3 Ways to Lower the Cost of Cataract Surgery for Dogs

The cost of cataract surgery for dogs can be upwards of $3500 to $4500, depending on the veterinarian hospital. If your dog has any underlying disease or complications, the surgery could cost more.  That’s a steep price for most people, myself included.

I live in Canada and I admit that I tend to take healthcare costs for granted.  Sure, we technically pay for it through out taxes, but I rest assured that any sudden hospitalization won’t result in a bill that’s going to make me go bankrupt.  

$3500 to $4500 or more sounds like a lot of money!

THE COST OF CATARACT SURGERY FOR DOGS

The cost of cataract surgery for dogs includes the following:

  • Diagnostic Tests
  • Hospitalization
  • IV Fluids
  • Anesthesia
  • Surgery
  • Supplies
  • Monitoring
  • Medication

The following video details more information about cataracts in dogs:

3 WAYS TO LOWER THE COST OF CATARACT SURGERY IN DOGS.

1.If you are fortunate enough to live in an area with multiple animal hospitals, you can probably shop around for a better deal.  I suspect the price won’t fluctuate drastically, but it might be possible to save a little bit.

Although, even with competitive options, I recommend staying with the veterinarian who knows the dog’s health history and has the records. Some veterinarians might not even perform the surgery unless they’ve seen the dog previously.

Pet Insurance

2. There are 10 top pet insurance companies in the United States including:

  • Healthy Paws.
  • Pets Best
  • Petplan
  • Trupanion
  • Embrace
  • 24PetWatch
  • AKC Pet Healthcare
  • ASPCA Pet Health Insurance
  • FIGO
  • Nationwide
  • PetFirst

Like any insurance company, premiums typically rise the older the dog is when you sign up.  The greater the chance of health issues, the more it’s going to cost. However, if you can still get on a pet insurance plan, it will still be cheaper than paying for the full amount of surgery.

Whether your dog qualifies for insurance and the cost will depend on:

  • your dog’s age
  • your dog’s current health
  • whether your dog has any ongoing chronic health problems

3. Get a Referral

Ask friends or family for referrals to alternate veterinarian clinics/hospital to see if you can get a reduced rate.

Sample Cost of Cataract Surgery for Dogs

A rough guide on insurance deductibles might look something like this:

$4700 for surgery

Minus a 10% deductible that you pay:  $470

Health insurance covers the remaining balance of $4230.

Again, that’s just a general formula that might not apply to all insurance companies.  It’s best to get quotes and study the health plan for details on what is, and isn’t covered.

WHAT ARE CATARACTS?

Cataracts in dogs are no different from cataracts in humans.  This condition occurs naturally with age and involves a clouding of the lens.  Cataracts are not painful, but they do affect vision.

If your dog has cataracts, he may not be as active as once was, will appear clumsy, and his eye/eyes might appear red or irritated.  Since he can’t see very well, your dog might end up rubbing or pawing at his eye.

Cataracts usually develop in stages, from immature cataract that causes blurred vision to mature cataracts where the eyes look cloudy and the visions is seriously impaired.

There is also a third more severe case called hyper mature cataract where the lens starts to shrivel.

DOG BREEDS PRONE TO CATARACTS INCLUDE:

  • Siberian huskies
  • Boston terrier
  • Golden retrievers
  • Miniature poodles
  • Cocker spaniels
  • Mniature schnauzers

Cataracts are typically genetic; however, there are also certain conditions that increase the risk, including:

  • Advanced age
  • Diabetes mellitus (chances are as high as 75%)
  • Low levels of calcium
  • Uveitis which is an inflammation of the eye.

 How to Tell If Your Dog Has Cataracts

The easiest way to tell whether your dog has cataracts is by a cloudy or grayish film located just behind the retina.  

However, there are other ways of spotting cataracts such as if there is inflammation in the eye sockets, chronic eye redness, or whether one eye is bulging compared to the other.

You may also notice your dog pawing at the eyes and sometimes, you may even notice that they are not seeing very well. These are all signs that could suggest canine cataracts.

How to Treat Canine Cataracts

Once you notice that your dog is displaying the symptoms above, the best course of action is to take them to the vet. The vet will want to know about the medical history of your dog so be sure to provide them with any previous medical records.

The vet will also proceed to conduct a physical examination. The dog may get a blood test as well as a urine analysis. This will help to determine if there are any underlying conditions that may lead to the development of canine cataracts such as diabetes. In such an instance, the dog will be put under the right medication.

There will also be a physical analysis of the eyes. There is a high chance that you will be directed to a veterinary ophthalmologist who is better suited to handle issues relating to vision. Cataracts in dogs have a tendency to develop at a rapid rate.

What Does Cataract Surgery Involve?

Cataract surgery in dogs is performed the same way it is in humans.

  • General anesthesia is used (not the case for people)
  • A small slit is made in the eye.
  • A small tool is used to slide the eye lens out
  • A replacement lens is inserted.

Cataract surgery for dogs is quick and painless and almost always results in a positive outcome.  Yes, it’s expensive, but hopefully you can find a cheaper route through one of the methods above. 

Regardless of the cost, cataract surgery is a worthwhile option to improve your dog’s quality of life. 

I hope you were able to get something useful from this post! I encourage you to share it with your friends and family. 

To find out more about what makes me tick, please read my biography by clicking here.