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Enucleation Surgery for Dogs

What is Enucleation Surgery for Dogs?

Enucleation in dogs is a surgical procedure where one or both of a dog’s eyes are removed.

What does Enucleation Treat?

An enucleation procedure is typically recommended when a dog has severe eye disease or injury that cannot be treated with medication or other therapies. Common reasons for enucleation in dogs include:

  • Eye cancer 
  • Glaucoma
  • Severe injury or trauma to the eye 
  • Untreatable infections

Enucleation can help alleviate pain and prevent further damage or spread of the disease. Although it may seem like a drastic measure, it can improve a dog’s overall quality of life by eliminating chronic pain and discomfort.

What Happens During an Enucleation Surgery?

An Enucleation procedure is typically performed under general anesthesia, and the surgical site is thoroughly cleaned and prepared before the operation. The surgeon makes an incision around the eye and carefully removes the eye and surrounding tissues, including the eyelids and eye muscles. The area is then carefully sutured, and a protective bandage is applied to promote healing and prevent infection. In some cases, a prosthetic eye may be inserted to help improve the cosmetic appearance of the eye socket. After the surgery, dogs typically require close monitoring and follow-up care to ensure proper healing and recovery. This may include post-operative medications, special diets, and restricted activity to promote healing. With proper care and attention, most dogs can adapt well to their new vision after enucleation surgery.

How Effective is Enucleation for Dogs?

Enucleation is a highly effective procedure in dogs when performed by a skilled veterinarian. The success of the surgery depends on the underlying condition that led to the need for enucleation. In most cases, enucleation can help alleviate pain and prevent further damage to the eye or surrounding tissues. 


Additionally, after the surgery, dogs can adapt well to their new vision and can still enjoy a good quality of life. However, it’s important to note that enucleation is a serious procedure that requires proper care and attention during the recovery period. In general, with appropriate post-operative care and follow-up, enucleation can be a very effective treatment option for certain eye conditions in dogs.

How Much Does an Enucleation Cost?

The cost of enucleation for dogs can vary depending on several factors, such as the location, the severity of the eye condition, the size of the dog, and the veterinary clinic performing the surgery. In general, enucleation can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars. The cost typically includes pre-operative exams, anesthesia, surgery, post-operative care, and any necessary medications. Some pet insurance plans may also cover a portion of the cost of enucleation, depending on the plan and the reason for the surgery. It’s important to discuss the cost and payment options with your veterinarian before the procedure to avoid any unexpected expenses. This range can vary anywhere from $475-$2,000.

How Can an Enucleation Be Prevented?

Enucleation in dogs is often necessary to treat certain eye conditions or injuries that cannot be resolved through other methods. However, there are steps that dog owners can take to help prevent the need for enucleation. These include:

  1. Regular veterinary check-ups: Regular visits to the veterinarian can help detect and treat eye conditions early before they become severe.
  2. Proper eye care: Keeping your dog’s eyes clean and free of debris can help prevent eye infections and other issues that could lead to enucleation.
  3. Protecting your dog’s eyes: Dogs that are prone to eye injuries should be fitted with protective goggles or other gear to prevent eye damage.
  4. Avoiding high-risk activities: Dogs that engage in high-risk activities, such as rough play, fighting, or hunting, are at a higher risk of eye injuries and should be closely monitored and trained accordingly.
  5. Breeding practices: Responsible breeding practices can help reduce the incidence of genetic eye conditions that may require enucleation. Dog owners should do their research and only purchase from reputable breeders that follow responsible breeding practices.

While enucleation cannot always be prevented, taking these steps can help reduce the risk and promote the overall health and well-being of your dog’s eyes.

