Dogs and cats are susceptible to many eye problems. Eye injuries can result quite easily from skirmishes with housemates, other animals, or just normal indoor or outdoor activities. Some dogs even contract eye injuries from blowing debris if they put their head out the window during car drives. Dogs and cats can also be born with eye or eyelid defects, or they can develop eye disorders such as:
- Dry eye (decreased tear production)
- Corneal ulceration
- Eye and eyelid tumors (often benign)
- Inflammatory conditions (affecting the eyes or surrounding tissues)
- Uveitis (inflammation within the eye)
- Decreased vision
Carlson Animal Hospital has a special interest in veterinary eye care, especially since Dr. Carlson was a research assistant in a pet ophthalmology department early in his career. As such, we have acquired a great deal of exposure to pet eye care over the years.
At each exam, we will examine your pet’s eyes for possible problems. Certain breeds are more prone to eye issues. For example, cherry eye (prolapsed gland of third eyelid) is more common with bulldogs, cocker spaniels, beagles, Pekingese, and others. In some cases, internal eye abnormalities may indicate other more systemic disease processes. As with all matters related to your pet’s heath care, we take a preventive approach.
Some owners are apt to dismiss eye problems as temporary or minor. However, squinting, closed eyelids, severe inflammation, corneal cloudiness, or pawing at the eye should not be ignored. Holding the eyelids closed may indicate ocular pain, which can be intense since there are many sensory nerve endings on the cornea’s surface.
Other red flags include:
- Discharge (yellow may indicate a bacterial infection)
- Color changes of the iris or eye
- Difficulties seeing either during the day or at night only
While not all eye issues are serious, in some cases, prompt attention to eye problems can be sight saving. Contact us for more information about any concerns regarding your pet’s eyes.