Dogs’ eye problems are common issues that your dog may encounter. While there are some health issues that are found only in old dogs, others can arise in any dog regardless their age. Eye problems, if not treated early on, can lead to more serious concerns such as poor vision or loss of sight. To protect your canine friend, you need first to be aware of the most common eye issues that occur in dogs.
For this reason, we have decided to write this article for you to help you recognize the main eye issues that your dog may face.
1- Dogs’ Eye Problems: Pink Eye
The medical term for this common issue among dogs is conjunctivitis. It is an itchy condition that can damage your pooch’s eyes if you do not seek professional help. Your dog can develop this condition because of a number of issues. These include allergies, irritation because of foreign bodies, tumors in the eye, tear film deficiency, breed-specific conditions, injury to the eye, abnormalities of the eye, and others. These also incorporate other underlying eye conditions such as ulcerative keratitis.
Some symptoms of conjunctivitis in dogs are:
- Inflammation of your dog’s eye as well as the surrounding soft tissue
- Gooey discharge
Once you notice these symptoms in your dog, take them immediately to the vet even if the signs seem to be mild. If left untreated, conjunctivitis may result in permanent eye damage.
The treatment for your dog’s conjunctivitis depends primarily on the underlying causes leading to this condition. If the bacterial infection is to blame, your vet will prescribe antibiotics and eye drops. In cases where an allergic reaction is what leads to conjunctivitis, your dog will need a solution so that the irritants will be flushed out of your dog’s eyes.
2- Dogs’ Eye Problems: Corneal Damage
There are several reasons that lead your dog to injure its eyes and cornea. For example, your dog can scratch their eyes with their paws, get scarred by a branch, or get something in its eyes like dirt.
Some signs of corneal damage include the following:
- Red eyes
- Excessive tearing
- Pawing at your dog’s affected eye
The moment you suspect your dog has an injury, take them instantly to the vet. This condition is irritating and painful. Therefore, do not ever waste time and seek professional help as soon as possible. In most cases, the treatment contains antibiotic drops in order to avoid infection.
3- Dry Eye
This condition is also known as Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS). Your dog can develop this issue when there is inadequate tear production from your dog’s tear glands. As you may know, tears are important in the sense that they preserve the health of your dog’s eyes by naturally cleaning all the dust and debris found in their eyes. Moreover, tears incorporate antibacterial proteins, mucus, and white blood cells that help in keeping your dog from infection, and other enzymes. All these are important to remain your dog’s eyes healthy and free of various debris, infection, and irritations.
You need to know that your dog’s tears are divided into three parts. They are all important for the health of your dog’s eyes:
- The first is the lipid (fat) layer
- The second is aqueous (water)
- While the third is the mucin layer
Signs that show your dog’s dry eyes are:
- Pawing at the affected eyes
- Squinting and blinking
- Painful eyes
In most cases, when dry eyes are diagnosed, your dog vet will prescribe artificial tear drops for your dog.
4- Dogs’ Eye Problems: Glaucoma
We also refer to this eye problem as intraocular pressure. It happens when there is increased pressure inside your dog’s eye. In this condition, your pooch will suffer from an imbalance production of fluid and drainage. Glaucoma may cause serious results if not addressed properly and in time. It may lead your dog to feel pain and even lose their vision.
Some symptoms of glaucoma contain:
- Decreased appetite
- Sleeping more
- Rubbing and scratching at the eye
- Eye bulging
In some situations, your vet may recommend surgery for your dog’s glaucoma. Do not worry, the procedure is simple and quick. In other cases, your vet may assign you to a veterinary ophthalmologist as they are more professional when it comes to dog eyes.
Cataracts are also a common eye problem in dogs. This condition is serious and needs to be treated right away. If not, it can lead to even blindness. Cataracts occur when the proteins found in the eyes of your dog start to gather and then form a cloud-like substance in the eye’s lens. They can plainly appear overnight.
The main signs of cataracts are:
- Inflammation in the eye
- Cloudy eyes
Once you observe these signs, you must contact your vet immediately in order to address the issue while in its first stages. Surgery is available to fix this eye problem.
6- Dogs’ Eye Problems: Eyelid Mass
Another eye problem that your dog may encounter is eyelid mass. The latter happens when there is a lump start to grow on your dog’s eyelid. If you notice such a condition, you need to take your pet to the vet. Your vet will take the necessary steps to recognize whether the lump is cancerous to remove it.
Eye problems are common in dogs regardless of their age. For this reason, you need to stay alert. Closely look for any of the signs that we mentioned above to see if your dog is suffering from a given eye issue. Once you suspect one, take action immediately and seek professional help.
Your dog needs you, be there for them.