Pets need good eyesight to bring out their best personality. While it’s easy to check for skin problems and injuries in pets, eye problems may not be readily observable. By the time you have an eye specialist examine your pet, it might already be too late. That’s why it’s critical to observe your pet’s behavior and look for signs of eye problems.
Here are some signs you need to watch out for to save your pet’s eyes and keep them healthy.
1. Your pet has trouble getting around familiar environments.
If your pet has trouble getting around familiar places, this is a very obvious sign that your pet may have an eye problem. There could be a number of reasons for this but one of the most common causes is cataracts. The most obvious symptom you’ll see if your pet has cataracts is cloudy pupils in one or both eyes. Other symptoms include clumsiness, difficulty seeing in poorly lit areas, reluctance to climb or jump, bumping into objects, not recognizing familiar faces, and other behavioral signs of vision loss. Cataracts can lead to blindness when left untreated.
2. Your pet has one or both eyes closed.
If your dog keeps one eye closed, that’s a sign that something is wrong. You may want to check his eyes to see what’s happening and observe for other symptoms. However, visiting your veterinarian is always the best idea.
So what, if my dog keeps one eye closed? There are a variety of reasons why your dog is doing this. It could be a sign of eye trauma, glaucoma, corneal ulcer, conjunctivitis, dry eyes, or debris within the eye. Whatever the reason is, it should never be ignored as this can lead to permanent blindness when not treated.
3. The third eyelid is showing.
Your dog has three eyelids. The third eyelid is normally hidden in the corner and this works like a shield for the cornea, the transparent surface of the eye. A problem occurs when the ligaments that support it weakens. When this happens, the third eyelid can stick out like a red cherry thus the term “cherry eye.”
This condition is more common in certain dog breeds like beagles, cocker spaniels, Boston terriers, and bulldogs. Cats can also have cherry eye although this is more prevalent in dogs. This condition usually requires surgery to repair the eyelid.
4. Unusual discharge around the eyes.
Eye discharge is a common problem in cats and dogs. It can be a sign of anything from conjunctivitis to allergies. More often than not, a watery mucus discharge is usually a sign of debris or foreign body in the eye like an eyelash or dust. When your pet has a white yellow-green or pus-like eye discharge, that can be a sign of a serious infection.
When you see symptoms like this, it’s best to bring your pet for a vet visit to get the right treatment and cure the disease as soon as possible.
5. Other signs like swollen eyes, pawing at the eyes, and squinting.
Always pay attention to your pet’s appearance and behavior. When pets have a health problem, their behavior usually changes. Other signs that you need to watch out for are swollen eyes, pawing at the eyes, and squinting. These signs could be a symptom of eye diseases in pets like dry eye, glaucoma, and infections.
Need an Eye Doctor for Your Pet?
Your pet’s eye health isn’t something you can DIY unless advised by your vet. Their eyesight is a key part of their health, function, mobility, and quality of life. Losing the sense of sight from injury or disease can be a major disability for your pet. Once this happens, it might be very difficult for them to live a normal life.
The good news is that most potential eye problems can be prevented and medically addressed with early diagnosis. If you notice any of those signs explained above, visit your trusted vets at Bannon Woods Veterinary Hospital.
Our board-certified and highly experienced veterinarians can diagnose and treat eye diseases. With early detection, many of them can be prevented. Our veterinarians may perform a Schirmer tear test to measure tear production and fluorescein stain to determine if there is a corneal lesion on your pet’s eye. They also perform regular health examinations and monitor your pet’s eyes as they age.
Talk with our trusted veterinarians at Bannon Woods Veterinary Hospital today and have your pet’s eyes examined by professionals so they can give you the best eye care possible for your pet. Medications for various eye conditions are also available at our pharmacy. We serve Louisville, Kentucky, and surrounding areas including Jeffersonville, Clarksville, New Albany, Newburg, Okolona, and more.