Dog Undergoes Surgery To Receive Prosthetic Eyeball


Lucky, a 9-1/2-year-old golden retriever, had glaucoma. She lost sight in her right eye and it was causing severe pain. Lucky had to have her eye removed, but her family was hesitant for their dog to be one-eyed.

So, Lucky got a new eye. Her diseased eye was removed, and a prosthetic eye was surgically implanted by an animal ophthalmologist. The surgery for her new eye only took about 20 minutes and cost about $300. It cost $1200 to remove Lucky’s diseased eye.

“The dog doesn’t really benefit from the eye, but it makes the owners feel better,” said Gail Golab, associate director of animal welfare for the AVMA in Schaumberg, Ill. “It’s sort of additional stuff that improves the appearance of the animal, but it’s not a procedure that’s done by itself.”

More on Lucky’s new eye after the jump.


Lucky’s prosthetic eye looks normal because the old eye’s clear cornea and the white sclera were left intact, said Susan Carastro, the Deerfield Beach animal ophthalmologist who removed the eye. A veterinary technician likened the procedure to hollowing out a grape and refilling the skin. Because the outside shell was untouched, eye muscles move the prosthetic eye normally.

Carastro made an incision in the eye’s outer shell, removed the insides and popped the round prosthetic inside. Lucky’s implant resembles a black superball.

“It’s not something that is common,” said Carastro, one of only 260 animal eye specialists in the United States. Veterinarians at her practice implanted 25 prosthetic eyes in 2006, mostly in dogs.

An array of colors and sizes make it easy to match a pet’s real eye, too. Prosthetic eyes come in black, blue, green, yellow and white.

“To give it a more realistic appearance, some owners have the cornea tattooed,” Carastro said.

8 Responses to “Dog Undergoes Surgery To Receive Prosthetic Eyeball”

  1. Cynthia Blue says:

    Hmmm interesting. I don’t think I would do that for my dog, though. Instead I’d just learn to love how my dog looked with no eye.

  2. Lynne says:

    Lucky is aptly named.

  3. thomas says:

    I have a rescued cocker whom had to have both eyes removed . we took her to a dog optha spec. and decided removal of the second eye would be better than the prothesis as I did not to risk injury. I also realized the artifical eye would be for looks only . She does very well as a blind dog . she was rescued from a puppy mill and had untreated glaucoma , infection and cherry eye , along with having had something imbedded in her neck.

    She has completed a canine good citizen title trains at a nursing home . She has learned commands such as step up , step down , right turn, left turn and the command easy means there is an object in her way that she needs to avoid. She also knows find a wall , she knows door . she truly amazes me !! she is a delight to live with. Being a blind dog is not a death sentence.

  4. pam says:

    if i was ever in that position i don’t i could put my dog through all that just so he looked like he had two eyes. i had a cat years ago that lost her left eye…all we were concerned about was whether she would live. i never even thought about what she would look like. it was pretty gross in the beginning, but after it healed and the hair grew back…she was still my pretty girl!

  5. pam says:

    i meant to say i don’t think i could put my dog thru all that….sorry

  6. Heather says:

    hello today i went through the same thing my dog shih-tzu had to have his eye removed i am now waiting on a call from the emergancy roon his eye turned black so if we didnt want to loose fluffy we had to have his eye removed and thank god for my husband taking care of the money problem we put $500.00 down and have to pay $100.00 per month and the total comes to $1000.00 to $1500.00 i will know the rest by 7am , i have heard put the dog down or buy a new one thise people who say that must not care for an animal i would rather put out all that money than loose him i just lost my father and me and my family cannot go through anytrhing else look at your animal like family because in reality you take care of them and feed them and buy them toys like you do with children and i have children they were crying and i was also and my husband was like we can afford it just get him taken care of . it still hurts that he has to go through this but in the end he has me and my 2 kids and my husband and his brother (shihtzu as well) waiting on him and are prepared to take care of him and give him the love he needs. I also agree with the woman about her cat another eye is not as important what is important is to love him no matter what , if any one would like to hear how fluffy is doing you cant write back here or email me at
    if you have this problem take care of it dont murder your animal vets will work with you
    thanks Heather

  7. Alan says:

    As I write this, our lovely 13 year old rescued Beagle is having both of his diseased eyes removed. It was
    a very difficult decision for my wife and I, but the Glaucoma was causing him so much pain that we
    decided it was the best thing for him.Like Heather, I have heard many people suggest that it is crazy to spend $2000
    on a 13 year old, insulin dependant dog. “Just give him the big needle and buy a new dog” they often say.
    I worry for those people for they don’t seem to have experienced the
    love and joy that we humans can experience through attachment to other living things.
    I also gained much strength from reading the stories of other who have had to make similar decisions and my wife and I are in a better position today as we wait to hear from the vet of when we can pick up our precious Thumper.


  8. mandana says:

    Hi, i have a shihtzh and he is blind in his left eye. I took him to eye care center an the cost for the procedure have been around $2200- $2800 for prothetic eye removal. I was wondering where do you guys took your dog for euye removal surgury becuase it seems that $2200 just for one eye surgury is too much, but what I read most people are paying no more than $1500.

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