Dog Eye Problems

Dog Eye Problems

The most common problems of the eyelids that affect the eyes are tumors. Usually benign, they grow on the edges and often irritate the corneas by the constant blinking of the lids. Some tumors protrude away from the eyes and are only unsightly but those that irritate corneas should be removed surgically or blindness may result.
Small hairs growing in from the edges of the lids may also irritate the corneas, and this condition also necessitates surgery.
Some dog of the branchy (short-headed) breeds have folds of skin protruding so that hair constantly touches the corneas and this may be corrected by surgery or by matting the hair with Vaseline at least once daily.
An abnormal drooping of either eyelid or a turning in or out of a lid predisposes the eye to problems and should he surgically corrected.
The Conjunctiva. Under the eyelids and around the globes of the eyes is pink tissue called the conjunctiva. Normally, in spite of dust,pollens, and other debris entering the eyes, this area is sterile. Cultures of tears from normal eyes have no microorganisms that grow. So when you see sudden excess tearing with mucus in the corners you then first suspect foreign bodies, such as a bit of bark or sand, which can cause the discharge by irritation but in a sterile environment. Anesthesia panda careful examination may be necessary, but more often the foreign material will work its way out in a day or two. A few drops of mineral or vegetable oil in the eye may facilitate the removal of foreign material.Even when infection is present you also see mucus and inflammation,which is evidenced by the rosy appearance of the whites of the eyes,the sclera. Raise the upper lid and the sclera, instead of china white,will be pink or red due to the inflammation. When infection is present most dogs respond to a variety of drops and ointments, but those that do not should have cultures and sensitivities run to determine the proper medicinal agent to use.
As do many dog, dogs have a third eyelid that lies across the lower inner part of each eye. Sometimes the edge of one has pigment and the other is white or pink, suggesting that the eye with the nonalignment membrane is a weak eye – not so. It is as normal as two pig-meted or two non pigmented third eyelids.
When irritated these membranes rise up over perhaps half of each eye, suggesting that the dog’s eyes are “rolling back in its head.” It may look that way, but dogs’ eyes don’t roll hack in their heads. The raising of this membrane indicates irritations, and irritation may be caused by anything from chemicals, such as fertilizers, to pollens and dust to which the dog is sensitive. Of course, infection is high on the list of causes.
DRY EYES. Another cause of irritation is the lack of tears or dry eyes. The reason for tear glands ceasing to produce the tears that are necessary for lubrication arc not well understood but this is a serious problem that needs professional attention. Sometimes antibiotics help, as does medication, to stimulate tear production but sometimes nothing helps but drops applied every half hour. An interesting surgical solution is to transpose to the eye a duct that normally leads from a salivary gland to the mouth. The saliva discharged into a dry eye works about as well as tears. One warning, however, when the family sits down to eat: a dog that has had this surgery on smelling the food will tend to salivate and then tears may run down its cheek. This, though, is preferable to having to medicate an eye for the remainder of a pet’s life.
“CHERRY” EYE. Cherry eye is the name given to a bright pink object about the size of a pencil eraser that suddenly forms in the inner comer of an eye. If treated promptly, the “cherries” may be replaced without surgery by your veterinarian and a medication dispensed to correct the problem. Some of the replaced “cherries” will reappear almost as soon as you leave the vet’s office. Surgery is simple and effective but if it is necessary in one eye it is common to see one appear at a later date in the other eye.
The Cornea. The surface of the globe of the eye through which we see the pupil and the colored or pigmented area, the iris, is called the cornea. Injury, from cat scratches to any penetrating objects, is the most common problem with corneas. When damage is superficial and before infection has set in, antibiotics with steroids are often spectacular in their results. When there is an infected injury to the cornea, steroids must not be used.
There are surgical procedures and even corneal transplants to deal with lacerated corneas with or without infection.
Ulcers of the corneas may lead to blindness and should be treated immediately.
One problem with treating corneal ulcers is the defoliating effect of the blinking eyelids. As delicate new cells form in an attempt to heal,the blinking lids literally wipe them away. The solution may be suturing the lids together of the affected cy or other surgery to protect the healing ulcer.
“BLUE EYE.” Among the diseases recognized by veterinary ophthalmologists is infectious canine hepatitis, “blue eye,” in which a bluish cast to one or both corneas develops. It does not require a specialist to make the diagnosis of this virus disease with its “blue” color, but other diseases must be considered.
Though the obvious corneal opacity of infectious canine hepatitis is easy for anyone to observe, when the signs are subtle it usually takes an ophthalmologist to make the diagnosis.
Some of the other diseases in this category are explosions, toolbars, lipids, and myopic infections such as crypto, and coccid. Parasitic diseases such as delicious and visceral larva migrants are rare findings.
PIGMENTARY KERATITIS. Another unfortunate corneal problem is an inflammation accompanied by the deposition of pigment called pigment dermatitis. The condition starts at the junction of the sclera, or the white of the eye, and the cornea and spreads slowly but surely across the eye. It may be compared to a black window shade being drawn across the eye. If the condition is discovered in time ointments applied four or five times daily usually cause the pigment to recede.When the eye is covered with pigment surgery may restore sight.
Other Eye Conditions and Diseases. The automobile is the cause of many eye injuries and if you have the misfortune of finding a dog wi than eye protruding out of its lids you may save both the dog’s eye and sight by gently pushing the eye back in its socket. Otherwise the optic nerve will be stretched for too long a period if it requires very long to locate a veterinarian.
The eyes must be kept moist, and in the case of a prolapsed eyeball wet cotton should be held on it until you find help.
A good ophthalmologist can make many diagnoses of eye problems with an ophthalmoscope. There are board-certified veterinary ophthalmologists in many areas to help with difficult problems.
GLAUCOMA. Glaucoma is the condition where too much pressure develops within the eyeball itself resulting its an enlargement, pain, and destruction of tissues in the eye. Early medication is helpful in some cases but in others early surgery may be needed to save sight.
CATARACT. The lens of the eye is translucent and is located behind the pupil. In the young dog it cannot be seen, but as a dog ages the lens develops hardening of the microscopic arteries resulting in a faint gray appearance at first. With extreme age the pupils look blue. Thistle sclerosis is not to be confused with cataract formations, which is denser and sometimes white in appearance. With old-age blue pupils,the dog can still see a fly on the wall but with advanced cataracts blindness results.
Cataract surgery should be done on young dogs with ripe cataracts but when cataracts develop in a dog eight years or older usually degenerative changes in the retinas accompany this lens problem. Surgery in this condition will not help.
Another problem of the lens is lunation, which means the lens lose sits attachments and gravitates down in the front of the eye.

Alicia Carter

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