A number of eye problems are common in pets, and many of them can lead to redness, too much tearing, and discomfort. Your pet’s cornea or other ocular structures could be harmed if the underlying cause isn’t identified and treated quickly. Squinting, tearing, irritation or pain in the eyes are indicators of one of the following prevalent eye conditions in pets.
Conjunctivitis, also called “pink eye,” is an infection that causes inflammation, redness, and a sticky discharge from the eye. The mucus membranes inside your pet’s eyes are called the conjunctiva, and they are concealed on both sides of the eye. When these membranes are exposed to natural forces, they are easily infected. Pink eye is a reaction caused by various factors, like:
- A bacterial or viral infection
- Allergic reaction
- Dirt that gets into the eye
When there is a foreign object or an allergy, a simple sterile eye wash is usually needed to get rid of the symptoms. On the other hand, bacterial and viral infections need antibiotics that a veterinarian or an ophthalmologist can only give. Vaccinating your pet against infectious ailments like feline herpesvirus or canine adenovirus can also provide protection to them from conjunctivitis.
The cornea is a transparent, skin-like tissue that covers the eye’s surface and can be easily damaged. Injury, poor tear production, or abnormal ocular anatomy can cause corneal ulcers and other wounds, and the affected eye may be red, swollen, and overly draining. Your pet will rub or squint the affected eye in pain. Treatment methods for this problem include:
- Using antibiotic eye drops or ointments to eliminate or cure infections
- Managing pain with medications like atropine
- Giving the cornea time to heal
In extreme cases, the cornea may need surgical intervention or other advanced treatments to protect or address it and speed up the healing recovery. Some cat or dog shots, like the one for canine distemper, can also aid in the prevention of corneal ulcers by boosting your pet’s immune system.
When fluid production in the eye becomes out of balance, pressure builds up, causing glaucoma, a condition typically seen in pet dogs. These are some of the signs:
- Excessive tears
- Dilated pupils
- Bulging eyes
- A cloudy look in the eyes
Glaucoma can damage the optic nerve if left untreated. While medications can help, surgery performed by a vet ophthalmologist is usually the most reliable solution for reducing the disease’s potential damage. Consider seeking help from vet facilities like Harbor Animal Hospital for expert eye care surgical treatment.
The cherry eye is one of the most common eye problems in animals. While human beings have two eyelids, dogs and cats have three. The inner corner of the eye is the location of the third, usually concealed eyelid. In some pets, the eyelid ligaments that hold the gland that produces tears in place become weak.
When these ligaments end up being loose, the gland pops out of its position, mimicking a red cherry stuck in the eye’s inner corner. To permanently treat this problem, you must take your pet to the vet clinic for surgery to make a deeper pocket where the gland can sit. Click here to learn how to address and avoid the cherry eye in your pet.
While you can’t always avoid an eye issue, there are measures you can take to keep your pet’s eyes healthy and free of injury. Bring them to your veterinarian on a regular basis for wellness care, get them vaccinated, and keep their toenails short so they do not injure themselves by scratching.
You can also keep the hair around their eyes short and carefully clean their eyes when they’re taking a bath. Whatever eye condition your pet may be experiencing, consult your veterinarian if you have any queries or concerns about your pet’s eye health.