As a dog owner, you’ve got to be used to regular visits to the vet and various health issues your dear doggy experiences. Even though infections and smaller health problems may be very common in dogs, you should never neglect them but try to find out what they are about and how to help your pet.
If you notice that your dog has a problem with the eyes, there are several conditions to look out for. Some of those issues could be only mild problems, while others can get pretty serious.
Damage to the Cornea
This eye injury can easily happen to a dog. They could damage the cornea (the outer layer) of their eyes by scratching or getting hit by a branch while running through the bushes. Pisces of dirt and debris can land on dogs’ eyes anytime they play outside, which can cause redness and irritation.
If you notice your dog squinting, blinking, or trying to rub its eyes, check if it has injured any injury, and take it to the vet. A veterinarian can properly check the damage and give you the right treatment to avoid infections.
Conjunctivitis or a Pink Eye
Symptoms of pink eye in dogs look like inflammation or redness with a yellow or greenish discharge in the corner of the eye. This condition can be caused by a bacterial or a viral infection, but also by an allergic reaction.
Depending on the cause, dog conjunctivitis is treated differently. If you suspect your dog might have conjunctivitis, it’s important to get professional help as it may also be contagious. A vet will prescribe antibiotics, some sort of drops, or a saline solution to clean your dog’s eye.
As dogs get older, like humans, they will experience more problems with their health, and slowly start to lose their eyesight. If you notice your dog’s eyes getting blurry or slightly white, that may be a sign of cataracts, and you should visit your vet as soon as possible.
In most cases, this condition will only slightly affect a dog’s sight, but sometimes, the damage can get much bigger and even lead to blindness. A dog with cataracts can be more prone to other eye infections, or glaucoma, but cataracts could also be a sign of an underlying issue like diabetes. Anyway, with the first signs of such a condition, you should visit a vet and get a professional opinion and treatment for your dog.
Glaucoma is a condition that affects dogs’ eyes and causes them pain and feeling of pressure. It occurs when the fluid in their eyes doesn’t drain as it should, and it’s followed by redness, bulging, tearing, and dilated pupils.
A dog must get treated for glaucoma, because it can be very painful, and in some severe cases, even make a dog blind. A vet will prescribe medication to control the fluid drainage, and release pain.
When a dog’s eyes don’t create enough tears and fluid, they may get a dry eye problem (or keratoconjunctivitis sicca). As eyes aren’t lubricated and cleared enough, they are more sensitive to dust and dirt coming from the outside.
Symptoms may look similar to dog conjunctivitis, but the vet’s examination will tell you for sure. If your dog has dry eye, a vet would recommend artificial tears for your dog’s eyes, or dog eye ointments, but your doggy will likely need such treatment for the rest of its life.
Besides medications, you can also consider getting supplements that will support your dog’s eye health. Petz Park has some of the best dog vision supplements that can help protect the eye tissue and retina, and enhance a dog’s overall eye health.
An eyelid lump or mass is easy to recognize as it is very visible on, or at the edge of a dog’s eyelid. These lumps are most likely to be cists and are not cancerous. Besides the fact they are there, they don’t cause any other issues or would harm your dog’s eye, but should anyway be checked by a veterinarian.
A professional vet can confirm the mass isn’t dangerous and whether it needs to be removed. Even if this doesn’t sound scary, pay attention to any possible issues or symptoms, and react immediately.
Cherry eye occurs when a dog’s third eyelid, which is usually hidden in the corner of the eye, gets weak and sticks out creating a red, cherry-looking lump. This is more likely to happen to some dog breeds than others, like Bulldogs, Cocker Spaniels, Beagles, or Bloodhounds.
If this happens to your dog, there’s no need to panic, but you will need to bring it to the vet, as the cherry eye can only be fixed with a surgical procedure.
Entropion is an irritation or an infection of the eye that can occur when a dog’s eyelids fold towards the inside so that the eyelashes or other hair around the dog’s eyes touches the eyeball. This is a genetic predisposition and means that it happens to some dog breeds more than to others.
If you think your dog has entropion, don’t hesitate to visit a vet who will prescribe a treatment with antibiotics, and possibly temporary stitches or contact lenses to protect the dog’s eye from any further damage.
What Can You Do to Prevent Your Dog From Having Eye Problems?
Most of the dog eye conditions mentioned above are not possible to prevent, however, there are always things you can do to take care of your dog’s overall health.
You’ve already done the first step by reading this article and getting to know more about dogs’ eye problems. Stay aware of these health issues, and react immediately if you notice any symptoms.
If you keep your dog clean, trim its hair and nails, and besides that, visit the vet regularly, you’ll have a happy and healthy dog. However, the eyes are one of the most sensitive organs for dogs, as well as for humans, and should be taken good care of.