Long-term complications after phacoemulsification for cataract removal in dogs: 172 cases (1995-2002)

J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2006 Jan 1;228(1):74-9. doi: 10.2460/javma.228.1.74.


Objective: To determine common postoperative complications and risk factors for development of postoperative glaucoma or failure to preserve vision after phacoemulsification for cataract removal in dogs. Design-Retrospective case series.

Animals: 172 dogs (290 eyes) that underwent phacoemulsification surgery for cataract removal.

Procedure: Medical records were reviewed for postoperative complications; prevalence rates for each complication were calculated for follow-up periods of 3 months, > 3 to 6 months, > 6 months to 1 year, > 1 to 2 years, > 2 to 3 years, > 3 to 4 years, and > 4 years. Odds ratios for breed, age, sex, cataract hypermaturity, lens-induced uveitis, and diabetes mellitus were determined with respect to glaucoma and failure (ie, blindness, enucleation, or evisceration).

Results: The most common complication was mild posterior capsule opacification. Retinal detachment was uncommon (1% to 2%) for all time periods. Prevalence of glaucoma increased with time, although it remained < 10% until after the 1-year follow-up period. Boston Terriers, Cocker Spaniels, Cocker Spaniel-Poodle crosses, and Shih Tzus had increased risk of developing glaucoma. Eyes with hypermature cataracts were more likely to develop glaucoma. Prevalence of failure increased with time, although it remained < 10% until after the 3-year follow-up period. Cocker Spaniel-Poodle cross and Shih Tzus were more likely to have failure.

Conclusions and clinical relevance: Evaluation of breed and cataract hypermaturity may aid in the selection of patients. The increasing prevalence of postoperative complications with time indicated that longterm monitoring is warranted.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Breeding
  • Dog Diseases / genetics
  • Dog Diseases / surgery*
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Glaucoma / epidemiology
  • Glaucoma / veterinary
  • Male
  • Phacoemulsification / adverse effects
  • Phacoemulsification / methods
  • Phacoemulsification / veterinary*
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Postoperative Complications / veterinary*
  • Prevalence
  • Retinal Detachment / epidemiology
  • Retinal Detachment / veterinary
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Time Factors