Dog,Vertebrate,Dog breed,Neapolitan mastiff,Canidae,Mammal,Giant dog breed,Carnivore,English mastiff,Snout, Dog Health 26.10.2020

Eye inflammation in dogs - eye diseases and their causes

Eye infections are obviously not great for your dog. Get treated quickly!

Ocular pathologies in dogs - Ocular pathologies and their causes

Diagnostic examination of ocular pathologies in dogs

Ocular pathologies in dogs can be easily detected with the help of various diagnostic instruments, depending on the cause of the disease. Glaucoma, for example, can be diagnosed by measuring intraocular pressure with a tonometer. Pathological anomalies in the structures of the eye can be detected with an ophthalmoscope. Ultrasound is also used to diagnose eye diseases. The only downer is that many disorders inside the eye are unfortunately not detected until the final stages. Hereditary eye diseases account for a large proportion of all ocular pathologies in dogs. As of today, there are more than 40 gene mutations that cause different forms of ocular diseases in dogs. To prevent the spread of such eye diseases in dog breeding, DNA tests are the best way to detect carriers, which can then be removed from breeding.

Prevent and treat eye inflammation in dogs

Common eye diseases in dogs

Here are the typical eye diseases at a glance. Detailed below and also which breeds are typically affected:

  • Entropion

  • Ectropion

  • Distichiasis

  • Trichiasis

  • Hereditary cataract

  • Conjunctivitis (inflammation of the conjunctiva)

  • Keratitis sicca

  • Entropion: This is the pathological curling of an eyelid (usually the lower eyelid). The result is permanent irritation of the eye, which can lead to increased lacrimation and, in the worst case, to a corneal ulcer with subsequent blindness. The disease can be well controlled surgically. However, affected dogs must be excluded from breeding.

  • Ectropion: The most prominent feature of this disease is the drooping of the eyelids in dogs. Without treatment, chronic conjunctivitis is usually the result. Surgery is also indicated for this disease. However, in some breeds, e.g. Bloodhound, drooping of the eyelids is desirable as a breed characteristic.

  • Distichiasis: Characteristic for this relatively harmless disease are the eyelashes growing directly at the edge of the eyelid, which can irritate the cornea of the dog to a greater or lesser extent. If the irritation is too severe, the eyelashes can be surgically removed. Some breeds of dogs such as Poodles, Eurasiers, Cocker Spaniels, Boxers and others are particularly predisposed to this disease.

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  • Trichiasis: In certain breeds of dogs such as Pekinese, Pugs, Bulldogs, etc., there is a wrinkling of the nose skin due to the desired shortening of the skull. The hairs on the folds of the nose and face then constantly irritate the cornea of the dogs. The treatment is uncomplicated. The vet can easily remove the hairs with tweezers. However, if left untreated, corneal changes and even corneal inflammations and ulcers are the result. These can also break through which leads to blindness of the dog.

  • Hereditary cataract: with this pathological clouding of the eye lenses, the eyes typically look milky-cloudy. The change occurs gradually and often causes no problems for the affected dogs. The visual impairment can be minimal at first, but if left untreated it can lead to blindness. On the one hand, the disease is genetically determined, but on the other hand, it can also be caused by other diseases, such as inflammations inside the eye, eye injuries or metabolic diseases (e.g. diabetes). Therefore, an examination by the veterinarian is inevitable.

  • Conjunctivitis (inflammation of the conjunctiva): This common eye inflammation can be caused by draughts, dust or other foreign bodies in the eye, as well as infections with bacteria, viruses or fungi. A smear test helps to clarify the cause. Treatment is with anti-inflammatory eye drops or ointment, antibiotic medication or antimycotics in the case of fungal infections.

  • Keratitis sicca (KSC): In this disease, due to reduced or absent tear production in one or both eyes, the outer eye of the dog dries out, resulting in chronic irritation of the conjunctiva and cornea. In the worst case, this can lead to corneal inflammation or corneal ulceration and even blindness. Causes for the disease can be, for example, eye injuries, chronic conjunctivitis, infectious diseases, etc.. Frequently affected dog breeds are Westhighland White Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier, Chihuahua, Pekinese, Miniature Pinscher, Miniature Schnauzer, Lhasa Apso, Cocker Spaniel, English Bulldog, etc. KSC is incurable, but in most cases it can be treated satisfactorily with medication. If medication is ineffective, surgery may be considered.

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