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14 January 2011 @ 10:32 am

My Boston, Brenna, has been recently diagnosed with cataracts. She's going to be 10 next month but has always been in great health and is still very active. I've decided that I want her to have surgery, but I'm having trouble deciding whether she should get both eyes done at once or just one eye. One eye is significantly worse than the other, so she still has pretty decent vision in one eye (somewhere between 50-75%, depending on which vet you ask), while it's mostly lost in the other. I've already been to two ophthalmologists, and they feel she is a candidate for either surgery, though one vet did say he preferred a more conservative approach and leave the eye alone while it still had some vision left. Sadly, they couldn't give me some idea of how long before she lost vision in the other eye. :/

What would you do in this situation? Would you try to preserve vision in both eyes at the same time? Fix one and do a wait and see approach with the other? Or only get one fixed without any plans to fix the other?

I have no experience at all with cataracts, or with blindness in dogs, so any input would be greatly appreciated.

I am feeling: thoughtfulthoughtful
Susanbusysuzy on January 14th, 2011 04:23 pm (UTC)
What a pretty girl! I have a Boston with cataracts as well, but she's not necessarily a good candidate for surgery. I do think the surgeons, in general, like to be conservative with these guys. From what I've seen, they do quite well with limited vision.

If it were me, I'd do one eye and wait and see how that goes. Just my opinion. I'll probably face the same decision in a year or so.

Please let us know what you do and PLEASE let us know how it goes!!

独りきりの猫neko_no_kioku on January 17th, 2011 12:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I know I'm biased, but I do think she's an exceptionally pretty Boston. ;)

The third vet I visited actually wants to wait and reevaluate the eyes in three months, to get a better idea of how quickly the cataracts are progressing. She's obviously been adapting well so far and the extra time will be helpful in making a decision. I'll definitely post an update when I have one.
Alanalook_its_alana on January 14th, 2011 08:13 pm (UTC)
My BT turns 12 this year, and I have become more and more wary about procedures that involve putting her under anesthesia due to her age. She was diagnosed with cataracts as well, but it doesn't seem to hinder her abilities at all. In fact, I would never know she had them period.

Personally, as long as she is doing well with her cataracts, I wouldn't put her body under that kind of stress as an older dog. If it came to a point where it was affecting her day to day living, I would certainly look into it.
独りきりの猫neko_no_kioku on January 17th, 2011 12:46 pm (UTC)
I don't mind adopting a wait and see approach, but at the same time, the likelihood of a successful surgery may also decrease if I wait too long, so I'm worried about that as well. I don't want to put it off to the point where she is no longer a good candidate for surgery or the cataracts have matured to the point where removing them becomes more difficult. And she's obviously just going to keep getting older. I'm a big what-if person and there seem to be a lot of what-ifs where cataracts are concerned, which don't help when it comes to making a decision. :/
crackle13crackle13 on January 14th, 2011 09:03 pm (UTC)
My Rosie lost her eyesight gradually, we didn't really noticed it at first, but she got used to it. She had cataracts, but we thought she was too old (12) to have the surgery. I think she was able to see shadows, so she could walk easily around the house, since she knew it well. When we brought her elsewhere, I just watched her more carefully (especially around stairs).Even though she was a very active dog in her youth, she was sleeping more frequently. But I don't think it really affected her 'lifestyle' that much, since it was gradual. She was able to adapted to it.

Your dog looks pretty young for 10 years old! She's cute!
独りきりの猫neko_no_kioku on January 17th, 2011 12:48 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Everyone has a hard time believing she's nearly 10. They say she acts more like a two year old! She's very energetic still which is one of the reasons I wanted to try and preserve as much of her eyesight as I could.
TJ: Tyler snowtattoo_jack on January 16th, 2011 03:04 pm (UTC)
I was going to have cataract surgery on my first Boston, but he also had congestive heart failure and was just not healthy enough to go through the surgery. He was blind the last year or so of his life and did very well. It did not seem to bother him at all, and he found his way around with little trouble.

My second Boston is 16 years old and has gone blind from old age. He bumps into things a lot and gets confused, but I'm not sure how much of that is from blindness and how much is due to his age. He is still happy, eats well, and wags his tail a lot. (He is one of those Bostons with a long tail.) I hate that he has gone blind (and deaf as well!!), but I'm so glad to still have him with me.

As far as the surgery, I would have love to have done it with my first Boston and think it would have greatly improved his quality of life. I was only going to do one eye because that is what the doctor recommended. I think yours would do fine with just having it done in one eye, and I would probably agree with your doctor as well and go for the conservative approach.

Brenna is so cute! Please let us know how she does with the surgery.
独りきりの猫neko_no_kioku on January 17th, 2011 12:51 pm (UTC)
I'm hoping to have Brenna around for a while yet, and I think she would appreciate having some eyesight as opposed to none. It's good to hear that Bostons seem to adapt well to limited or no eyesight though. I really just want what's best for her. She's my special girl. :)

And thanks! I will definitely post an update.
Jackie Hofacer: Editor & Chief :p: My Boston Terrieryouarereported on January 23rd, 2011 09:19 am (UTC)
wow! Your blog is so cool. Did you create it? I'm trying to figure out how to jazz mine up.... I have a Boston Terror too! Sidney is 6 and he's a big 30 lb. bull in a china shop!