Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Eye Problems and Disease in Dogs

The older a dog gets, the more likely they are to develop eye problems.  This is unfortunate, and something that I am beginning to experience.  So my owner and I did some searching around, and found some information that we are sharing with permission about common dog eye problems.  I hope you will find it helpful.

Sometimes you just have to adjust because there is little you can do, and one thing about most of us is that we do adjust pretty well most of the time.

Here's the information we found:

Eye Problems In Older Dogs by Becky Day

Regrettably, most senior dogs do not see as well as they did when they were younger, there are 4 conditions listed here that cause their world to become over cast.

Cataracts are the most common cause. Cataracts are a clouding of the eye lens. They occur when the normal mechanics of the lens is altered, and the normal balance of water and protein in the eye alter, allowing excess water to enter the lens. The eye has a whitish cloudiness to it. If the cataracts have progressed sufficiently, your dog could show signs of vision loss.

Most senior dogs at some point develop a blue-gray color instead of a white color on their eyes. Many individuals often mistake this development for cataracts, it is far more likely that these dogs actually have a condition referred to as nuclear stenosis, which has little effect on the dog's ability to see.

The only cure for cataracts is to have the lens removed surgically. But should your canine has diabetes or you have an elderly dog that is failing in health, it might be best to merely get treatment for any inflammation that the cataracts have caused and naturally, to take as many measures as you can to reestablish your elderly dogs overall health.

Older dogs are especially vulnerable to conjunctivitis or "Pink eye", of which is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the tissue that surrounds the eyeball and eyelids. This common canine eye ailment has many causes, including bacterial or viral infections, foreign bodies in the eye, irritation from shampoos and dips, or possibly allergies, and a wide range of other underlying eye diseases.

Conjunctivitis. A dog with conjunctivitis exhibits very apparent signs of distress in the eye area. Redness will occur in the white parts of the eye and, or the eyelids, your pooch may squint or even paw at the affected eye. The eye will more than likely emit a discharge, though the nature of the discharge typically depends upon the main cause of the conjunctivitis.

To remedy conjunctivitis, the vet will try and determine what triggered the condition in the first place. If the veterinarian can pinpoint the cause, treatment is going to be according to his findings. The vet will begin by alleviating the discomfort your pet is feeling. If the veterinarian does not find a exact cause, he generally prescribes a topical antibiotic and or corticosteroid to decrease irritation and eliminate the infection. Conjunctivitis clears up relatively fast if the underlying cause is identified and eliminated. If the cause is unknown, treatment of the symptoms tends to be slow.

Dry eye, formally known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca, or KCS, results when a dog's eye does not produce enough tears. Causes of dry eye include skin allergies, side effects of certain drugs, and of course, age. Amongst some breeds, such as Cocker Spaniels, Bulldogs, and West Highland Terriers, the condition is rather common. With no treatment, the surface of the cornea can become damaged, that can significantly increase the distress your canine is already feeling and will certainly lead to blindness.

A canine with dry eye develops a red eye that discharges thick mucus. Your dog will start to squint to alleviate the discomfort or paw at the eyes. Crusty material tend to form at the corners.

Dry eye does respond very well to proper treatment. Cyclosporine in cream or liquid form, a couple times daily can enhance your dog's tear production. Artificial tears and antibiotic eye medications can help as well. Wiping away the crusty eye material at the corners is a good plan, just soak a cotton ball with warm water or purchase dog wipes designed to be gentle around the eye area. The moisture will soften the crusts so that it is less difficult to wipe away. Unfortunately, in a number of cases, treatment continues for the rest of your dog's life.

Glaucoma results when the fluid within the eye, which normally drains directly into the circulatory system, is blocked from making such an exit. Consequently, the fluid accumulates and takes up space in the eye, resulting in fluid pressure inside the eye to increase. As the pressure increases, the optic nerve becomes irreversibly damaged. With no treatment, the dog loses sight in the eye.

A unexpected bright redness in the eye is a typical symptom of glaucoma. Other signs consist of light sensitivity, dilated pupils, loss of vision, eyelid spasms, eye enlargement, discoloration or cloudiness of the cornea, and rubbing or pawing of the eye area. The dog also may tilt his head on the same side as the affected eye to be able to reduce the pressure. Unlike human glaucoma, the doggy version of this disease can be highly aggressive, because of this, your canine can lose sight in the eye within just a few days if he is not treated as quickly as possible.

Treatment will depend on whether or not any sight remains in the afflicted eye. If the eye retains some sight, surgery to either diminish the production of fluid or to bypass the blockage can help. To decrease pressure within the eye, prescribed medications can help. When the pupil no longer responds to light, your dog loses his or her vision in the afflicted eye. When this occurs, the best course of action is frequently to remove the eye in order to remove any infection or pain that results from the disease. A prosthetic eye may be used to replace the eye.

A dog with glaucoma eventually loses sight in the afflicted eye, and frequently, unfortunately, the other eye is affected later. Prompt treatment may put off the inevitable, usually for quite a while.

Author Resource: dog-gonnit.com

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