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Cataract surgery
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Cataract surgery

Have any of you done cataract surgery? My almost 11 year old APBT has cataracts in both eyes. She is otherwise healthy.  I am torn on doing the surgery.  She functions well but she wants to go 'all out' all the time which means she runs into a lot of things.  Any advice would be welcome!

~~dgg
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For what it's worth, my advice (assuming you can afford the surgery and your dog is healthy enough to withstand it) is to go ahead and get it done. I have had a dog grow old enough to go completely blind, which to be honest meant 50% of her enjoyment of life was diminished. At the time, surgery just wasn't an option due to her age and the cost, but now I would do it in an instant. Dogs get so much out of life and sight is one of the major senses that help them achieve life's fulfillments. Of course, the advice of your vet is much more important than anything I could say, but other than that I would say yes, give your dog her sight back. Tony
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Thanks for the input.  Yeah, I am really watching my money right now, but if it is the right thing to do I won't let that stand in the way.  I had an English Bulldog several years ago that was almost totally blind the last 2 years or so but he was very sedate about it.  As long as no one moved the furniture he never ran into anything; you really couldn't tell his sight was gone and he seemed to still have an awesome quality of life. Idgie, OTOH, is a little firecracker and is not very inclined to think before leaping!
I think I am going to talk to my vet again and get the referral to the specialist to do an initial consult and evaluation and go from there.

After years of bulldogs, anesthesia makes me nervous and she hasn't been under since she was 9 months old and had to have her elbow rebuilt.  I know APBT's do better as they don't have the breathing problems but I'm a worrywart :-)

Thanks again!

~~ dgg
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Hi dgg. Let me know how you go on with the referral. It will be interesting to hear what the specialist says, after the consultation, and whether they advise doing both eyes or just one. The advantage of doing just one is a shorter time under anesthetic, so something to consider. Tony
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Just wanted to provide an update.  Idgie had her cataract surgery today!  They did both eyes, but were only able to implant a new lens in one because of excessive cholesterol/mineral deposits that had formed in the other one.  She is in recovery right now at the hospital and I pick her up tomorrow.  

I am really excited as she was not adapting AT ALL to the blindness and was either slamming into things at high speed or getting nervous about what was going on around her.
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WOW! How exciting for you both! Glad to hear something positive on this forum!  Thank you......Please, keep us updated.....
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The girl is home!  She can see out of the eye that got the replacement lens, and should adjust to the vision in the other eye with time.  She needs 3 different drops in each eye 3X a day, and is also on oral antibiotics, metacam for inflammation, and tramadol for pain.  Poor thing is also in a cone for at least the next 2 weeks.  I know it hurts because she groans periodically and pit bulls usually never show any pain unless it's brutal.

She is nestled next to me on the sofa trying to nap in between her crazy mom shoving yet more drops in her eye!
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Hopefully this will be the final update!  All I want to say is: if you are contemplating this surgery it is worth it. BUT...make sure you have enough money not only for the surgery but also for the aftercare.  The eye drops are expensive and you will need them for quite a while.  

Also, assume that you will have the dog that has the complications that they warn you about.  If you don't then great! But prepare for the worst. We had one eye that ulcerated badly resulting in ER trips and then multiple appointments with the specialist, heavy duty expensive oral antibiotics and many, many drops (6x per day antibiotic, 3x day anti-inflammatory 3x day for pressure)

Which brings me to the last caveat. One of the things they will ask you is if the dog will cooperate with the aftercare. This is huge. At one point I had to administer drops every 4 hours. Make sure you have a dog that can deal with this. (My other one would never go along with that program, it's hard to even get him to take a pill).  And make sure that you have the time to administer all the medication or have someone that can.  I'm self employed with a flexible schedule.  I can't imagine trying to dose 6x per day on a traditional office schedule!

All that aside, we are now off all oral meds, the ulcers have fully healed and the drops are reduced to 1x per day, 2x per day and 3x per day for the last.  She can see great even with only one lens implant, and is back to her spunky self.
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Great news...Thank you so much for this information......So glad you've got all that behind you & she is doing well...I love good news stories! We don't get them very often, here..  ;(      Karla
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Hi. I didn't get the chance to say anything before now, due to family a bereavement and time taken up on other things ... but I was so pleased to read you went ahead with the surgery and that Idgie has come through it all with flying colours. It was lovely to read she is back to her old self and enjoying her sight again. If she could, she would thank you for everything you have done for her, I'm sure, but as she can't actually say it, I'm sure she shows it to you in other ways every day. Well done you. Karla is right, we seem to get very few stories here that fill our hearts with joy, but this one has really brightened my day. Tony
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Well. So after all the complications and drama and final restoration of sight, we now have glaucoma. Severe. Had emergency laser surgery last night to both eyes to relieve the pressure. She was released today with drainage sutures in both eyes. Pressures are 17 and 31, down from a high of 51 in the eye most severely affected. Which is also the eye with the implanted lens. She has a dazzle response in both eyes but no clear reactivity to motion. Prognosis is guarded.

So in summary, 8K later I now have a dog that is, once again, mostly blind. Sigh. Please everyone send some good energy our way. We are both a little beaten up at this point.
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Well, that *****!!!! Sounds like my luck!  I'm so sorry for this traumatic setback for YOU and your DOG....My goodness....I'm sending lots of good vibes & prayers your way...Hang in there, I KNOW the "beaten" feeling all too well!   Keep us posted, Karla
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Thanks Karla! She seems to be feeling a little better today, but still no vision. She's on Metacam, tramadol, and 4(!) different eye drops 2-3x per day. We go back Thursday for a recheck on healing and to try to determine if there is any hope for sight restoration.
One of the main reasons I did the original surgery was that I was planning on moving this year, and I wanted her to be able to see when she had to get used to a new house and yard. The house is on the market now, and we are back to blind again. I just feel so bad for my little sweetie!
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Oh my, this is really disappointing. My heart slumped when I read your message. This probably isn't helpful, but I have had a dog that went completely blind - she was an amazing dog that lived to be 20yrs old and, just like many old people, she had various health issues, including going blind. For a dog her age, she coped extraordinarily well, albeit that we had to keep furniture and other stuff in exactly the same position so she could remember where they were and avoid them - which she achieved.

You have done amazing things for your best friend and even if the loss of sight cannot be overcome, you gave her a brief time when she must have felt fantastic with her sight restored. It's not fair this should now happen to her - or to you.

Love, Tony x
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The current status is pressure is back down to 11 in the bad eye, 14 in the other. She is reacting to light and motion in both eyes but still barrels around the house bouncing off things like she really can't see much.

We go back the end of next week for another check. The Dr. did say that her sight could continue to improve so we have fingers and paws crossed!
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Hi. Fingers crossed for slow but steady improvements. Do let us know how things go at the Docs. You are doing a wonderful job caring for her. Tony x
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