Eye Care for Dogs

pet dog with spectacles
15 July

EYE CARE

You might notice your pet getting restless with a swollen or a red eye. He might occasionally rub his paws against his eyes in an effort to ease the discomfort. Never ignore such a condition in your pet. You never know if it is a kind of mild allergic reaction or the first signs of a serious eye disease. Various infectious eye problems start with red and sensitive eyes. Usually a few drops of eye medicine might help in treating the problem. Otherwise, major eye surgeries need to be performed if the infection is severe. Below, we have listed the various eye diseases that generally occur in dogs.

FIRST LOOK

Face your dog in a brightly lit area and look into his eyes. They should be clear and bright, and the area around the eyeball should be white. His pupils should be equal in size and there shouldn't be tears, discharge or any crust in the corners of his eyes. Observe your dog if it is pawing or rubbing his eye area which is a symptom of a possible eye problems or it may aggravate a mild condition to worse.

A MORE CLOSER LOOK

Gently roll down your dog's lower eyelid with your thumb, and look at the lining. It should be pink, not red or white. Signs shown by your dog when they have some eye problem
  • Avoiding light
  • Bulging eyes
  • Closed eyes
  • Excess tearing
  • Redness in eyes
  • Rubbing the eye
  • Rubbing the face on the ground
  • Discharge & crusty gunk
  • Red or white eyelid linings
  • Tear-stained fur
  • Cloudiness or change in eye colour
  • Visible third eyelid
  • Unequal pupil sizes
COMMON EYE DISORDERS
The following eye-related disorders are commonly seen in dogs:
Conjunctivitis:
One or both of your dog's eyes will look red and swollen, and there may be discharge.
Dry Eye:
Diminished tear production can cause corneal inflammation, squinting and discharge.
Cherry Eye:
An enlarged tear gland forms a cherry-like mass on the dog's eye.
Epiphora:
An overflow of tears creates stains on the dog's facial fur.
Glaucoma:
The cornea becomes cloudy and the eye enlarges due to an increased pressure in the eyeball.
Ectropion:
A turning outward of the upper eyelid causes the lower lid to droop.
Entropion:
A rolling in of the eyelid causes discharge and tears.
Cataract:
Opacity on the lens of the eye can cause impaired vision and possible blindness.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy:
A hereditary defect caused by degeneration of retinal tissue-night blindness is often its first sign.
Corneal Ulcers :
an unhealed wound in cornea due to injury may look like a tiny white spot.
Inflammation (Infection):
Swelling of eyes due to infection from various microbes
Deficiency Disorders:
Deficiency of essential vitamins like Vit. A, C, D and minerals lead to impairment of vision
Prolapse of the Third Eyelid :
Did you know that your dog's eyes have a third eyelid? It provides protection for the cornea in both dogs and cats. The gland of the third eyelid also produces tears for the eye to help the tear gland lubricate the cornea.If the gland becomes swollen, it will bulge up and over the top margin of the third eyelid.

CARE YOURSELF…

A GENTLE CLEAN WIPE
A gentle wipe with a damp cotton ball will help to keep your pooch's eyes gunk-free. Wipe outward from the corner of the eye and be careful not to touch his eyeball-you don't want to scratch the cornea. If your dog constantly suffers from runny eyes and discharge, please see your veterinarian. Your pet may have an infection.
TRIM THE EYEBROWS
Long-haired breeds can get eye damage if their locks aren't tamed. Using scissors with rounded tips, carefully trim the hair around your dog's eyes to keep his vision clear and prevent hairs from poking and scratching. Soaps and topical medications can be major irritants. Make sure to protect your dog's eyes before bathing him or applying ointments or flea-control medicines.
ON DRIVE
Definitely your beloved loves a drive with you, but if debris or an insect touches her eye, she may suffer pain and a long-lasting injury. It's much safer to drive with the windows only partially down and doggie's head inside the vehicle. The wind can also dry out your dog's eyes, possibly causing irritation and infection.
PEDIGREE
Do a little research and find out if your dog's breed is predisposed toward eye conditions, and about its such as glaucoma or progressive retinal atrophy. Of course, your pet should have his eyes checked on annual vet visits, but knowing about possible inherited problems will help you take important precautions.
DIET
If your dog is prone to eye problems, consider adding one of the following to her diet: Adding leafy green vegetables, carrots, pulses etc to the diet. Supplement the diet with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Zinc. A good quality dog food can ensure a balanced diet which contains all necessary vitamins and minerals for eye health. Never over feed your dog and keep regular time for their diet, as it may lead to diabetes, obesity, thyroid problems etc. Diabetes if uncontrolled may lead to blindness.
EXTERNAL PARSITIES
Ticks, Fleas, Lice etc are the external parasites found on the skin of a dog. They suck blood to thrive and multiply rapidly. They transmit various diseases from one dog to another, among which Ehrlichiosis and Babesiosis are the most fatal ones. These disease conditions can affect the dogs of any age group and in acute cases it causes severe eye damage leading to impaired vision. So complete tick control throughout a dog's life is inevitable for its good health and eye care.
REGULAR CHECKUP
Consult your Vet on a regular interval and ensure his eye check up also. As your dog becomes senior, i.e. by the age of seven, it is compulsory that the senile changes should be monitored and sufficient eye care must be given. Never go to chemist for getting a medicine over the counter for treating your dog. This will aggravate the condition and improper medication may lead to total blindness later. Severe eye problems must be taken to a Veterinary Ophthalmologist itself. The Cochin Pet Hospital is offering the service of Consultant Veterinary Ophthalmologist on monthly basis upon prior appointment. The pet owners can contact for prior appointments on 0484 4032 555.