Cataracts Average Cost

From 39 quotes ranging from $300 - 3,000

Average Cost


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What are Cataracts?

A cataract is a clouding of the eye lens that can cause partial or complete vision loss. It may occur in one or both eyes and is fairly common in dogs, especially dogs of certain breeds. These breeds include the Smooth Fox Terrier, American Cocker Spaniel, Bichon Frise, Havanese, Silky Terriers, Miniature and Standard Poodles, Miniature Schnauzers, and Boston Terriers. The cloudiness results from failure of the eye to maintain proper lens hydration. The clouded lens then prevents the retina from receiving light and creating an image. Untreated cataracts can worsen and lead to painful ocular inflammation, glaucoma and/or permanent blindness. Cataracts result in the clouding or darkening of the lens in an eye. Deriving from an increased amount of proteins accumulating in the eye, the lens becomes cloudy or opaque. Cataracts are one of the most common eye problems in dogs. A skilled veterinarian will be able to identify a cataract, which is sometimes confused with nuclear sclerosis.

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Symptoms of Cataracts in Dogs

Cataracts can occur at any age and may be observed in one or both eyes. Symptoms include:

  • White “cloudy” appearance in the eye
  • Grey/light blue/abnormal coloration in the eye
  • Abnormal appearance in light reflection on the eye

Symptoms of vision loss include:

  • Bumping into door frames
  • Bumping into furniture
  • Barking at inanimate objects
  • Clumsiness
  • Difficulty finding toys or bowls
  • Walking with caution
  • Walking with nose to the ground
  • Congenital cataracts – Cataracts present at birth. Usually in both eyes. Can be inherited or caused by infections or toxins.
  • Early onset cataracts – Develop before 3 years of age. Can be inherited or caused by infections, toxins, diabetes mellitus or trauma to the eye.
  • Late onset cataracts – Develop at or after 6 years of age. Often confused for nuclear sclerosis (normal clouding of the eye due to aging).

Causes of Cataracts in Dogs

The most common cause of cataracts in dogs is inheritance. Dog breeds genetically predisposed to cataracts include (but are not limited to) miniature and standard poodles, cocker spaniels, miniature schnauzers, golden retrievers, boston terriers, havanese, bichon fries and silky terriers.

Other causes of cataracts in dogs include:

  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Eye trauma
  • Aging
  • Uveitis
  • Hypocalcemia
  • Radiation exposure
  • Toxin exposure

Diagnosis of Cataracts in Dogs

If you observe symptoms of cataracts or vision loss in your pet, schedule an appointment with a veterinarian. The veterinarian will want to know when the symptoms were first noted, if any trauma to the eye or head has occurred and if your pet has been behaving differently.

A complete ophthalmologic examination will determine if your pet is experiencing vision loss, is developing true cataracts or if the pet has nuclear sclerosis. Nuclear sclerosis is much more common than cataracts and has similar symptoms to cataracts. This condition is a normal change in the lens of the eye (often both eyes) seen with aging and does not cause significant vision loss or require treatment.

Since cataract development is often seen with diabetes mellitus, a complete blood profile and urinalysis may be ordered to rule out this disease.

Treatment of Cataracts in Dogs

The only treatment for cataracts is surgery. Some pets are not good candidates for surgery and your veterinarian will let you know if surgery is a good option. Pets with diabetes or other chronic illness and older pets are not often good candidates for cataract surgery. Healthy pets with hereditary cataracts are good candidates.

If your veterinarian decides your pet should have surgery, it is best to schedule as soon as possible to prevent further damage to the eye. Cataract formation is progressive and can lead to painful inflammation of the eye, glaucoma or complete blindness.

Lens Removal

The lens is removed from its surrounding capsule in the eye globe. The lens is then replaced with a plastic or acrylic intraocular implant.

Lens and Capsule Removal

Both the lens and surrounding capsule are removed from the eye globe. The lens is then replaced with a plastic or acrylic intraocular implant.


