One of the most dangerous and common disease groups in dogs is eye disease. The eye of a dog performs an amazing function: it converts the light reflected by the eye into nerve impulses that the brain uses to form images of what the dog sees.
To function properly, all of the different parts of the eye must be healthy. Unfortunately, dogs can develop a variety of eye conditions that disrupt and destroy the way their eyes function.
Dogs have three eyelids, two of which are visible, and the third, which is usually invisible, is located just below the corner of the eye. Tear glands are produced in the third eyelid of a dog.
The third eyelid is frequently difficult to see, but some dogs have congenital weakness of the ocular ligaments. The dog’s third eyelid protrudes due to a weak ligament.
The dog’s eyes will be swollen at that time, like cherry blossoms blooming in their eyes. Because the condition is heritable, both eyes are frequently affected over time.
Your veterinarian will perform a simple surgery to restore the eyelids to their normal position in order to treat this eye condition in dogs.
The cornea is a layer of skin-like tissue that covers the surface of the eye.
The cornea, like the skin, can be damaged, and dogs are predisposed to corneal tears, ulcers, and perforations. Strong external influences, such as when a dog runs through tall grass and the eye is poked, frequently cause corneal damage in dogs. In some cases, eye issues, such as dry eyes, put dogs at risk of corneal damage.
Dogs with damaged corneas frequently rub their eyes, making them more painful and even red, swollen, and watery.
To treat dog eye disease caused by corneal damage, you must first prevent the condition or treat the corneal infection with antibiotic eye drops or ointment, then manage the pain and give your dog’s cornea time to heal.
In severe cases, your dog may require eye surgery if it is possible, or your veterinarian will administer other treatments to protect and heal your dog’s cornea.
Sicca keratoconjunctivitis (KCS)
When a dog has dry eye syndrome (KCS), his or her lacrimal glands produce fewer tears than usual.
Tears have important functions, including removing potentially harmful substances from the eye’s surface and nourishing corneal tissue.
As a result, it’s not surprising that a lack of tears can result in other dangerous eye conditions in dogs, such as corneal ulcers, chronic mucus production, and eye pain.
If your dog has mild dry eyes, you can use artificial tears on a regular basis; however, your veterinarian will advise you to use medications that stimulate tear production, such as cyclosporine.
If your dog has severe dry eyes, surgery to reroute the saliva-carrying ducts to the eyes to moisten them may be required.
Pink vision (conjunctivitis)
The mucous membrane that covers the inside of the dog’s eyelids (including either side of the third eyelid) and certain parts of the eyeball is known as the conjunctiva.
Conjunctivitis symptoms include redness and swelling of the conjunctiva, as well as tearing and discomfort.
Conjunctivitis should be regarded as a symptom rather than a disease. Physical irritation (such as dust and ingrown eyelashes), infection (bacteria and viruses are the most common causes of pink eye in dogs), and allergic reactions are all possible causes of pink eye.
Treatment is determined by the cause of the conjunctivitis. You can remove irritants from your dog’s eyes by flushing them with sterile saline.
If your dog has pink eye caused by bacteria, his eyes will heal quickly if the appropriate prescription antibiotic eye drops or ointment is used.
Humans are unlikely to get pink eye from dogs, but be cautious and thoroughly wash your hands after giving your dog eye drops.
If your dog has severe conjunctivitis or if you have eye problems that do not resolve within a day or two, consult your veterinarian.
An increase in intraocular pressure
To maintain a constant pressure, the production and drainage of fluid in the dog’s eye will be precisely balanced. Glaucoma develops when this balance is upset and the pressure in the eye rises.
Pain, red eyes, excessive tearing, a protruding third eyelid, a cloudy cornea, dilated pupils, and, in severe cases, the dog’s eyes appearing larger are all symptoms of this eye disease in dogs.
If you suspect your dog has glaucoma, contact your veterinarian right away because untreated treatment can lead to blindness.
A combination of topical and oral medications that reduce inflammation, draw fluid from the eye, limit fluid production in the eye, and promote drainage from the eye can be used to treat canine glaucoma. Dogs may require eye surgery in some cases.
The clear lens in the center of the eye is known as the phakic. A cataract is defined as clouding or clouding of part or all of the lens.
Cataracts are an eye disease in dogs that can result in blurred vision or, in severe cases, blindness.
Cataracts are frequently confused with eye disease in dogs, which is associated with lens sclerosis as the lens ages and typically occurs in older dogs 6 years of age and older.
The pupil (the center of the eye) can turn white, gray, or milky white in either condition. After examining your dog’s eyes, your veterinarian will be able to distinguish between the two conditions.
Cataract surgery is required when a dog’s vision is severely impaired. Dogs with poor vision can adjust to life without surgery.
Entropion refers to dogs who have their eyelids trapped in their eyes. Because of the enlarged eyelids, the eyelashes rub heavily against the surface of the eye, causing pain, tearing, and corneal damage.
Tinnitus is a congenital eye condition in dogs that can be caused by excessive squinting (due to discomfort) or scarring of the eyelids.
If your dog’s eyelids droop, your veterinarian may temporarily sew the eyelids back into place.
In some cases, dogs require eye surgery to correct vision problems.
Progression of Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
Some dog eye diseases are difficult to detect. Progressive retinal atrophy is a disease that causes blindness in dogs despite the fact that their eyes appear normal.
The first sign of PRA is usually difficulty seeing at night, but it is not uncommon for dogs to remain active until their vision is almost completely lost and/or they are transported to distant environments.
Unfortunately, there is no effective treatment for PRA in dogs, but this eye condition is not painful and dogs can adjust well even if their vision is impaired.
Of course, there are numerous other dog eye diseases that can affect dogs that are not covered in this article. However, eye problems can quickly become serious, so if you suspect your dog has them, consult with your veterinarian.