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Cataract Journals?
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
I am way behind on my reading but I have some questions. I am taking Rocco in this coming Monday for
an atch stim test for his Cushings but also to see if he is now a candidate for cateract surgery as he is mostly blind. What happens in the following weeks after surgery? Do they have to wear one of those collars that they hate so much? Do I have to give him drops or any other type of medication? How soon is their sight back to "normal" and can you see if seeing again affects their disposition? How's that for questions.

Thank you

Steve and Rocco

Hello Steve...I'm so excited to hear this, I certainly hope that your boy is a candidate for the cataract removal, the day of Mildred's surgery I dropped her off around 8am, I was told that they would call around 1pm, on the dot I recieved the phone call that all went well and that they were able to insert a new lens into each eye, they wanted to keep her for another hour or so but being anxious I showed up around 2:30pm to pick her up...as I was standing in the waiting room paying the bill a vet tech came walking out with her on the end of a leash, I had a quick chat with the surgeon, I was curious as to why she didn't have a 'cone' around her as I've heard and read that that was the norm, he said that he rarely uses them in his 20+ years of performing cataract surgeries because there was really nothing she could do to hurt her eyes, she and I walked out to my car, her leading the way, her favorite toy duck was on the floorboard, she picked that up and sat in the seat looking around, for the 2 hour ride home she either played with her duck or looked out the window, for the few months to follow she required several eye medications 3-4 times a day, she had several rechecks for the next 3 months, one of the eye drops that contained a steroid was raising her bgs so much that the eye doc approved it to be discontinued after the first few weeks...honestly Steve, as far as I could tell Mildred began seeing everything as soon as she walked out to me in the waiting room, her life suddenly became exciting again to her, I can not describe how amazing it was to watch her 'rediscover' her world, 
there were absolutely no problems involved in her recovery (except of course the elevated bgs because of the 1 drop)...she was also one of
the lucky ones that did not require any sort of continued eye drops for the rest of her life as I hear some do....now over 2 1/2 years later she has occasional eye checkes by my regular vet but she continues to see everything and act as happy as can be...it was by far the best money I ever spent! sending good vibes your way that Rocco will be a good candidate for this surgery and that his can go as smooth, Eileen

from Steve
What a great report!!! That will definitely affect my decision to do this. Was Mildred regulated at the time? Also how old was she at the time of the surgery?
Thanks, you're great!!

Steve and Rocco

from Eileen
Honestly Steve the worst part of it all was as I was dropping her off for the surgery, I almost backed out because I didn't know how I would live with myself putting her thru a selective surgery and if something were to go wrong...the surgeon came out to reassure me. Since it was being done in a town 2 hours away and I didn't want to deal with fog I went up the night before and stayed in a motel...something happened on the ride up as right when I was entering the town she started showing very obvious signs of hypo, I pulled off the freeway and treated that, called the eye doc and took her in for a quick check, he said that she was ok by then but we'd see in the morning...come morning she was alright and ready for the 
surgery. Two months prior to her cataract surgery is when she had her gall bladder removed, I'd say that she wasn't 'perfectly' regulated but overall pretty consistant. She was about 7 at the time of the surgery.Good luck, looking forward to hearing Rocco's updates, Eileen

from Eileen
The surgery was performed by Dr. Dennis Olin in Stockton, Calif., it ran about $2,900.00. This was for both eyes and a lens implanted into each, this also included the follow up visits, the meds were not included but I can not remember what they ran.


from Phyllis
I'm not Eileen, but Maximus just had cataract surgery with lens implantation.  We did not do the surgery because he was blind, but rather as an attempt to avoid removing his eyes.  The vision restoration was icing on the cake.

Max is a rescue & we suspect, has been blind for some time.  He managed very well, in fact, when moved here, only took him a couple of days to know where his crate & kuranda bed were, where his food & water [both inside & out] were & go in & out of the house & all around the yard.

Max's surgery was "sudden".  And according to their own pamphlet, he would NOT have been a good surgical candidate [his blood glucose was not controlled, he did not have good dental health & he had a Grade 4 heart murmur], but we didn't have anything to lose.  He would have had to have surgery anyway to remove his eyes.  The only other option was to euthanize.

Anyway, Max had his surgery 2 weeks ago yesterday [Tuesday, July 8th].  We picked him up that same afternoon.  By Thursday afternoon, July 10th, we were beginning to see signs of his vision possibly returning.  By Friday, there was no mistaking it.  He could see.  We were told to expect vision anywhere from 2 days to 2 weeks.  He was seen yesterday for his post-op visit & released.  We were told then that his visual acuity would continue to improve for the next 3 months.  My response...  Max will see better than I do!

Following return of his vision he became much more animated & active.  Also, he is NOT deaf as we suspected.  Evidently, when he heard something, since he couldn't see, there was no reason to look around for it or even acknowledge it.

Regarding the e-collar, it is extremely important that they do not scratch their eyes.  However, we went equipped with an e-collar to immediately put it on him & they instructed not to unless we had to.  Sometimes the e-collars are stressful to dogs & as a diabetic, they wanted to avoid any unnecessary stress.  We did end up using one beginning the day after surgery on a day to day basis, but we got the blow-up kind.  Looks like an innertube around his neck.  [We did use the regular e-collar for the first few days when we couldn't be with him - overnight & when we actually left the house]  Max is a dachshund & having short legs, the blow-up one worked fine & was all that we needed.  I have attached a picture of Max with his collar on.

Post-op meds were...
antibiotic drops 3 x's daily
steroid drops 4 x's daily  [yes, they did impact blood glucose & in speaking with them, they would only discontinue if Max went into distress]
Metcam [a non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory] once daily
Following release yesterday...
antibiotic discontinued
steroid drops 3 x's daily for 2 weeks, 2 x's daily for 2 weeks, 1 x daily for 2 weeks  [was hoping the tapering woulkd be quicker, but don't want to jeopardize the success of the surgery, so we'll deal with it] 
Metacam daily for 60 days
Hope this gives you an idea of what to expect.  Also, keep in mind, this was a dog that will be 12 in September, we really didn't have much in the way of history on & that would not have been considered a "good" surgical candidate due to his current condition.

Phyllis & Jay Leoncavallo 
Dachshund Rescue North America - Germantown, TN

Maximus' surgery was done in Memphis, TN by Dr. Bill Miller, a Canine Ophthalmic Surgeon.  His practice is called Advanced Animal Eye Care.  He teaches at MS State University & practices in Memphis, TN, Jackson, MS & Little Rock, AR.  In Memphis, he sees patients & performs surgery at the Animal Emergency Center.  I assume he has similar arrangements in Jackson & Little Rock.

His normal cost is $ 2,800 +/-.  However, he does offer a Rescue discount of 25%.  Max's surgery ended up being $ 2,026.

If you have a story to share please contact me and I will include them on this website as an educational resource for others considering surgery.

Judy Dick
Email:  queenie@mnsi.net

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