6 Common Dog Eye Problems You Shouldn’t Ignore

January 25, 2024by Nicole Tengco0

Dog eye problems can be a quite common occurrence. Some of these conditions are mild and will likely go away over time, but a few can be quite alarming. Knowing the most prevalent eye conditions in dogs is crucial, as this knowledge will help you figure out what to do and when to call a vet.  Here at PetPal, we care about your pet’s health, so we’ve gathered some information on some of the most common dog eye problems you should be aware of. Read on to learn more!

Photo by Simon Hesthaven

1. Conjunctivitis or Pinkeye

This is one of the most common eye problems in dogs. It occurs when the conjunctiva, the tissue that lines the front part of the eye and the inner part of the eyelids, becomes inflamed. Conjunctivitis in dogs can happen due to many reasons. These include allergies, infections, foreign bodies in the eye, or certain diseases. 

Symptoms of conjunctivitis or pinkeye in dogs include redness, swelling, excessive blinking, and a discharge from the eyes. This condition usually clears up on its own within a week.

2. Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS) or Dry Eye

This condition occurs when a dog’s eyes can’t produce enough tears to keep themselves lubricated. Dry eye can lead to chronic irritation and discomfort. If left untreated, it can damage the cornea and potentially lead to blindness. 

Symptoms of dry eye in dogs include redness, itchiness, a thick, sticky discharge, and a dull appearance of the eyes. Veterinarians can treat this condition with topical lubricants and tear stimulants.

3. Corneal Ulcers

Corneal ulcers are scratches or ulcers on the cornea, the clear front surface of the dog’s eye. They can happen due to physical trauma, chemical burns, infections, or certain diseases. 

Corneal ulcers can be very painful and can cause your dog to squint, blink excessively, or paw at their eye. They may also have a discharge from the eye and may show signs of sensitivity to light. This condition usually heals after around three to five days. However, your vet can recommend medications to ease the pain and prevent infections.

4. Cataracts

This is one of the more serious dog eye problems out there. Cataracts are opacities in the lens of the eye that can affect a dog’s vision. In severe cases, they can cause blindness. They may be the result of aging, diabetes, injury, or genetic predisposition. They may appear as a cloudy or bluish discoloration in the eye.

Cataracts can worsen over time and may require surgery, so it’s best to talk to your vet if your dog has them.

5. Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a serious condition wherein the pressure inside the eye increases. This can damage your dog’s optic nerve and affect its vision. Some symptoms of glaucoma in dogs include redness, tearing, squinting, a dilated pupil, or a bulging appearance of the eye. It can also be extremely painful for your furry friend. Surgery may be necessary in severe cases to prevent blindness.

6. Cherry Eye

This condition occurs when the tear gland in a dog’s third eyelid becomes inflamed and pops out, resembling a cherry. Cherry eye can cause discomfort, swelling, redness, and a thick discharge from the eye. It’s crucial to call your vet right away to protect your dog’s eyes.

The Takeaway

If you notice any changes in your dog’s eyes, such as redness, swelling, discharge, or changes in their behavior like squinting or pawing at their eye, it’s important to call a vet. Early detection and treatment can help prevent these conditions from worsening. 

Regular vet check-ups and awareness of common dog eye problems can help ensure your furry friend remains in good health. PetPal is here to help connect you to friendly vets who can help your dog stay healthy. Download the PetPal app from the Play Store or App Store and schedule a home vet visit now!

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