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How to Care for Dogs Post-Surgery

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    Knowing how to care for your pet correctly post-surgery is extremely important. With the correct care, you can get your dog back to normal as quickly as possible, without complications. Here are some steps to be sure your dog recovers quickly and correctly.

    beagle wrapped in a body bandage as they recover from surgery

    Know the Signs of Pain

    Dogs present signs of pain differently but it is imperative to know the common signs, especially during their surgery recovery as to know if their vet should be notified. Here are some common signs:

    • Not eating/drinking
    • Panting/Shaking/Trembling
    • Decreased activity or not wanting to walk
    • Flinching/increased body tension when the surgical site is touched
    • If your pet does not want to lay down on the incision or if they tried to and then immediately changed to a different position
    • If your pet is usually vocal and is acting more subdued, this can indicate pain or discomfort
    • On the other hand, if your pet usually is quiet and is vocalizing more, this can also be a sign
    • Reduced interaction with other pets and owners
    • Inappropriate eliminations (urinating in the house)
    • Aggression towards other animals or humans
    • Abnormal posture, restlessness, and or hiding can also be signs of pain

     If you notice any of these signs, try giving the prescribed pain medication from your veterinarian’s pain medication; contact your veterinarian if these behaviors continue. 

    Follow Your Veterinarians Post-Op Instructions

    golden retriever at the vet with owner and female vet

    Surgery can be stressful for pet parents and pets alike but knowing how to look after your dog following surgery is essential for helping your animal get back to their everyday life. No matter which surgery your dog has, your veterinarian or surgeon will provide you with clear instructions on how to care for your pet following the procedure. There may be precise and vital instructions relating to the type of surgery your pet has had, so make sure you have any questions if you do not fully understand.

    Managing Your Pet’s Pain After Surgery 

    After your dog’s operation, your veterinarian will explain the medications prescribed. They will explain the type of medication, the dose required, how often to give the medicines, and how to administer them. It is important that you adhere to your vet’s instructions. These medications will prevent any unnecessary pain and will support healing. Remember, your veterinary team wants to help you to help your dog. Managing your dog’s pain is very important to them.

    Antibiotics will be prescribed to prevent infection, and pain medication to relieve post-op discomfort are the most commonly prescribed medications. If your pup is anxious or high-strung, your vet may also prescribe a sedative or anti-anxiety medication to help keep them calm while recovering.

    Home remedies aren’t recommended. And never disregard a medication your veterinarian has prescribed to your dog for one you read about online. Speak if your vet first if there is a remedy that you would like to try. You want to make sure the ingredients are safe for pets. Never give human medications to your pet. Many drugs that can help humans are toxic to dogs.

    Giving your pup a probiotic during the recovery and after is a great idea. Giving a high-quality probiotic once or twice daily for two weeks will help repair the damage done by antibiotics, anesthesia, and other drugs. You can discuss brands you are looking into with your vet and see if they have any recommendations. 

    Keeping Your Dog Comfortable When They Get Home


    The majority of surgical procedures require the use of a general anesthetic. General anesthetic knocks your dog out and prevents them from feeling any pain during the procedure. But it can take a while for the effects of anesthetic to wear off. They may leave your dog feeling a little sleepy or shaky on their feet. These side effects are typical and, with rest, should disappear very quickly. 

    The First Night Home

    It is crucial to keep your dog comfortable after surgery. You will want to provide them with a comfortable and quiet place to rest. This should be away from children, other pets, main living areas, and company. If curling up on a small bed to sleep is typical for your dog, you may want to purchase a larger, orthopedic bed. This will help them from pulling at the incision when trying to curl in a tight space. Allowing room to stretch out will ensure there’s no extra pressure on any bandaged or sensitive parts of their body. This may help them feel better and may even help them recover more quickly.

    dog wearing soft cone recovering from surgery

    Restricting Your Pet’s Movement

    Regardless of why your dog had surgery, limiting your dog’s activities and movement for some time has been recommended. Sudden jumping movements can interfere with the healing process and may even cause the incision to reopen. Most dogs cope well with being kept indoors for a few days (with only essential trips outside for potty breaks). A more difficult task often prevents your dog from jumping up on furniture they love to sleep on or climbing stairs. Stopping these behaviors for a few days may require confining your dog to a safe and comfortable room when you cannot supervise them.

    Helping Your Dog When Cage-Rest is Required

    Orthopedic surgeries often require strictly limiting your dog’s movements for a good recovery. If crate rest for your dog is recommended following surgery, there are ways to help your dog adjust to this strict confinement. The crate should be large enough to allow your dog to stand up and turn around without hitting the sides or top. 

