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Hypothyroidism, diabetes and glaucoma.

Species: Dog
Breed: lab
Age: 8-11 years
my 10 year old lab is hypo thyroid and diabetic 12 units twice a day. she has gone blind in both eyes one glacoma with luxation one hyper cataract and is on every medication and eye drop available. should i have the surgery done to remove both eyes and sew them shut...it has been about 2 weeks or so since she has gone blind and she is not adjusting very well at all is that because of the pain...i don't want to loose her but she is not able to do anything like she used to...thank you


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi Janet,

Oh, this is a hard situation. Labs are wonderful dogs but when they get old they often get some serious health concerns.

While only you can make this decision, I can give you my thoughts. Glaucoma is quite a painful condition. While there are some mild cases that respond to medications, the vast majority of animals do not do well with eye drops. Unfortunately the only treatment that I have found to be successful is to remove the eye.

If the eye with the cataract does not have glaucoma, you may be able to get away with just removing the other eye.

As far as the surgery goes, dogs handle it extremely well. In almost every case where I have removed an eye the owners have said that they wished they hadn't waited so long because the dog was like a puppy again after removing that source of pain.

I know it is difficult to see her with one (or both) eyes missing. However, as far as Madison is concerned, she already has no vision. She doesn't know that she looks a little strange...all she would know is that she doesn't have pain.

However, if you do do the surgery you will need to be prepared for people's reactions when they see her. If she has to have both eyes removed, people may have a hard time dealing with that.

After all that is said, with all of the problems Madison has, it would be an acceptable decision to decide for euthanasia. But, if you are just not ready for that, then the surgery is the best idea.

I hope that helps with your decision making. Let me know if you have more questions. I will be in appointments all day, but should be able to help you between them.

Dr. Marie


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

thank you so much for your kind and informative reply. I believe we have decided to do the surgery. One question i did have...her "good" eye has a cataract and we do not know yet if it is healthy for cataract surgery ...what is your opinion as to the success of cataract surgery and what are the chances of that eye developing glacoma down the road? also what if any eye drops are necessary for the eye that has the cataract removed. I worry about all the medications interferring with her insulin. Again thank you so much...


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

You're very welcome. I'm sorry about the delay in getting back to you!

I do not have a whole lot of experience with cataract surgery as it is quite expensive! I just did some research for you, however, and cataract surgery is often performed by ophthalmologists in diabetic dogs. The specialist will definitely be able to use postoperative medications that are safe to use along with her insulin.

It sounds like you dog is extremely blessed to have such a great owner!

I hope all goes well!

Dr. Marie.



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.