In a rare incident, an eye surgeon has operated on a dog, suffering from cataract in Mumbai’s animal hospital. With a new name, 7-year-old Jackey is now living a cheerful and active life, after a successful cataract surgery on his left eye. The surgery was done at Bombay Veterinary College at Parel.
Jackey, a black Labrador, is among one of the pets who are abandoned by their owners. At the moment, the Bai Sakarbai Dinshaw Petit Hospital for Animals has become his new home ever since he came on July 7, 2016.
Dr J C Khanna, Secretary Animal Welfare Board of India said, “I have been working in the interest of animal’s and animal care and safety, for past number of years. I had not seen surgery like this in my entire career.”
“He had come to our hospital about a year back. We tried to contact his owner’s number several times, but as they had given fake address and contacts, we could not trace them. Now Jackey is our child. He had cataract in both of his eyes. It was very difficult for him to see things around him. He used to eat or feel everything around him on the basis of his sense of smell. It was quite disturbing. He would remain silent, sad, not doing any physical activity,” said Khanna.
“This surgery has given Jackey a new life. He is more active and happy now. His left eye has been treated, and right eye will also get treated after some time,” said Khanna.
Jackey got operated on March 25 by a Mumbai based ophthalmologist, Dr Swaranjit Singh Bhatti. With the help of operating microscope machine, Extra Capsule Cataract surgery was performed on Jackey.
“This is the oldest type operating technique for cataract surgery. We use this very few times to treat human cataract. For a human it takes 10 minutes for this kind of surgery, whereas in case of animals it takes more time, because the set-up is different. It took half an hour for me and my team to operate on Jackey”.
Sharing his experience and motivation behind doing Jackey’s surgery he said, “In the past, some surgeries have been performed on dogs but I did this for the first time, just for the love of animals. I also have two dogs and they got treated at the Bai Sakarbai Dinshaw Petit Hospital for Animals. When I was asked about whether anything could be done in Jackey’s case, I advised for the surgery”.
Dr J C Khanna at his hospital sees 7 to 8 cases dogs suffering from cataract on monthly basis. Apart from this dog; dogs with conjunctivitis, dry eye and other eye infection which gets cured with proper medication. Reasons for eye issues among dogs are generally old age and diabetes. Looking at the number of dogs with cataract Dr Bhatti offered help for training and educating doctors, students at the Bai Sakarbai Dinshaw Petit Hospital for Animals.
“It is very important to take good care of your dog’s health and eyes as well. Though dog’s ears and nose a play major role in identifying things around them but eyes are also extremely important. Every respective owner must ensure health of their dog’s eyes, because as they can’t afford to treat that disease which costs thousands rupees. The cost of cataract surgery for one eye costs Rs 15,000. So owners leave them” said Khanna.
“It is a bad practice, to abandon your pet when he or she is in bad state, till the time they are in good health, we keep them, when they grow old or infected we abandon them, added Khanna.
He says that when people who come to their adoption centre they ensure that the animal is going into the right and safe hands. He also suggests people adopt animals from known and registered authorities such as The Kennel Club of India. Do not blindly adopt from any random market as neither are they registered nor do they have vaccinated dogs.
“The basic question is why you want to have pet? Do not adopt them just for showing off or as a status symbol. They need love and care like any other human being,” advised Khanna.