The eyes are sensitive instruments that are easily damaged and a dog’s eyes are no exception. In fact, the way they rush around, rough-house and roll around in the dirt, their eyes are much more likely to be damaged than ours.
Dog’s are susceptible to many common eye problems. Like us they get glaucoma, cataracts, and conjunctivitis. They get infections arising from dirt, grit, hair, pollen and other foreign objects. They suffer age and inherited diseases.
You therefore need to pay attention to cleaning and caring for your dog’s eyes as well as keeping a close watch on general dog eye health and condition.
The dog eye health list below will guide you through the common conditions to be aware of, and the symptoms to look out for.
See also this Dog Eye Care article for practical advice on dog eye health.
Ageing In dogs older than ten years the lens may gradually turn cloudy.Blue
eye A dog eye health problem caused by deep inflammation of the cornea, Blue eye is a clouding of the cornea sometimes linked to hepititis.Cataract A cataract turns the eye a cloudy blue-grey color. It can lead to blindness if not treated.
Collie eye anomaly An inherited disorder affecting Collie breeds. Some dogs continue to see normally despite the disease.Conjunctivitis A common dog eye health problem. Inflammation of the eye which requires vetrinary treatment with anti-inflammatories.
Corneal injury The cornea turns a blue-grey color if damaged. Consult a vet immediately. Corneal damage can often be corrected.Distichiasis An inherited condition which causes the eyelash to grow inward and requires surgical correction.
Dry Eye A bacterial infection which is characterised by a yellow discharge from the eyes. This is a serious dog eye health problem which is most common in older dogs. Consult a vet immediately.Entropion /Ectropion Excessively tight or excessively loose eyelids. These are inherited conditions which may require surgery.
Eyeball Prolapse A dog eye health problem common to breeds with protruding eyes. Eyeball prolapse means the eyeball is pushed out of the skull socket. A vet will generally push the eyeball back into the socket and sew the eyeball shut for a week in order to keep it in place.Glaucoma An increase in fluid pressure within the eye due to injury or disease. A vet can prescribe pressure reducing medication which the dog will have to remain on for life. In severe cases the eye may have to be removed surgically.
Infected third eyelid Dogs have a transparent third eyelid which can sweep across the eye to keep it clean. If this becomes inflammed it may require surgery to correct.Infection When the tear ducts become blocked by muscus or inflammation it causes the tears to overflow and run down the face.
Continuous overflow causes brown staining which is common in breeds like Poodles. Have this dog eye health problem treated immediately as it can be indicative of more serious problems.Injuries Eyes are vulnerable to injury from any number of causes, including self-inflicted injury.
Breeds with protruding eyes like Pugs and Pekingese are particularly vulnerableProgressive retinal atrophy An inherited disorder resulting in the gradually deterioration of the retina. It eventually leads to severely impaired vision or total blindnessRetinal dysplasia A congenital defect in which the retina becomes displaced.
Can cause blindness.Tumors Tumors can form on the eyelids or in the eye. Eyelid tumors are almost always benign and can be surgically removed. Tumors in the eye can only be treated by removal of the eye.
A visual inspection of your dogs eyes should form part of your daily grooming routine. This is essential to good dog eye health.