Eye issues in dogs can be mild but develop into severe conditions that can result in blindness. This is why when your dog has an eye problem they are evaluated as soon as possible. Certain conditions can easily be treated with drops, while others can actually require surgery.
The list of common eye conditions can be extensive, but here are 6 of the most common conditions dogs can have.
Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)
Typically a dog’s eye will appear red and have discharge. A lot of times your dog will have recently come back from the kennel, dog park or even a play date. This can be from an infection (viral or bacterial), allergies, irritation, etc. Treatment is simple with a short course of eye drops. Your veterinarian may stain your dog’s eyes to make sure there is no scratch on the cornea to determine what medications will be best.
Dry Eye (Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca)
If your dog is starting to develop a lot of discharge, pigmentation, redness on the sclera (white part of the eye) they may have dry eye. Your veterinarian will most likely run a test called a Schirmer Tear Test. This test will determine if your dog is producing enough tears per minute.
It is very important to not only diagnose KCS but also treat. Unfortunately, this requires life-long medication that can get quite expensive. Animals can easily get eye infections and corneal ulcers from this condition especially if not treated.
Excessive Tear Production (Epiphora)
This is usually a result of another condition. You or your veterinarian will typically notice it by staining or discharge under your dog’s eyes. If the cause of the discharge is treated then the excessive tearing will typically resolve. Unfortunately, many times an ophthalmologist is required to diagnose the cause.
With Entropion, the eyelid is actually turning in and typically the eye lashes and hair are rubbing on the cornea. This is a genetic condition in dogs. If very mild sometimes they are treated with ointments to help lubricate the eyes, but sometimes can require surgery.
If not fixed and continues to cause irritation on the eye, it can creates ulcers which would require treatment.
Typically caused by trauma and can be very painful. Your dog may have excessive discharge, squiting and reddness in their eyes. Your veterinarian can place stain in the eyes to see if there is any defect in the cornea on examination. This usually is treated with just topical medication, but might require oral medication. Sometimes if the eye is not resolving or the ulcer is deeper than expected your veterinarian may refer your dog to an opthalmolgist for surgery.
Dogs have a third eye lid that is not always seen especially when they are healthy. In this third eyelid, there is a tear gland that can pop out. This can be consistant or the cherry eye can show up and go back in. Typically this requires surgery that will reattach the gland but the surgery is not always successful.
Eye conditions are typically something that should be seen as soon as possible. If you notice your dog squiting, has reddness or excessive discharge you should bring your dog to a veterinarian as soon as they can see them. Typically an ecollar is recommended if you can’t get to a veterinarian the same day as if they rub their eye it can easily create more problems.
Your dog’s eye are precious and taking care of them is very important!