    Caring for Your Pet’s Incision Site

    Depending on the surgery, your vet may use different stitches or staples to close the incision site. Some stitches need to be removed in 10-14 days, where others will discover themselves. It can be challenging to prevent your dog from chewing or scratching at bandages or an incision. This is why “The Cone of Shame,” as so many people call it, is important for your pup to wear. Luckily the Cone of Shame has advanced. You can now find them in a wide variety of materials. E-collars usually come in hard plastic or soft versions.

    Dogs can often adjust to wearing a cone within a couple of hours if you give them the chance to. Most owners have given in and removed the cone after being home for a few minutes. This helps no one. If your dog is genuinely struggling to wear a cone and you have tried other versions, speak with your vet. Post-surgery jumpsuits (medical pet-shirts) may be an option for your dog or donut collars.

    Bandage Care

    Keeping your dog’s bandages dry at all times is another key element to proper recovery. Dry bandages will help the incision heal faster. When your dog goes outside, make sure that the bandages are covered with a plastic bag or cling wrap to protect them from the damp grass. Remove the covering as soon as they come back inside. Leaving the over on the bandage could cause sweat to collect under the bandage and lead to an infection, which can be very painful.

    It is important not to skip any follow-up appointments. Bandages are only meant to stay on for so long. Leaving a bandage on for an extended period of time could lead to infection, sores, swelling, or the bandages area might not grow the way it is intended to. This all could lead not only to short turn pain but longer-term pain as well. It is also important to allow the professionals to handle bandage changes.

    Keeping Your Dog Happy During Recovery

    Dogs don’t understand when they are in recovery. They are more likely to become frustrated with the reduced activity. The itchiness of their incision site or just the overall lack of stimulation could cause any of us to go a little crazy. Therefore, it is important to give your pet mental stimulation. 

    You can amuse your dog with a rotating selection of puzzle games that won’t call for stretching or jumping. Heavy chew toys or squeaky playthings can be entertaining. Limiting the number of toys, you offer your dog to one or two items at a time and switch to a different toy regularly will help prevent boredom.

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    What Are The Most Expensive Surgeries for Dogs?

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      Dog owners know that owning a dog is a responsibility on more than one level. While we can count on routine veterinary care as part of the financial responsibility of owning a dog, we don’t like to think about the worst-case scenarios. However, it’s extremely important to be prepared financially and emotionally when it comes to the possibility of surgery in your dog’s future. Below are the five most expensive surgeries for dogs: 

      1. Total Hip Replacement

      What is a Total Hip Replacement? 

      A Total Hip Replacement surgery will return normal function to a dog’s hip joint which in turn alleviates the pain and discomfort associated with Canine Hip Dysplasia. A total hip replacement surgically replaces both the ball and socket parts of the joint. The surgery in a canine is very similar to that of a human. 

      What Does a Total Hip Replacement Treat?

      Canine Hip Dysplasia is largely the condition behind the need for a total hip replacement. A total hip replacement is generally the most ideal route for the treatment of Canine Hip Dysplasia, as it is the most effective. 

      Symptoms of Canine Hip Dysplasia include: 

      • Decreased range of motion.
      • Decrease activity 
      • Difficulty rising, running, or walking upstairs.
      • Lameness in the hind end 
      • Swaying, abnormal gait
      • Loss of muscle mass in the thigh

      In addition to Canine Hip Dysplasia, a Total Hip Replacement may be performed to treat severe arthritis, fractures, and severe hip dislocation.

      What Is The Procedure For Total Hip Replacement Surgery? 

      A Total Hip Replacement involves using plastic and metal implants to replace the entire hip joint, in turn bringing hip function back to a more normal range. An incision is made over the front or side of the hip. During the procedure, both the ball and socket of the dog’s hip joint are removed and replaced with implants. 

      What Risks Are Involved?

      A Total Hip Replacement procedure is considered to be very safe and results in a high chance of improving limb function. Approximately 90 – 95% of dogs who have a total hip replacement do very well. 

      What Is The Average Cost? 

