Understanding common eye conditions in dogs

While dogs may not see the world in the same vibrant palette as humans, their eyes are just as susceptible to ailments. Dog owners need to be vigilant about their pet’s ocular health, as knowing the signs of eye conditions can lead to quicker and more effective treatment.

How do you know if your dog has an issue with their eyes?

There are some key signs to look out for that may indicate your dog has developed an eye condition, including:

  • Persistent scratching or pawing at the eyes
  • Whites of the eyes turning red
  • Unusual discharge or tearing
  • Clumsiness
  • Squinting or excessive blinking

Common eye conditions in dogs

There are four eye conditions that make up the majority of eye issues in dogs that we see at Cameron Veterinary Services.

1. Cataracts
Cataracts occur when the lens inside the eye becomes cloudy, obscuring vision. They can either develop very slowly over a number of years or can also occur very quickly. Treatment options recommended by your vet may include medication to prevent inflammation or surgery to remove the affected lens.

2. Canine Glaucoma
This condition is caused by fluid not draining properly, causing increased pressure within the eye. This is painful condition and can lead to blindness if left too long. Early detection is key, with treatment ranging from eye drops to surgery.

3. Conjunctivitis
Redness, swelling, and discharge from the eyes are tell-tale signs of this condition Cleaning the affected area and administering medication prescribed by your vet will quickly get rid of conjunctivitis. While some types of canine conjunctivitis can potentially be passed on to humans, it is extremely uncommon. However, it can be easily spread to other animals, so it’s important to keep your pets separated while treating for conjunctivitis, as well as washing your hands after administering medication.

4. Ulcers of the Cornea
Corneal ulcers are typically caused by trauma or infection and can be extremely painful for dogs. Because of this pain, if your dog has an ulcer, they will usually keep their eye tightly shut. Treatment involves antibiotics and, in severe cases, surgery.

Keeping your dog’s eyes healthy

While you can’t completely prevent your dog from developing an eye condition, there are some proactive measures you can take to help maintain their eye health.

  • Regular vet visits: Preventative health checks can catch issues early on before they have a significant impact on your pet’s eyesight.
  • Proper Nutrition: A balanced diet supports your dog’s overall and ocular health.
  • Maintaining a safe environment: Keep hazards that can harm your dog’s eyes out of reach to try and avoid any eye injuries.

If you have any concerns about your dog’s eye health, the vets at Cameron Veterinary Services can help. Utilising their expertise can mean the difference between temporary discomfort and a life-altering condition for your dog.

To make an appointment at our Gawler East vet clinic, call us on 08 8318 1801 or book online.