Retrobulbar Abscess Average Cost

From 463 quotes ranging from $750 - 2,000

Average Cost

$950

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What are Retrobulbar Abscess?

Like many other carnivores, canines have an incomplete orbit for their eyes. This allows for the carnivore to open its mouth wider, but also leaves the orbital socket unprotected by the bony floor that we have protecting ours. This leaves canines, and other such carnivores, more susceptible to trauma and infections to the eye. Infections and foreign objects in the eye cavity can cause eye bulging and damage to the ocular nerve. When the infection causes a pocket to form behind the eyeball itself, it is known as a retrobulbar abscess.

Retrobulbar abscess occurs when an infection or intrusion causes a pus filled cavity to form behind the eyeball. This disorder requires veterinary care to mend.

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Symptoms of Retrobulbar Abscess in Dogs

Although the retrobulbar abscess is actually located behind the eye, the pain seems to spring from the jaw, due to the proximity of the orbital cavity to the jaw.

  •  Bulging eye
  • Discharge from around the eye
  • Fever
  • Foul breath
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain on eating
  • Redness around eye
  • Reluctance or refusal to chew
  • Squinting
  • Swelling around eye
  • Unilateral nasal discharge
  • Yelping when mouth is opened

Types 

Abscesses are not the only thing that can invade the area behind the eyeball. There are a few types diseases and disorders that can be located behind the eye. Although many of the symptoms are similar, they tend to vary on the amount of pain, pressure, and growth rate. 

  • Cysts
  • Hemorrhage
  • Mucocele
  • Neoplasia
  • Parasitic infection
  • Tumor

There are also other disorders that have many of the same basic symptoms as a retrobulbar abscess, but with slightly different origins. These can include disorders such as: 

  • Craniomandibular osteopathy
  • Extraocular polymyositis
  • Masticatory muscle myositis
  • Physical trauma
  • Various vascular anomalies

Causes of Retrobulbar Abscess in Dogs

Adjacent Infections

Infections of the sinus cavities and in the gums can travel to the eye and cause abscesses. 

Foreign Object

Abscesses caused by foreign objects occur more frequently during dry months. This is usually caused by a splinter or other types of dry, pointed plant material. These fragments of wood or dried bits of plant material can get caught in the back teeth, then migrate to the orbital socket, where it lodges. Pus generally forms in the orbital socket, and bacterial and fungal infections can also develop.

Penetrating Trauma

Infections can also be introduced to the retrobulbar area through penetrating trauma through the roof of the mouth.

Diagnosis of Retrobulbar Abscess in Dogs

The symptoms that are present with a retrobulbar abscess in dogs will prompt a thorough eye exam to be completed. The cornea will be checked for ulceration and the pressure within the eye will also be measured. Pus that is found behind the eye will usually be evaluated for the presence of bacteria or fungi as well. Standard tests, such as a complete blood count, urinalysis, and biochemical profile, will usually be completed at this time to check for systemic infections and other concurrent disorders as well. 

The mouth area will also be carefully examined and evaluated. Sometimes the pain in the mouth and jaw area necessitates sedation or anesthesia in order to complete this evaluation. Both x-ray and ultrasound technology are frequently used to better visualize the space behind the eye as well as the bones around the eye. These forms of imaging can help to discover not only abscesses but also to evaluate growths and to determine the health of the underlying bone structure.

Treatment of Retrobulbar Abscess in Dogs

The first step in treating a retrobulbar abscess is to drain the abscess from the orbital cavity. This is accomplished by a surgical procedure, in which an incision is made in the top of the mouth, behind the last molar. The surgeon will then allow the abscess to drain completely, ensuring that none of the infected material falls down into the throat.

Any foreign objects that do not flush out with the pus from the incision will also be removed at this time, and the wound is left open during healing to ensure no new infections are allowed to collect in the area. If an infection is found when the pus is cultured, then medication will be given to counter it. Bacterial infection is more common and would be treated with antibiotics. The antibiotic therapy is frequently started intravenously at the clinic, then changed over to orally administered antibiotic therapy and is generally quite successful. Fungal infections are treated with antifungal medication and can be harder to defeat.