      A Total Hip Replacement in a dog may cost anywhere between $7,000 per hip or if both hips need to be replaced (which is often the case), the cost runs on average $7,000 to $14,000.

      Bernese mountain dog recovering from a total hip replacement
      Photo Credit: Lively Paws

      2. Gastrointestinal Obstruction/Foreign Object Removal

      What is Gastrointestinal Obstruction/Foreign Object Removal Surgery? 

      Gastrointestinal Obstruction/Foreign Object Removal Surgery simply removes a foreign object that has been ingested by a dog that has led to an obstruction. 

      What Does Gastrointestinal Obstruction/Foreign Object Removal Surgery Treat? 

      When a dog ingests a foreign object that cannot be digested, the object may need to be removed through a Gastrointestinal Obstruction/Foreign Object Removal surgery. This is due to the fact that if a foreign object gets stuck in the intestines, an obstruction will occur. An obstruction will lead to fluid loss, bowel dysfunction, dehydration, and lack of oxygen to the bowel. Among the most common foreign objects are pieces of toys, rocks, and bones. 

      If you witness your dog ingesting a foreign object, please seek immediate veterinary assistance. However, if you have not witnessed the ingestion of an object, an obstruction can be identified by a number of signs. 

      Symptoms of an obstruction include: 

      • Vomiting 
      • Dehydration 
      • Lethargy
      • Diarrhea 
      • Weight loss
      • Refusal to eat 

      What is the Procedure for Gastrointestinal Obstruction/Foreign Object Removal Surgery?  

      Gastrointestinal Obstruction/Foreign Object Removal is as simple as removing the object or obstruction and suturing the stomach or intestines back together. Oftentimes, the procedure can also be performed endoscopically without making an open incision. 

      What Risks are Involved?

      Beyond the risk of general anesthesia and surgery, there is a risk of incisions in the intestines or abdomen opening up from complications. Complications that may lead to this include failure of the suture material and damaged intestines. 

      Sepsis is a possible risk as well, although not common with this procedure. 

      What is the Average Cost? 

      Gastrointestinal Obstruction/Foreign Object Removal Surgery may range from $2,000 to $3,500 depending upon how severe the obstruction is and the location of the object. 

      Photo Credit: Evesham Veterinary Clinic

      3. Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO)  

      What is TPLO?  

      Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) is a surgical procedure that is among one of the most common surgeries performed on dogs who have torn their cranial cruciate ligament (CCL), or what may be referred to as the dog’s torn ACL. TPLO surgery completely alters the dynamics of a dog’s knee so that the torn ligament becomes unnecessary to the stability of the knee. 

      What does TPLO Surgery treat? 

      The dog’s ACL is the ligament the most susceptible to injury and is by far the most common orthopedic injury to occur in dogs. This is because the knee joint is always bearing weight, with constant tension on it. It’s easy for this tear to occur during routine activities such as running. 

      Symptoms of a Torn ACL/CCL include: 

      • Limping in the hind legs 
      • Avoiding bearing weight
      • Joint stiffness that is most noticeable when resting after activity
      • Difficulty jumping or rising 

      What is the Procedure for the Surgery? 

      TPLO surgery essentially alters the angle of the tibial plateau (the flat surface at the top of the tibia). TPLO surgery requires a curved cut in the tibia to be made from the front to back. The tibia is rotated backward until the angle between the tibia and femur is considered level. Once this is accomplished, the femur can no longer slide backward meaning the knee is stabilized immediately. 

      What Risks are Involved?

      TPLO surgery has been in existence for over 20 years and has proven to be an incredibly effective long-term solution for addressing an ACL/CCL tear in dogs. This procedure has quicker recovery and superior long-term results to other surgical procedures. 

      Minor complications may occur post-surgery, including swelling and bruising. Failure of the implant is very rare but is the most serious risk associated with TPLO surgery. 

      What is the Average Cost? 

      The cost of a TPLO surgery ranges from $3,500 to $5,500. Typically, this cost includes pre-surgery blood work, anesthesia, pain medication, the surgery itself, post-surgery care, and after-care medications. 

