery necessary? Will my dog be having pain and unable to see with a cataract? What are the side affects if I was to have him go through surgery? What if I just let him be and not go for surgery? I'm so confused. But I want the best for my dog. Any advice?
 

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Well, if your dog is in great health otherwise, given he may live to be 20 years old, I'd have the surgery, he has a lot of years ahead of him and, being able to see with both eyes would help. Also it will insure that eye is good if he gets cataracts or other issues with the other eye.
 

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My vet does not recommend cataract surgery as it's only a temporary fix, meaning that the likelihood of the cataract coming back it high. I know of another vet that says the same thing.


I had a dog that had bad cataracts in both eyes, and he adjusted just fine to limited vision and didn't seem to be in any discomfort. Before he went totally blind, from a stroke a month before his 16th birthday, he would still run and play like a dog half his age. He got around the house, and the yard, without any problems at all, but I did learn to not let him have off leash time outside the yard (we lived in the country and lived on 5 acres) as he would run full speed into retaining walls or small saplings. He could still see some, his eyes did respond to light and dark, and I think he could see large objects, but his vision was severely limited.

I'd do a lot of research before having the surgery done. Ask about the likelyhood of the cataracts coming back, how soon could they come back, and the success rate of the surgery. Then you could at least make an informed decision about if the surgery is something worth having done.
 

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I don't know about dogs, but I know for humans that the surgery helps a lot. My mom had it done and it greatly improved her vision. My aunt had it done recently and she's also very happy with it. Dogs may or may not have the same success though.

I'd ask a specialist what they recommend. If you can, get the opinion of more than one specialist (not just your regular DVM).
 

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I don't know about cataracts coming back, as once the opaque lens is removed its gone. I am guessing, that dogs undergoing that surgery, like humans have a lens implanted. If that's the case the cataract couldn't return, as the implanted lens is not organic and not subject to becoming opaque. If it were me, I would talk to the ophthalmologist that would do the surgery, get his or her opinion and then make an informed decision.
 
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