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WWYD - old dog and cataracts

(5 Posts)
daisygirlmac Sat 07-Jan-17 20:49:00

Can you all help me think this through please? I've been at the vets this week with our blind rescue JRT and she thinks he has cataracts, not blindness from an old infection as our previous vet had thought. Essentially, it looks like it might be possible to improve his vision but obviously at a cost (she thinks around £1000). He's not insured as he's elderly (around 13) and it was too high each month.

My dilemma is, do we try and do this? That would be a huge amount for us to find and we are expecting our first baby in 3 weeks so I've just started mat leave. It wouldn't be an issue if I was at work but I'm on stat pay.

I just feel so sad for him!! We moved in November and he's still struggling to find his way round, he is also doing more sniffing than walking which is making his walks a bit of a chore. Help me decide what to do! He's otherwise fit and well, but 13!!

TrionicLettuce Sat 07-Jan-17 22:26:34

You have my sympathies, that's a really tough situation to be in flowers

Firstly, has he been seen by a veterinary ophthalmologist or just your normal vet? Not all dogs are suitable candidates for the surgery and they could help you more with deciding how appropriate it would be to go ahead with it. I'd also double check the price as £1k seems very low, especially if both eyes are affected. DDog2 had bilateral cataract surgery about six years ago and it cost £5k. A quick google suggests prices don't seem to have dropped too dramatically since then.

It is quite major surgery and the recovery period is tough (lots of eye drops, frequent trips back to the surgeon for check ups, extremely restricted exercise for a number of weeks, etc.) so with an older dog who was coping well with losing their sight I'd probably err on the side of not going ahead. That said, it's very important to closely monitor a dog with cataracts to check for any signs of secondary conditions developing which may need surgical intervention anyway.

I would definitely suggest for now seeing a proper ophthalmologist with him if you haven't already, talking it all through with them and then seeing what options you have then.

dudsville Sat 07-Jan-17 22:29:45

Oh, money aside, at 13 I'd not be too rather to put my dog through that. He's gradually got used to loss of sight and if you don't move things around too much and he's lived in that environment a long time I'd be tempted to leave it. Do you have a safe enclosed garden he can roam in?

daisygirlmac Sat 07-Jan-17 23:00:44

We've only seen the normal vet so yes I will investigate seeing an ophthalmologist to double check. It was the vet who said around £1000, which I understood to be one eye. I am 100% certain we can't afford to do both eyes but thought one eye and some vision would be better than none at all. I'm ok with the recovery period, I'll be at home anyway so can look after him properly.

He coped really well in our last house but has struggled since we moved. He does have an enclosed garden and we're well versed in not leaving things out for him to fall over but he does seem to be struggling to get used to everything here. I know 13 is getting on but he's a very fit and healthy JRT so could conceivably go on for another 4 or 5 years. This is a very tough decision! I feel like I would be giving him a real gift as I know he is f

daisygirlmac Sat 07-Jan-17 23:01:43

Posted too soon, I know he's finding things difficult and I think it would improve his quality of life a great deal. I wouldn't say he is unhappy now though, just that it's hard work for him.

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