Common Eye Problems in Pets

Common Eye Problems in Dogs

When it comes to eye problems in your dog, we don’t like to mess around. Extra eyes don’t exactly grow on trees. So when your pet is having eye discharge or apparent pain in the eye, at the Rannals Small Animal Hospital in Whitehouse, we take it seriously. Three of the more common eye problems in dogs are corneal ulcers, cherry eye, and dry eyes.

Corneal Ulcers

Your pet has been outside, and comes back in holding his eye closed. He doesn’t want you to open his eyelids to look at it. Then you start seeing excess tears and mucous. Dogs and cats often get scratched on their eyes which can result in corneal ulcers. Ulcers are very painful and can become dangerous if the ulcer deepens enough to perforate the cornea into the interior of the eye. At the clinic, we use a special eye stain that causes the ulcer to stain green to make it easily seen. Once it’s identified, an ulcer can be usually treated with topical eye meds and should be well in a few days. Sometimes they are so large or deep that more extensive treatment (like surgical procedures) are required. If the ulcer perforates through the cornea, permanent vision loss can occur.

Cherry Eye

You come home from work and your dog suddenly has this large red “growth” in the inner corner of his eye. Cherry eyes are one of the most common problems seen especially in smaller breeds. It’s actually a prolapse of a gland that’s sits embedded in the “third eyelid” that normally resides under the lower eyelid. When it becomes inflamed or infected it can pop up into the inner corner of the orbit of the eye. Not generally dangerous to vision, a “cherry eye” can trap infection and be a nuisance. Although eye drops can help with redness and infection, only a surgical procedure under general anesthetic can actually repair the prolapse.

Dry Eyes

Certain breeds of dogs (like Pugs) are prone to a condition where the tear glands no longer produce enough tears. The slang term is dry eyes, but the real term is keratoconjunctivitis sicca. Dogs with dry eyes have reduced tear production (much like the condition in humans), so the eyes become dry. A thick mucous can form on and around the eyes. Sometimes the noses also becomes dry. And the cornea can even be damaged by ulcers, infection, or pigmentation forming on it’s surface. The condition is usually treatable, especially if caught early, with a special medication that helps stimulate remaining tear producing tissue. Often ophthalmic antibiotic drops are also used.

If your pet is having any discomfort, redness, or drainage from the eyes, play it safe. Call us at the Rannals Small Animal Hospital in Whitehouse, Tx at 903-839-7235 for an appointment.