Recovery of Retrobulbar Abscess in Dogs

After oral surgery, as with the drainage of a retrobulbar abscess, most pets will be able to eat fairly effectively again within just 6-12 hours, but canned food or moistened kibble is advised to avoid pain for 10 to 14 days, and there is likely to be more salivation and mess than usual as your dog’s mouth is healing. If any antibiotic or antifungal medications were prescribed, it is essential to complete the full course in order to prevent a reoccurrence of the infection. With most antibiotics that can be around 2-3 weeks and courses of antifungal treatment can be even longer.

Retrobulbar Abscess Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Leo
Great Dane
6 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Will a dog go blind if he has a retrobulbar abscess? The vet thinks my puppy may have this and after seeing the comments I'm very worried that he will lose his vision in that eye. He was put on Cipro and told to come back in two weeks.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2507 Recommendations
Whilst vision loss is a concern, early treatment with broad spectrum antibiotics, antiinflammatories and artificial tears (to keep the eye lubricated) is the initial treatment of choice; treatment usually occurs over a month and your Veterinarian will check Leo after two weeks to see if there is any improvement in the symptoms. In some cases, surgery is indicated where the abscess is drained from the mouth; this can be discussed with your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Layla
pitbull
3 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

My dogs eyes have watered a little bit but i noticed they were watering more lately.I just gave my dog a rawhide stick. While she was chewing I noticed her eyes was wondering and buldging. Could this be a abscess?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2507 Recommendations
Normally abscess formation occurs behind one eye, it is uncommon in both; exophthalmos (bulging eyes) may be caused by a few different causes which may include abscesses, hematomas, myositis, salivary issues, increased ocular pressure and other causes. I would recommend that you visit your Veterinarian for an examination and red our page on exophthalmos. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM https://wagwalking.com/condition/exophtalmos www.cliniciansbrief.com/sites/default/files/attachments/ASK_%20Diagnosing%20Canine%20Exophthalmos.pdf

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Rori
Mix
1 Year
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

My dog was just diagnosed with a retrobulbar abscess. She is on antibiotics (oral and topical). Will the antibiotics be enough to cure the abscess? I am a struggling graduate student and I do not have the funds to pay for such a procedure. Is removing her eye a possibility? From my research, that seems more cost effective. Please help. I'm distraught.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2507 Recommendations
Whilst removal of the eye may be the cheaper and quick fix method, we Veterinarians prefer to treat medically first and if unsuccessful will perform surgery to drain the abscess in an attempt to save the eye. I understand Veterinary care can be expensive and many people do settle for the cheaper option; dogs do compensate well with only one eye but a Veterinarian would prefer to not remove an eye which is otherwise healthy unless for financial reasons or other reasoning. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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BB ( baby boy)
Chihuahua
3 Years
Moderate condition
-1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Eye watering
Eye bulging
Yelping when open mouth
Yelping in pain
Loss of Balance
Lathargic

My dog recently had been suffering from a piece of stick or sticker lodged in his sinus probably from chewing on a stick that caused constant sneezing well after his sneezing went away he began yelping when he opened his mouth ...shaking ..in pain and I was wondering if this could be a retrobulbar abscess caused from the object that was originally lodged in his mouth or sinus area? I took him to the vet had xray done and they had no answers for me but I have been attempting to feed him pain meds and went to feed store this morning and bought him antibiotics for infection ...he just crys every time I attempt to feed it to him even through a syrange.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2507 Recommendations

There are various problems which may cause pain or discomfort including retrobulbar abscess (you would normally see a protrusion of the eye), masticatory myositis, trauma, trigeminal nerve paralysis, or temporomandibular joint ankylosis; among other causes. It would be best to visit your Veterinarian for an examination as each different condition requires different treatment. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM
www.vetary.com/dog/condition/masticatory-muscle-myositis
www.vetary.com/dog/condition/lockjaw