In this surgery, the eye lens is emulsified using ultrasonic waves. The emulsified lens is removed through aspiration and replaced with an isotonic solution.

Cataract surgery is a low-risk surgery and has more than a 90 percent success rate in dogs. After surgery, your pet will need to wear an Elizabethan collar (“e-collar” or “cone”) to prevent rubbing the eye on the floor or with the paws. Eye drops or ointment will be prescribed to be applied 2-3 times daily for 3-4 weeks. Pain medications and oral antibiotics may also be prescribed.

Recovery of Cataracts in Dogs

After your pet has had cataract surgery, frequent follow up appointments are necessary to evaluate healing and recovery. Your pet should fully recover within 2-3 months.

There is no preventative measure for cataracts, however carefully monitoring your dog’s vision and noting any changes in behavior or the appearance of the eye is a good way to catch cataracts early. The earlier a problem is noted, the more quickly it can be addressed and the more likely vision loss or other health problems will be avoided. Always let your veterinarian know if you have any concerns about your pet’s eyes or vision.

Cataracts Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

10 Days
Mild condition
1 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Not responding
anxiousness, sleeping
likes to be close by

Medication Used

ear drops for ears

My 10 year old collie x has just been diagnosed in both eyes. we actually thought it was his ears as he was very anxious and not responding to us. he does inflammation in ears tho which is treatable. he always likes to be on his own say by the front door but now he always lays with us no matter where we are. and hes always crying which breaks my heart. gutted to say the least. would be unfair to put him through surgery at his age.

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Macy Moon
Boston Terrier
3 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

clouded eyes, bumping into things,

My Boston Terrier just turned three years old. She was diagnosed with cataracts at an early age. I think her first year checkup. She is getting worse with seeing. Bumping into things, etc. Is surgery the only option? If so, where is the closest place in Kentucky to see a Vet about this? Thanks, Joyce

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3320 Recommendations
There are a few options available to you, there is the practice in the link below, you could contact the vet school at the University of Kentucky and ask your Veterinarian for a referral. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Maltese x Shi Tzu
10 Years
Mild condition
1 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms


Pebbles is beginning to be unable to see or find her ball sometimes when I am playing with her and she is getting a little panicky and will run off if she all of a sudden can't see me, even when I am still within sight of her. Is this a sight thing or a age / behaviour thing? She is rather clingy but has been most of her life.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3320 Recommendations
Vision loss in dogs is usually gradual which results in a dog becoming fully blind, since dogs adapt well to gradual blindness most owners see it as something that has occurred overnight but this is not the case. Pebbles may have close vision but not distance vision, this would be something to discuss with your Veterinarian to check if there is something which can be management to slow down the progression of any possible cause of blindness. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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8 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Eye lens are white

My dog have eye cataracts in her eyes what should I do for this and to cure my dog

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3320 Recommendations

Cataracts maybe caused by a few different causes including trauma, diabetes, inflammation, toxins or aging. There are a few treatment methods but treatment is usually surgical removal of the lens which maybe carried out by a Specialist. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Don't waist your money on money hungry veterinarians and costly surgery. Try this product I found called Can-C. My American Bulldog is almost 9 years old and diagnosed with glaucoma. I couldn't afford surgery so in a desperate attempt to fix my dog I used Can-C twice a day on my dog and after almost 2 months his eye is perfectly clear and he's back to normal. If doctors did the right thing, they wouldn't be able to get rich from your $2,500.00 per patient unnecessary surgery. I'm not paid to sau this. That's why there's no link to the product. Just Google Can-C. I got two 5ml vials on Amazon for $38.00. Thank God for internet research.

Wat are the signs of trauma cataracts my Stafford is 8 and has just got a little grey cloud appearing the eye is very blood shot and weeps alot sometimes she has it closed for hours at a time some days it does look very irritating

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