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Is surgery necessary for ingrown eyelashes because it's very costl...
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Is surgery necessary for ingrown eyelashes because it's very costly

My dog has ingrown eyelashes and I'm told she needs to have surgery, is this necessary?
Type of Animal
:  
dog
Age of Animal
:  
8
Sex of Animal
:  
Female
Breed of Animal
:  
Lhasa Apso
Last date your pet was examined by a vet?
:  
July 10, 2009
City
:  
Hallandale Beach
State/Province
:  
FL
Other pertinent test results
:  
ingrown eyelashes
Related Discussions
Avatar_dr_m_tn
I assume your dog has entropion.  This is a condition where the eyelids turn inward and the eye lashes irritate the eye.  If it is ingrown in the classic sense, that should not be an expensive treatment.  

For Entropion the surgery is fairly straightforward and again should not be too expensive.  Not done, the cornea will become very irritated, ulcerous and potential infections can cause the dog to loose the eye.  

I would get more information from your veterinarian about what the condition is exactly and what the procedure is and what are your alternatives.  

With the eyes, you should not treat it lightly.  They are very delicate and things can go bad quickly.  Loss of an eye is a permanent loss.  
4 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Dear Dr. Humphries,
Thanks for your repsonse.
I appreciate that her eyes are important and should be addressed, however, the Vet I saw and others in my area want to charge $1200 for this procedure.  Unfortunately, I can't afford this amount of money at this time.  She has only had one infection and I have been applying genteal save to her eyes on a regular basis and she has not had another incident.  I don't know what else to do....she does tear a bit but she always did that.  She is an 8 yr.old Lhasa Apso and I love her very much.  I don't have any health insurance for her nor for myself.  I really don't know what to do at this point.  I always worry about her eyes.  She also has a bladder problem and I had to give her a $1500 operation a year and half ago.....I have her urnine tested every 6 months to make sure her ph is where it should be and this time it was too high so she is on antibiotics at the moment.
There is only so much I can afford.....I myself belong to a clinic.....I wish there was something like that for a dog.  I rescued her 6 1/2 yrs. ago and again I can't tell you how much she means to me.
Is there any way I can have this procedure done for less money.....any suggestions?
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685623_tn?1283485207
Good morning Ria...I am very sorry to hear about your pup's eye issues.  Having spent many years working with a veterinarian who did entropion surgeries, I was a little surprised at the cost as well.   As Dr. Jim mentioned, are there other issues, like distichia (eyelashes growing on the inner surface of the eyelid) going on?

Money issues is sadly one of the biggest challenges for pet owners, and for veterinarians as well.   No veterinarian or their staff wants to see a pet go untreated simply due to financial reasons, but at the same time, too many veterinary hospitals have been left with mountains of accounts receivable debt due to their kind hearts and generosity in allowing people to "make payments" and then the person skips out on paying the entire bill.

A couple things you might consider:  1) The American Animal Hospital Association has a fund for hardship cases called the Helping Pets Fund.  If your veterinarian is an AAHA accredited member, they could potentially plead a case for your and your dog.  You can find more information at aahahelpingpets.org.

2) If you haven't thought about it already, you might consider applying for CareCredit (carecredit.com).  This personal finance option allows you several time frames for repayment and can act like your pet's own credit card.

3) It may not work for you now, but a neat new idea for pet owners is the idea of Pet Health Savings accounts.   You can see an example of one at pawsitivesavings.com.


One thing I found in my experience is that "shopping around" for a better price can be helpful, but you also end up spending as each veterinarian should be paid for their exam of the pet.  Still, it never hurts to have a second opinion....

I wish you the best of luck...please let us know how your little Lhasa does
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
I think a quick second opinion would be in order.  It will depend entirely on what the exact condition is, but most of these are not expensive to treat.  Secondary consequences can be serious because chronic irritation of the cornea can cause very serious and irreversible damage to the eye.  

The artificial tears is very very good for you to be doing now.  But see about a second opinion and get an exact diagnosis and perhaps treatment alternatives. And as Tom said, there are alternatives to direct pay.  
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