      Photo Credit: Animal Medical Center of Boise

      4. Intervertebral Disc Disease Surgery 

      What is Intervertebral Disc Disease Surgery? 

      Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) surgery removes diseased intervertebral disc material to relieve pressure in the spinal cord of the dog. This restores normal blood flow and mobility, reducing pain and preventing further disc problems. 

      What Does Intervertebral Disc Disease Surgery Treat? 

      IVDD surgery exclusively treats Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). This disease is the condition of a bulging, slipped, ruptured, or a herniated disc and is a gradual degenerative, age-related process. Due to the compressing of the spinal cord, a dog’s mobility and neurological functions may be impacted. 

      IVDD may occur in the dog’s back or neck and is often seen in Dachshunds, Pekingese, beagles, basset hounds, and Shih Tzus. However, IVDD can affect any breed and size of the dog. 

      • Symptoms of IVDD in dogs include: 
      • Holding the neck low 
      • Uncoordinated movement in the hind limbs
      • Neck or back pain 
      • Unable to fully lift the head 
      • Limping on one or both front limbs 
      • Urinary incontinence 

      What is the Procedure For The Surgery? 

      IVDD Surgery may involve a variety of different techniques depending upon the severity of the condition. In some cases, it involves a hemilaminectomy (a window in the bony spinal canal) being made where the diseased disc material is removed. 

      In the majority of disc herniations in the neck, the diseased disc material is removed through a ventral slot also known as drilling a hole from underneath the disc. 

      What Risks are Involved?

      The rate of success for an IVDD surgery is based on the severity of the symptoms prior to the procedure. However, surgery for ruptured and herniated discs is performed commonly with few known issues.  Complications can include infection of the surgery site, worsening of neurologic signs, and ongoing spinal cord damage.  

      What is the Average Cost? 

      The average cost of IVDD surgery may fall between the range of $1,500 to $4,000. However, this estimate does not include the cost of pre-surgery workup such as x-rays, diagnosis, medications. etc. 

      Photo Credit: AlphaPaw

      5. Gastropexy

      What is a Gastropexy? 

      A gastropexy is a surgical procedure that is often performed in large breed, barrel-chested dogs to prevent Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus (GDV), also known as bloat. 

      A gastropexy may be performed as a preventive measure in a young, healthy dog predisposed to GDV such as Great Danes, German Shepherds, and Standard Poodles. Oftentimes, a gastropexy is performed at the time of spay/neuter surgery. 

      However, a Gastropexy is most often performed as an element of emergency surgery to untwist the stomach. In an emergency scenario, once the stomach returns to its normal position, gastropexy is performed. Essentially the stomach is tacked in place to prevent GDV from occurring in the future. The risk of GDV recurring is greatly reduced from 55% to just 4% when a Gastropexy is performed. 

      What Does Gastropexy Surgery Treat?

      Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV) is a serious, life-threatening condition that is known to largely affect large, barrel-chested dogs. This condition begins with the stomach extending aka bloating due to excessive gas produced. Oftentimes, this occurs after a large meal or drinking an excessive amount of water.  Due to the bloat and stomach distension, it is more likely for the stomach to rotate or twist out of its normal position. Once the stomach is flipped out of its normal position, it applies pressure on the diaphragm resulting in labored breathing. In addition, an enlarged stomach presses on major blood vessels in the abdomen causing circulatory issues and resulting in shock. 

      Symptoms of GDV include: 

      • Bloat 
      • Retching 
      • Vomiting
      • Excessive drooling 
      • Pale gums
      • Collapse 
      • Stomach pain 

      What is the Procedure for the Surgery? 

      Gastropexy is considered a major operation and requires general anesthesia. The procedure may be performed in a traditional approach with a large abdominal incision. However, it may also be performed with a laparoscopic technique, which is minimally invasive with significantly smaller incisions. Through either technique, the stomach will be surgically attached to the abdominal wall. This prevents the stomach from twisting out of its normal position in the future. 

      What Risks are Involved? 

      A gastropexy is considered to be a low-risk surgery outside of the general risk of surgery and anesthesia. Failure of the gastropexy is uncommon as long as muscle to muscle apposition is accomplished during the procedure. 

