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Thread: Eye surgery

  1. #1

    Default Eye surgery

    Hi, I'm just looking for advice and thoughts.
    My 7 year old dwarf lop rabbit Dougal just had a vet appointment yesterday and it seems like his worsening cataracts have set off his old stabilised glaucoma. The vet suggested he be back on eye drops and oral supplements for a week anyway just to see if that might help (though he was doubtful), and then decide what's best to do.
    He's already pretty well blind in that eye and has already adapted, and it seems to me that that eye is doing nothing for him any more besides cause him pain and difficulties, so my natural reaction was to once and for all get rid of that eye, and that did seem like the option the vet preferred too, but there's always that terrifying risk of anaesthesia death for rabbits, and I (and my other rabbit) would be heart broken if that happened.
    I don't need to be making a decision for a week, and really it depends on what the vet thinks the medicine is doing for him after a week, but it seems that even with that, the eye would still be getting worse.
    I mean, from a layman's point of view it doesn't seem like removing an eye would be all that difficult and time consuming if you know what you're doing, but yes I don't know if I could ever risk it.
    It annoys me that in this day and age we haven't figured out a way to cut anaesthesia deaths to virtual non-existent. Are there any specialist rabbit surgeons that would know what they're doing better, does anyone know? I think my vets are quite competent though.

  2. #2
    Warren Veteran keletkezes's Avatar
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    I was told by my vet that the bone between the eye socket and brain cavity is particularly thin in rabbits, but there are so many buns who've had their eyes removed, I wouldn't think it too technical, beyond the usual surgery risks I've not had any post-surgery problems with ingrowing fur or eyelashes either, which is something I was worried about (but had never read about).
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  3. #3
    Warren Veteran daphnephoebe's Avatar
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    The anaesthetic risk isn't really all that high. It's only as high as it is now because inexperienced vets and nurses still take on procedures.

    If you trust your vet, I see no reason why you wouldn't remove the eye.
    Bur if you're worried maybe post a thread in rabbit chat with the title "Rabbit Savvy vet needed in (where you live)" you could maybe put details in about what the vet is needed for. There is definitely no harm in asking for a second opinion.

    You could also ask your vet how confident they feel in doing such a procedure, and if they've ever done it in rabbits.

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  4. #4
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    One of my past Rabbits had an eye removed due to Glaucoma. He was an older Rabbit who also had other health problems. He came through the GA very well and he was so much happier once the very painful eye was removed.

    Obviously there is a risk for any living being under-going a GA, not just Rabbits. But these days the GA protocol from Rabbits is so much better than in the 'old days'. In the hands of a Rabbit Savvy Vet, who will always take the Rabbit specific precautions necessary, the GA risk is minimal. My Vet has operated on thousands of Rabbits and to loose one under GA is very, very rare.

    http://www.ivis.org/proceedings/sciv...t6_en.pdf?LA=1

  5. #5
    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pan View Post
    Hi, I'm just looking for advice and thoughts.
    My 7 year old dwarf lop rabbit Dougal just had a vet appointment yesterday and it seems like his worsening cataracts have set off his old stabilised glaucoma. The vet suggested he be back on eye drops and oral supplements for a week anyway just to see if that might help (though he was doubtful), and then decide what's best to do.
    He's already pretty well blind in that eye and has already adapted, and it seems to me that that eye is doing nothing for him any more besides cause him pain and difficulties, so my natural reaction was to once and for all get rid of that eye, and that did seem like the option the vet preferred too, but there's always that terrifying risk of anaesthesia death for rabbits, and I (and my other rabbit) would be heart broken if that happened.
    I don't need to be making a decision for a week, and really it depends on what the vet thinks the medicine is doing for him after a week, but it seems that even with that, the eye would still be getting worse.
    I mean, from a layman's point of view it doesn't seem like removing an eye would be all that difficult and time consuming if you know what you're doing, but yes I don't know if I could ever risk it.
    It annoys me that in this day and age we haven't figured out a way to cut anaesthesia deaths to virtual non-existent. Are there any specialist rabbit surgeons that would know what they're doing better, does anyone know? I think my vets are quite competent though.

    Pan, for me, 'quite competent' wouldn't be reassuring enough if I was expecting a vet to remove an eye under anaesthesia.

    I would most certainly go for it, if it was indicated and the problem can't be controlled by drugs. I have had one-eyed rabbits and they do fine, both during the op and afterwards

    I would only allow a rabbit specialist who I trusted to do the job though.

  6. #6

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    Thank you everyone, you've all helped a lot and it's heartening to hear that the risks of surgery aren't as bad as I'd feared.
    I do feel confident in my vets, and especially with the last one I saw who I'm going to see again on Wednesday. He said he'd be happy to perform the operation if that's what I decided, I'll see what he thinks and how the medication has been helping on Wednesday.

  7. #7
    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pan View Post
    Thank you everyone, you've all helped a lot and it's heartening to hear that the risks of surgery aren't as bad as I'd feared.
    I do feel confident in my vets, and especially with the last one I saw who I'm going to see again on Wednesday. He said he'd be happy to perform the operation if that's what I decided, I'll see what he thinks and how the medication has been helping on Wednesday.


  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pan View Post
    Thank you everyone, you've all helped a lot and it's heartening to hear that the risks of surgery aren't as bad as I'd feared.
    I do feel confident in my vets, and especially with the last one I saw who I'm going to see again on Wednesday. He said he'd be happy to perform the operation if that's what I decided, I'll see what he thinks and how the medication has been helping on Wednesday.
    I hope that all goes well xx

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