Dog Eye Problems
A Few Common Eye Problems In Dogs
Eye problems in dogs sometimes are breed related, at times are due to other genetic causes, are sometimes related to a disease, and in some instances are caused by their owners. In fact, of all the eye problems in dogs one might encounter, one of the more common can be said to be man made.
It's always rather cute to see a dog sticking its head out of the window in a speeding car. The dog obviously enjoys it, and the owner usually thinks the dog is being given a favor. It's much better to open up the window only enough to let the dog stick its muzzle out for some fresh air, letting the dog's eyes remain inside the vehicle where they are protected from dust, debris, or flying bugs.
Corneal Scratches - Even if your dog doesn't get whacked in the eyeball by a large bug traveling at 60 miles an hour, which could do some serious damage, the cornea could easily suffer a scratch or two leading to eye irritation. If this is apparently the case, a little sea salt, a quarter teaspoon or less, dissolved in a cup of water, will sooth the eye if added a drop at a time. If the drops are at room temperature the dog probably won't make too much of a fuss, although the first drop or two may provoke a reaction. This should suffice for a minor irritation. If more severe scratches are present, a commercial eyewash might be needed, and may have to be applied several times a day for several days. If the eye does not improve rather quickly the dog should be taken to the vet.
Eye Infections – Eye drops are also recommended in those cases where the dog is suffering from an eye infection. A salt solution like that mentioned above will offer soothing relief, while cleansing the area around the eye at the same time. If the inflammation is moderate though not seemingly severe, a drop or two of Castor oil, or cod liver oil may be effective, especially if the eye appears to be ulcerated.
The Corneal Ulcer - A more complex eye injury is the corneal ulcer, usually due to a more severe scratch. As far as eye problems in dogs are concerned, corneal ulcers are usually not as serious as they may seem unless a bacterial infection has set in. A corneal ulcer may not be obvious unless the eye is shedding a lot of tears or the dog is keeping the eye partially closed much of the time. Very often the ulcer is the result of an object being stuck in the eye. Even though the object may be very tiny, it needs to be removed, and is a job for the veterinarian as the dog must usually be put under anesthesia to allow removal of the object. If there is no sign of a foreign object being in the eye, a saline eyewash may be the only treatment needed, or Castor oil in moderately severe cases. If at-home treatments don't provide immediate relief, a visit to the veterinarian is definitely in order.
Other Problems - These are the most common eye problems in dogs. Dogs can also suffer from pink eye, an infectious disease, and can also develop cataracts, usually brought on by a combination of age and genetics. Some breeds like the Chihuahua, which has very large eyes that are always quite close to the ground, given the dogs diminutive size, have a propensity for eye problems as to some of the hound breeds who carry their noses, and eyes, close to the ground much of the time. The cardinal rule regarding eye problems in dogs would seem to be, if a mild disorder try a home remedy, if more severe or if the home remedy seems ineffective, see a veterinarian as soon as possible.