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Tumor of the Eye in Dogs

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Uveal melanomas in dogs are usually non-spreading tumors (benign), so you may opt to monitor the eye for changes every 3–6 months. Young Labrador retrievers are prone to aggressively growing uveal melanomas and will need surgery. Removal of the affected eye (enucleation) is the suggested treatment.


Indications for enucleation: the size of the mass increases rapidly, the eye cannot be salvaged, the mass spreads diffusely within the eye, visual function is significantly impaired, invasion of the tumor outside the eye, and secondary complications (e.g., glaucoma, signs of pain, bleeding).


Living and Management


Removing an eye is one-sided, and is done to spare the fellow eye. One-eyed animals often function very well, adjusting to the change in visual capacity quickly. If your dog develops glaucoma secondary to an uveal melanoma, your dog will very likely suffer a good deal of great pain. The resulting headaches may manifest as head shaking, head pressing, whining, placing the paws on the head, or lethargy and slow movements.


Your veterinarian will schedule follow-up appointments for X-ray and ultrasound imaging at six and twelve months following the initial surgery or treatment. At these appointments, your veterinarian will evaluate the enucleation site as well as check for tumor recurrence or metastasis.



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