      The recovery time is considered to be short, generally from 7-10 days. 

      What is the Average Cost? 

      The cost of a gastropexy is significantly more expensive when performed in an emergency manner, ranging anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000. The cost of a preventive gastropexy averages around $1,400.

      Photo Credit: Friendship Animal Hospital
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      Ear Hematoma Surgery

      What is Ear Hematoma Surgery?

      Photo Credit: Dogs Naturally

      An ear hematoma surgery treats and removes ear hematomas in dogs. A hematoma is a localized mass of blood that is restricted within an organ or tissue and often found in the ears of dogs. This collection of blood can be either fresh or clotted and is typically within the ear flap, which is known as the pinna. You can tell a hematoma is present when the ear flap has a thick and spongy appearance. Swelling will also take place, either in the entire ear flap or one specific region of the ear. 

      What Happens During Ear Hematoma Surgery?

      There are a variety of methods to treat ear hematomas in dogs and your veterinarian can discuss their recommendations with you. Oftentimes, surgery is necessary as it is a quick and effective means to treat the problem. The technique of surgery varies depending upon your dog’s case and the veterinarian’s recommendation. However, whatever technique may be used, an ear hematoma surgery involves the below: 

      1. The procedure begins by removing the blood from the pinna (the ear flap). This requires a small incision to be made at each end of the hematoma. A drain tube will be passed through the hematoma and sutured to the ear in order to remove any additional blood or fluid accumulating in the region. 
      2. Stitches will be secured completely through the ear flap to hold both layers of skin securely to the cartilage. 
      3. The pinna (ear flap) is stabilized to prevent any future damage. Typically, the ear will be bandaged directly to the dog’s head to prevent the dog from shaking the ear around post-op.

      In some instances, there may be an underlying cause to the ear hematoma, like an infection, allergy, or foreign body. This will be treated separately following treatment of the hematoma.

      How Much Does Ear Hematoma Surgery Cost?

      A veterinary consultation, examination, supplies, surgical technique, hospitalization, antibiotics, and medicines are all included in the cost of Ear Hematoma surgery. Following hematoma surgery, follow-up care may be necessary, requiring additional expenditures.

      Ear hematoma surgery can cost between $300 and $2,000, depending on the size and intricacy of the hematoma, your dog’s health, the veterinary facility, and where you reside.

      How Can Ear Hematoma Surgery Be Prevented?

      If your dog is shaking their head frequently or repeatedly scratching their ears, seek out veterinary help sooner rather than later to prevent a hematoma from developing. Not only will this prevent a hematoma and possible surgery, but your dog will endure less pain and discomfort.

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      Grid Keratotomy Surgery

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        What is a Grid Keratotomy?

        Photo Credit: Boxer Forum

        A grid keratotomy is a surgical procedure involving the outer layer, known as the epithelium, and stroma, known as the thickest layer of the cornea. The procedure is minimally invasive and treats chronic ulcers on the surface of the dog’s eye. 

        The ulcers on the eye are rather painful and can change in size and shape over time. The purpose of the grid keratotomy is to stimulate the damaged outer layer of the eye to attach back to the eye and restore it back to its normal state.

        What Does a Grid Keratotomy Treat in Dogs?

        Chronic ulcers on the surface of the dog’s eye generally stem from physical trauma. The  ulcers typically cause constant discharge and tearing from the eye as well as swollen redness. In some instances, topical and oral treatments may be used as the first route before a grid keratotomy is performed. 

        What Happens During a Grid Keratotomy?

        Photo Credit: Veterian Key

        Since a grid keratotomy is minimally invasive, general anesthesia is not required. In preparation for the procedure, your dog will be sedated and topical anesthesia will be applied using drops on the affected eye. 

        Once the patient is prepped, an eyelid speculum will be used to prevent the dog’s eyelids from moving. Any loose epithelium tissue will be removed utilizing a cotton swab against the surface of the eye. Your dog will be restricted in order to prevent any movement and a needle will be used to prick the eye. Using a 20 gauge needle, multiple pricks and scratches are made through the stroma, or the thickest layer of the cornea. These pricks and scratches stimulate the epithelium, or the eye’s outer layer, to heal by making it easier to reattach to the stroma. 

