The dog can be affected by a large number of eye disorders. These diseases are of varying origins and severity, but the most severe of them can lead to the animal’s blindness, hence the importance of acting quickly, as soon as the first signs appear. Discover the main eye diseases in dogs, their symptoms and the right things to do to ensure the well-being of your doggie.
The main ocular pathologies of the dog
The cataract is due, as in humans, to the partial or complete opacification of the lens. Some breeds of dogs are more predisposed to it than others (such as the Husky or the Cocker). In general, the cataract is consecutive to the aging of the animal or due to an eye trauma or to a disease such as diabetes. The risk of blindness is high, hence the importance of acting quickly by consulting the veterinarian.
- Symptoms : total or partial opacification of the lens.
Conjunctivitis is, as in humans, an inflammation of the conjunctivae. These are located on the inner side of the eyelids and partially cover the dog’s eyeball. It can have several more or less important origins: a parasite, an irritation or an allergy. The affected animal has a red, swollen or watery eye. This disease is not serious and easily cured, provided the animal is given the appropriate treatment. Be careful, not all conjunctivitis is the same! It is not recommended to give your pet treatment yourself, even if it has already been affected in the past, because you can aggravate the disease if its origin is different.
- Symptoms : swollen, red and watery eye, sometimes glued.
Ectropion and entropion
These pathologies are characterized by rolling up of the dog’s eyelid. When this rolls up inwards, it is called entropion; in contrast, ectropion is identified when the eyelid rolls outward. Some breeds are predisposed to it, such as the Saint Bernard, but the aging of the dog is often the cause of this pathology. For the animal to heal, it is necessary to perform a surgical operation called blepharoplasty which eliminates the anomaly.
- Symptoms : rolling the eyelid inward (entropion) or outward (ectropion).
Glaucoma is caused by degeneration of the optic nerve. The dog sees his visual abilities gradually reduce, from the periphery of the eyes towards the center. This pathology is related to the accumulation of aqueous humor in the eye which leads to an increase in intraocular pressure. It is possible to relieve the animal by reducing this pressure through surgery or drug treatment. On the other hand, it is important to be quick, because the consequences of the disease are irreversible and any loss of vision will never be recovered.
- Symptoms : reduction in the animal’s visual abilities from the periphery to the center of the eye.
Dislocation of the lens
Lens dislocation is a rupture of the ligament that holds the lens in place. This rupture can be total or partial and generally finds a hereditary origin. This malformation is very present in the Fox terrier or the Jack Russell terrier. On the other hand, it is also possible that this dislocation is linked to another ocular pathology, in particular the presence of a tumor or even the development of glaucoma. The affected dog must be relieved very quickly by an appropriate treatment, because the disease is very painful and it can lead to the formation of glaucoma.
- Symptoms : rupture of the ligament holding the lens.
The retina can be affected by several conditions that cause more or less significant eye disorders in dogs. A retinal detachment is due to the disjunction of the two sheets that make up the retina. This pathology of genetic origin can occur for no apparent reason or be linked to a disease.
The retina can also undergo progressive atrophy or PRA. It is a degeneration of the ocular photoreceptors which leads to a loss of night vision in the dog between its 1 year and its 5 years, then to complete blindness from the age of 5.
- Symptoms : retinal detachment.
Uveitis is, as its name suggests, an inflammation of the uvea. The uvea is the pigmented area of the dog’s eye. The affected animal has a cloudy-looking eye. This type of disease can lead to other eye infections such as conjunctivitis or edema. To remedy it, it is enough to understand its origin to relieve it, but also to treat the inflammation generated.
- Symptoms : cloudy-looking eye.
What to do in case of eye disorder in dogs?
When you notice that your pet is scratching its eye or that certain symptoms are manifesting, do not touch it and do not administer any treatment or eye drops, at the risk of aggravating the situation. Consult your veterinarian very quickly, because only he can administer the treatment adapted to your animal’s ocular suffering. On the other hand, while waiting for the consultation, the specialist can advise you to relieve your dog by rinsing his eye with a physiological serum.