A quick note on Common Canine Eye Problems

Your pet's eyes are his windows to the world. But
sometimes, with an eye disorder, those windows can close
quickly. Breed, age and sometimes bad luck can cause
certain dogs to suffer from different eye problems. It’s
important to learn to recognize the signs of an eye
disorder and to learn how to help your dog if he has one.

Here is a look at some of the most common eye disorders
for dogs.

Ectropion
This disease is sometimes called the droopy eyelid
disorder. Most common in Basset Hounds, Blood Hounds
and Saint Bernards, this disorder affects dogs whose lower
eyelids are too droopy and become severely inflamed.

Dogs with this disorder have red eyes and a lot of tears.
Mild cases of ectropion can be treated with eyedrops, but
in severe cases surgery may be required to lift and tighten
a dog's lower eyelids.

Entropion
This disorder causes a dog's eyelids to roll inward so that
lashes irritate the eye. Your dog will constantly squint,
tear excessively and begin to rub his eyes. This behavior
can lead to permanent scratches on the eye, causing
blindness.

This disease is most prevalent in Shar Peis and Cocker
Spaniels, and is inherited in breeds that tend to have a lot
of loose skin around their eyes. To treat this disorder,
surgery is performed to turn the eyelid outward to its
normal position.

Glaucoma
This disease can affect any breed, but certain breeds, like
American Cocker Spaniels, Chow Chows, and Artic circle
breeds (Huskies, Elkhounds, etc.) have a hereditary
predisposition to developing glaucoma. The condition
occurs when fluids - normally produced in the eye - build
up inside the eye causing swelling. The pressure from the
fluid affects tissues within the eye, causing pain and
without proper treatment sometimes leads to blindness.

If your dog is suffering from glaucoma, his eye may be red,
have excessive tearing, and be swollen or cloudy. He may
also rub his eyes more often than usual. Some common
treatments include topical drops or ointments. In
severe cases, surgery is often the best option. If this is the
case, your dog may be referred to a veterinary
ophthalmologist for treatment.

Keratoconjunctivitis
KCS occurs when a dog doesn't produce enough tears
causing the eye to become dry and irritated, and allowing
bacteria to grow on the cornea. KCS is usually
accompanied by thick yellowy-green mucus within the eye.

This disorder can lead to frequent eye infections, scarring
and even blindness. There are a variety of medications
which are helpful for this condition. In some cases surgery
is performed to move a salivary duct into the eyelid to help
lubricate the eye.
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