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benjy
Labrador Retriever
11 Years
Serious condition
1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Red Eye
swelling above the eye and the eye red

hello I been told my dog has an abscess in his eye, Ive taken him to the vet several times
and he has antibiotics for 20 days. The eye is still swollen and red, but the vet will not
give any further antibiotics, he recommends surgery to remove the eye. Please help my dog is over 11 years old and surgery is my last resort.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2507 Recommendations

Whilst I understand you may have some concerns about surgery at Benjy’s age but it is probably the best course of action at this point is to drain the abscess or to remove the contents of the orbit cavity (obviously including the eye). Surgery and anaesthesia is getting safer and Benjy isn’t too old for surgery with preanaesthetic blood test and post surgical management; many people do not like to think of their dog without an eye, but dogs adapt quickly and it will make him more comfortable as well. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Luke
Beagle/terrier mix
13 Years
Serious condition
-1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Swollen eye after dental surgery (better now)

My dog had 13 teeth pulled a week ago. A few days later, his left eye got swollen, particularly his third eye lid. We took him to an emergency vet and they diagnosed him as having a retorbulbar absess and suggested he get a CT scan and have it drained. It was going to be $5,000+, because it was Christmas. They measured his eye pressure and it was normal. We asked if he could go on antibiotics instead. Within 2 days on the antibiotics (Clavamox and Baytril) he was better. His eye isn't swollen and he is acting normal.

They emergency vet at the time suggested we make an appointment with one of their dental vets and bring him back after Jan 2. Money is tight. Do you think it would be okay if we brought him to our regular vet and continued on the antibiotics for a while or is it likely he'll need surgery, even though his eye looks better?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2507 Recommendations

If you are seeing an improvement in symptoms with the antibiotics, I would visit your regular Veterinarian after the holiday season. An ultrasound is usually sufficient (and considerably cheaper than a CT scan, unless they want to check for a fistula or something from the dental work) to determine what’s going on in the space behind the eye, especially if you are working to a budget; ultimately, treatment is surgical to drain any fluids from behind the eye whilst the antibiotics are doing their job. Another cause maybe due to trauma, but you would notice other symptoms associated with it. Obviously, if you notice any bulging of the eye, discharge from the eye, fever or any other worrying symptom return to the emergency Veterinarian before January 2nd. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

My chihuahua just passed away with a retrobulbar abscess. He also had late stage CHF and was not a candidate for surgery. This is not something to waste precious time with and had my baby been a candidate for surgery I would have done that. Treated also with Amoxicillin and Baytril and a triple antibiotic eye ointment. He was fifteen years old and I was the lucky one for having his precious love all those years. I had to have him put to sleep and I know I did the right thing but it still was very hard for me to do. They give so much to us and when its time for us to be their voice we have to find the strength for doing so. Please don't mess with this devastating condition in your pet. Thanks for reading and i wish everyone faced with this the very best.

She gave us 10 more days of antibiotics and said after they run out to see how he does. She said there's a 50-50 chance he'll be okay. She said if his eye swells again, he'll need to have the abscess drained and we should take him back to University of Pennsylvania Pet ER to have it done there. (that's the pet ER we took him to initially).

I'm wondering that being that he's 13, it might just be better to leave him on antibiotics for the rest of his life, instead of putting him through the trauma and us through the cost of another surgical procedure.

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Chloe
Jack Russell
6 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Inflamed third

What are the chances of my dog going blind after having a retrobulbar abscess. It's been a week now, she's had the abscess drained. Her third eyelid was so swollen and red (it covered her whole eye) that they have put a stitch in her eyelid to try get the third eyelid back to its normal size. We are just worried she will go blind

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2507 Recommendations

There are many variables which determine the prognosis of cases of retrobulbar abscesses which include: primary cause (systemic infection, foreign bodies or other trauma), time until treatment commenced, efficacy of treatment and the treatment of the underlying cause. With prompt treatment, prognosis may be favourable; but there is always a chance that blindness may occur in the eye. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM
http://veterinarymedicine.dvm360.com/eye-canine-orbital-disease-causes-diagnostics-and-treatment?id=&sk=&date=&pageID=3

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