(THE COSMETIC ALTERNATIVE TO EYE REMOVAL)
What is the purpose of implanting a prosthesis in my dogs eye? The reason for implanting a prosthesis in a dogs eye is purely for cosmetic purposes only. Many people prefer this procedure to the alternative, which is removal of the eye. Your pet will not know any difference as there will be no vision from that side with either surgery.
Why does my pet need to have this surgery? There are many different cases in which eye removal is warranted.
- Glaucoma that is causing severe pain and irreversible blindness. Glaucoma is an increased pressure inside the eye which can be caused by either a primary inherited disease, or secondary to other conditions such as uveitis (inflammation inside the eye), luxation of the lens, or detached retina.
If you are not sure what the reason is, please do not hesitate to ask us to clarify.
What happens the day of surgery? Your pet will be have an IV catheter placed in the leg to administer fluids during and after surgery. For surgery, a breathing tube will be placed in the windpipe to administer gas anesthetic. The heart rhythm, blood pressure, blood oxygen and carbon dioxide levels will all be closely monitored for the entire surgery (which usually lasts about half an hour to 45 minutes). During surgery, the entire contents of the inside of the eyeball (ie – the lens, the iris, the retina) are completely removed through an incision at the top of the eyeball, leaving only the shell of the eye (ie – the white of the eye & the clear cornea at the front, the eye muscles, blood supply and nerves and optic nerve). A black or brown silicone ball is then placed inside the eye and the incision closed with dissolvable stitches. All of the muscles and tissues (including the eyelids) remain as they were and the eye moves around in the socket and the eyelids blink just as they always have.
How will my pet look after the surgery? Commonly, after prosthesis surgery the eye looks very red because blood has collected inside the eye, behind the cornea. This is completely normal and will subside with time- like a bruise. The white of the eye will also look red due to swelling – this too, will subside with time. For a few days after the surgery, it is normal to notice bloody +/or blood tinged discharge from the eye – this can be gently cleaned away with a Kleenex. After surgery, your pet will need to wear an elizabethan collar (“cone”) for a couple of weeks while the incision heals to prevent him/her from doing damage by rubbing. Once the eye is healed, the cornea typically changes color – sometimes to brown, but more often to a blue hazy color – this is normal.
What will I need to do at home after the surgery? Antibiotic drops will be sent home with your pet. This can be administered by lifting your dogs nose upward, pulling the skin above the eye back to open the eye, and placing a drop directly into the eye. There will also be some antibiotic pills and pain medication to give – please use them until they are completely finished. If you need to hide pills in food, that is fine. Please call us if you have ANY concerns or questions.
When will I need to bring my pet back for a recheck? To ensure proper healing is taking place, we will need to see your pet back the week after surgery and then again 2 weeks later once healing is complete and then 1 month later. If the other eye is at risk for developing the same problems, we will need to monitor it regularly.