Some dogs are just mischievous and love to get into trouble, fights including. And sometimes their eye can get hurt up to the point that it can’t be fixed and the eye itself could only be a door for further complications. In these situations, the veterinarian may suggest that the eye should come out. Don’t worry, don’t be perfectly capable of functioning well with only one eye. And you will get to find a nice eye patch for your furry friend.
What is enucleation?
This is a term used by the vet to explain the process of removing the affected eye with the surrounding structures, like the eyelids. Vets are never keen on doing this and if they suggest this, then it means that they have reached the line where there isn’t anything they can do to save your dog’s eye and that by doing the surgery you will prevent pain, which can be due to glaucoma, spreading of infection or cancer in the surrounding tissue.
It is something that even your local vet can perform and it does not require a specialist to do it. Dogs usually tend to make a full recovery in 10 days and they are quite happy after the surgery, as they don’t have to experience the pain that they have had before.
What are the signs of dogs having eye issues?
Enucleation is not a decision that is made easily and certain things can lead to it. Owners usually notice that something is wrong with their dog’s eyes when they see them scratching. Also, just like in people, the eyes can be red and there can be a lot of discharge, which sometimes can be greenish and have a nasty smell.
If the dog has a tumorous formation, the eye itself may be changed, it may be bulging towards the outside or the eye can be smaller compared to the other. All of these changes require you to take a short visit to the good doctor’s hospital for an eye check.
My dog got scheduled for enucleation, now what?
There are certain things that your vet will ask you to do before the dog can be taken to surgery. Usually, the day before, they will give you guidance about the feeding regime, meaning that food and water may need to be withheld before surgery. Also, once you bring the dog to the clinic, the vet may run some tests like blood work and biochemistry, just to stay on top of things and get a general picture of how your dog is.
If they are suspecting more, they may run additional advanced imaging such as CT and in some cases even MRI. By now, the dog is hospitalized and it is receiving everything that they need before surgery.
The surgery itself is done under general anesthesia and your dog will be put on pain medicine, meaning that they should have a smooth recovery. If the procedure is pretty straightforward, without any complications, these patients are usually allowed to go home the next day. The vet will give you instructions on how to take care of your dog and what you need to do over the next week. Stitches are usually removed after 10-14 days. Also, your dog will need to wear the cone of shame during this period, because they will most certainly want to scratch themself, which could lead to the opening of the stitches.
How do dogs manage to live without one eye?
They do pretty well! And the reason for this is that dogs, unlike humans rely not only on their eyesight but their noses and ears. This is why they can adjust quite fast after this procedure.
The cost for this type of surgery is usually between $500 and $1000.