        How Much Does a Grid Keratotomy Cost?

        A grid keratotomy can range anywhere from $500 up to $1,000. Since general anesthesia isn’t required, this helps to keep the cost down. However, it’s important to note that cost is also dependent upon follow-up visits and care necessary. In some cases, multiple procedures may need to be performed, increasing the overall cost of treatment. 

        How Can a Grid Keratotomy Be Prevented?

        Unfortunately, some dogs are predisposed to chronic eye ulcers that lead to the need for a grid keratotomy. Boxers and other breeds of dogs who have bulging eyes are especially prone to eye ulcers and eye issues. 


        It’s also important to have your dog’s eye ulcer assessed sooner rather than later, which may prevent further issues from occurring. 

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        Hip Reduction Surgery in Dogs

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          What is Hip Reduction Surgery in Dogs?

          Hip Reduction is commonly used to treat hip dislocation in dogs. There are two types of reductions: closed and open. A closed hip reduction is the most common type and a more conservative treatment to physically manipulate the dislocated hip back into place. On the other hand, an open hip reduction is a surgical procedure that involves placing the joint of the hip back into its natural position. 

          What Does Hip Reduction Treat in Dogs?

          Photo Credit: Upstate Vet

          A Hip Reduction is typically used to treat hip dislocation in dogs, which is clinically referred to as coxofemoral luxation. Hip dislocation may be caused by a number of issues including hip dysplasia, osteoarthritis, trauma, or even cancer. Hip dysplasia, in its genetic form or otherwise, is the most commonly observed reason behind hip dislocation and the need for a hip reduction in dogs.                                                                    

          What Happens During a Hip Reduction Surgery?

          Photo Credit: Clinician’s Brief

          The procedure for a hip reduction is dependent upon which type of approach is taken – closed or open. 

          Closed Hip Reduction

          In preparation for a closed hip reduction, the veterinarian will administer a short-acting anesthesia before physically manipulating the coxofemoral joint back into its proper place. The coxofemoral joint is defined as the “ball-and-socket” joint in which the “ball” is the head of the femur and the “socket” is the acetabulum of the pelvis. Following the manipulation, a sling, bandage, or wrap will be placed on your dog for at least two weeks. 

          Open Hip Reduction

          An open hip reduction surgery can be performed based on the preferences of the surgeon. For example, different approaches used for the procedure may include toggle rods, surgical anchors, and prosthetic joint capsules. The toggle rod approach is the most commonly performed. When this approach is used, the following steps are taken: 

          The veterinarian will begin by administering general anesthesia before cleaning and shaving the region to be operated on. Following this, an incision will be made near the hip muscles along the natural seams. The joint capsule will be opened, using a special drill a hole will be made in the acetabular wall, which is the back wall of the hip bone. Additionally, a “bone tunnel” will be drilled through a region of the femur referred to as the femoral neck. Utilizing heavy suture material, a toggle pin will be threaded through the hole and bone tunnel. The placement of the hip will be adjusted until it’s in the correct position. The heavy suture material will be tightened and attached to another toggle pin to secure on the other side of the joint. This allows for the joint to be securely held in place. Following this, the joint capsule and initial surgery site would be sutured and closed. Just like a closed hip reduction, a sling, wrap, or bandage is secured and your dog will wear it for up to fourteen days. 

          How Much Does a Hip Reduction Cost?

          The cost of a hip reduction in dogs varies based on many factors including whether a closed or open approach is taken, health factors of the dog, and the location of the clinic. The cost may range from $1,500 to $15,000, however, the average cost of the procedure is $2,500. 

          How Can Hip Reduction Surgery Be Prevented?

          Unfortunately, many conditions that lead to the need for a hip reduction cannot be prevented such as genetic hip dysplasia and cancer. However, automobile accidents are a common cause of hip dislocation as well so be sure to keep a close eye on your dog when outdoors. Avoid overfeeding and maintain a healthy weight in your dog to avoid hip dysplasia in large breed dogs.