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Eye Disease Symptom Checklist

Drs. Foster & Smith Educational Staff
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Eye Disease Checklist Your dog's eyes are one of her most sensitive and important faculties, so any concern about their health should be treated as an emergency. Healthy canine eyes are moist and clear. Redness, swelling, squinting or a green or yellow discharge all may be indications of an eye condition.

Eye Condition & Injury Checklist Refer to this checklist of serious symptoms if you suspect your dog has an eye condition or has experienced an eye injury. Take your pet to your veterinarian immediately if one or more symptoms are present:

Check which symptoms your pet exhibits:
Squinting, rubbing, or pawing at the eye
Foreign bodies (grass seeds, splinters)
Irritation or inflammation
Excess tearing
Bulging, cherry-like swelling on inside corner
Eyeball appears enlarged
Sensitivity to light
Green or yellow discharge
Cloudy, milky or bluish appearing cornea or pupil
Recent head trauma
Recent time outdoors/riding in car with head out window
Recent fight
Top Eye Care Tips
  • Protect your pet from fights, outdoor dangers, and driving with her head out the window
  • Know the eye conditions your dog's breed is most commonly predisposed to.
  • Treat any concern about eye health as an emergency

Common Eye Conditions in Dogs

  • Cataracts - Cataracts are one of the most common problems affecting the eyes of the dog. There are many different forms and causes of cataracts, including diabetes They affect all breeds and ages of dogs, but certain types show up more commonly in certain breeds. Currently, the only effective treatment option is surgery, but with correct patient selection the outcome is very good.
  • Cherry Eye - The medical term for 'cherry eye' is nictitans gland prolapse, or prolapse of the gland of the third eyelid. Unlike people, dogs have a 'third eyelid' that contains a tear gland and is located in the corner of each eye. Under normal circumstances, this gland is not visible.. For some reason not yet completely understood, the gland of the third eyelid sometimes prolapses or comes out of its normal position, and swells, creating the condition known as cherry eye. Any dog can develop cherry eye, and it can occur in one eye or both, but there are several breeds that appear to have a higher incidence of developing it.. They are: the Beagle, Bloodhound, Boston Terrier, Bulldog, Bull Terrier, Lhasa Apso, Saint Bernard, and Shar-Pei. Dogs can acquire this condition at any age and it affects males and females equally.
  • Corneal dystrophy - Corneal dystrophy is an inherited condition resulting in symmetrical corneal opacities (cloudy areas) in both eyes. These opacities are usually composed of fatty deposits. The location of the opacity within the various layers of the cornea determines the type of corneal dystrophy.. Most dogs with corneal dystrophy are six months of age and older. Breeds most affected appear to be Airedale Terriers and Shetland Sheepdogs.
  • Glaucoma - Glaucoma is a very common disease in humans and is also very common in dogs. Glaucoma occurs when the pressure inside the eyeball (or globe) is excessively high. When this occurs, internal structures are damaged. In the eye, the elevation of the pressure of the internal fluid to dangerous levels affects almost every tissue inside the globe. In most cases, this renders the eye blind and useless.

Monitor your dog's eyes closely and do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian if you suspect something is wrong. Your dog's eyes are too valuable to take any chances.

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