pet eye healthThe eyes are the windows to the soul, and if you’ve ever peered into your pet’s sweet gaze, you probably agree. Keeping your pet’s eyes healthy is an important task for all pet owners, and at Arlington Animal Hospital, we take pet eye health very seriously.

Common Pet Eye Problems

There are many different eye problems that we diagnose in pets. Common issues include:

Cataracts – When the lens in the eye becomes disrupted, the fiber strands within can become opaque. This forms a partial or total cataract that obscures vision and can lead to other complications.

Cherry eye – Cherry eye, or prolapse of the gland of the third eyelid, happens when the bright red gland in the inner corner of the eye is visibly stuck out instead of tucked down where it belongs. Long term prolapse can lead to abnormal tear production.

Conjunctivitis – Irritation of the tissue surrounding the eye can be caused by allergies, infection, or foreign objects. It often results in a red, swollen eye with discharge.

Corneal ulcers – A scratch or scrape on the surface of the eye results in painful irritation. Untreated, these defects can become infected or even lead to a rupture of the eye itself.

Dry eye – Decreased tear production, referred to as keratoconjunctivitis sicca, can cause dry, painful eyes and may even result in corneal ulcers.

Glaucoma – Increased pressure in the eye can happen for a variety of reasons. This painful condition can result in vision loss if left untreated.

Uveitis – Inflammation inside the eye can occur secondary to systemic problems or ocular issues.

Promoting Pet Eye Health

Pet eye health starts with good nutrition and grooming. However, eye problems can also occur due to circumstances outside of your control. That’s where the team at Arlington Animal Hospital comes in.

The eyes are very important, sensitive organs. Problems can go from bad to worse in a short amount of time, so it’s important for pet owners to recognize and address problems right away.  Eye issues are always an emergency. Be sure to call us immediately if your pet displays any of the following:

  • Is pawing/rubbing at one or both eyes
  • Can’t/won’t fully open the eye
  • Has increased tearing
  • Has ocular discharge
  • Has an elevated third eyelid
  • Appears to have a cloudy eye
  • Has a swollen eye
  • Has a red or irritated eye
  • Appears to have a change in vision
  • Exhibits any unusual ocular changes

Pet eye problems can be difficult for the average owner to identify, and it’s hard to know how serious things are until you see your veterinarian. If your pet is having problems, we typically perform several ophthalmologic tests and diagnostics in order to arrive at a diagnosis. Corneal staining to assess for scratches or defects, tonometry (eye pressure testing), and tear testing are commonly used to better assess our patients.

Pet eye health is vital to your four legged companion’s health and quality of life. Let us help you ensure those baby blues (or browns) stay happy and clear for a long time to come.