by Kristine London
(Raleigh, North Carolina)

My dog has been diagnosed with a tumor behind the pupil, glaucoma, and lipids in her eye. The eye doctor stated that the eye needs to be removed. I know that a prosthetic is for cosmetic reasons for the eyelid not to sink into the eye socket. Just wanted an opinion in the short-term cons and the long-term cons if I elect to have the prosthetic eye put in after the initial eye removal.

Comment from the Editor:

Dear Kristine,

Loss of a pet’s eye is generally more traumatic for the owner than it is for the pet.

In general, Veterinarians recommend the removal of the eye (Enucleation). The good news is that most do very well, and within a few days many owners find their dogs to be more playful and energetic after the elimination of pain if there is any.

Intraocular prosthesis implantation results in a cosmetic repair, keeping the shell of the eye (the sclera and cornea) in place. The problem with this technique is that the aftercare is more involved than if no prosthesis is used.

Throughout the dog’s life, the eye still has superficial sensitivity and the remaining cornea can be scratched or damaged. In addition, up to 1 out of 4 dogs develop dry eye. This may require long-term medication for comfort. Some patients have post-operative complications that require a follow-up enucleation, although this is not common.

Making the decision for your dog is a personal one. Which procedure to be done is less important than that a procedure is done. After the procedure, your dog will go home with pain medication and an antibiotic. Either way, your pet will be given a local anesthetic block of the area.

The goal is always to have a comfortable patient. Enucleation or Intrascleral prosthesis will provide this for your dog.

The above are some general thoughts. Your veterinarian will know your dog best. If you like a relatively inexpensive second opinion or additional thoughts we suggest using this online veterinary service.

Best to you and your dog,


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