Eye for the Dog – Problem Areas

The eye for the dog is a problem area when ignored,  not kept clean, or taken care of properly. Unfortunately, it is an area that most pet owners know little about.

There are numerous problems that can develop in the dogs’ eyes:  dog cherry eye infections;  dog eye allergies;  dog eye cataracts; dog eye discharges; dog dry eyes; removal of the dog’s eyes; or conjunctivitis in the eye of the dog.

” A cherry eye in a dog’s eye.” (Image via Wikipedia)

Eye problems of dogs

There are very few days that a vet clinic or animal hospital does not receive a phone call about a dog eye problem.  Those calls are treated as a severe problems. Verbal descriptions over the phone can never accurately describe the real issue — and an ocular emergency can develop rapidly while time is wasting.

Dogs who squint because of a mild irritation are ignored by most pet owners.  A vet knows that a dog who squints could have other problems,  requiring a direct eye examination. The squinting could be a tiny eye wound or a  cinder beneath the the third eyelid. On the other hand, it could be a scratch on the cornea.  Those are the small problems.  Squinting can also be  a sign of cancer or blastomycosis.

A large number of pet owners delay the treatment of glaucoma until it is too late as it mimics conjunctivitis or “dog pinkeye”  –a very common condition eye condition in dogs.   The afflicted eye will become bloodshot and appear irritated, lasting for several days to a week; minor irritations will appear the same way but require less time to heal.

Glaucoma requires immediate treatment within 24 to 48 hours, as the intraocular pressure becomes elevated in that period of time. By then, blindness and loss of the eye can develop.

Anterior lens luxation with associated rupture...
“Anterior lens luxation with associated rupture of the cornea in a Shih Tzu.”  (Image via Wikipedia)

Signs of glaucoma can be very subtle at first and could include a dilated pupil that responds poorly or not at all to light, a cloudy cornea, a red appearance to the eye, and poor vision.  Glaucoma can be dangerous because many of the signs of glaucoma are similar to simple conjunctivitis. The problem with identifying primary glaucoma is that its symptoms are very subtle:

High pressure develops in the eye quietly with inadequate fluid drainage
Squinting or blinking of the affected eye
The eyeball may recede back into the head
Redness of the blood vessels in the whites of eyes
Cloudy appearance at front of the eye
Dilated pupil – or pupil does not respond to light
Vision loss

English: Corneal dystrophy in a Labrador Retri...
“Corneal dystrophy”  (Image via Wikipedia) 

Keeping the eyes of a dog clean

1. Clean ocular discharge with a warm, wet wash cloth.

2. Do not use eye medications prescribed for a previous eye problem for a new eye problem.

3. When buying a pure bred dog,  ask if the parents have had their eyes certified by an ophthalmologist.

4.  If you suspect vision loss or eye discharge persists for more than a day, see your veterinarian.

NOTE:   Don’t let your dog hang its head out of the window when you are driving!

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