As a pet parent, you probably know that your four-legged family member can develop a variety of health problems. There are a number of things that you can do to prevent or treat a variety of these conditions; for example, if your pup suffers from allergies or a sensitive stomach, you can offer him a grain free dog food, a dog food for allergies, or a dog food for sensitive stomachs; if he has been diagnosed with kidney disease, feeding him a low protein dog food can help ease his symptoms; and if he is genetically predisposed to joint issues like hip dysplasia and arthritis, giving him a dog joint supplement can offset the development of such conditions. But did you know that your canine companion can also develop eye diseases?
There are a number of conditions that can affect your fur-baby’s peepers. Some are the result of genetics, illnesses, or poor diet, and others are age-relate. No matter the cause of the condition, like any other health problem your dog may develop, it’s important to take offer the right treatment so that you can help your pet maintain a good quality of life.
What kind of eye diseases can dogs develop? Here’s a look at some of the most common conditions, including signs to look out for and things you can do should your pooch exhibit any of these diseases.
Cherry eye is the term used to describe the prolapse of the third eyelid. This condition can affect all dogs, but some breeds are more prone than others, including Beagles, Pugs, and Basset hounds. Cherry eye is quite noticeable; it’s marked by a bulging red tissue on the inner corner of the eye. In some cases, the condition corrects itself; however, surgery may be necessary. Using a properly-fitted dog collar – or better yet, a dog harness – can prevent the cherry eye; however, if your pup does develop it, contact your veterinarian.
For some breeds, like Cocker Spaniels, Chows, and Shih Tzus, glaucoma is hereditary; however, any dog can develop this condition, especially older canines. This condition is marked by a buildup of liquid within the eye, which leads to increased pressure and can significant pain and blindness. Symptoms can include redness, increased tears, dilated pupils, and bulging of the eye. Topical and oral medications for dogs can help drain the fluid, thus reducing pain and improving vision.
With this eye disease, the lenses of the eyes cloud over and vision can be compromised; in severe cases, blindness can occur. The condition isn’t painful; however, because, it can lead to blindness, surgery may be considered.
Canine conjunctivitis (or pink eyes) leads to the inflammation of the conjunctiva or mucous membrane of the eye. Conjunctivitis can be allergy-related, caused by an irritation, or it can be the result of an viral or bacterial infection. The eye appears red, swollen, and usually, it produces discharge. Treatment depends on the cause; for example, bacterial cases require antibiotic eye drops or ointments.
Canines of all breeds and all ages can develop eye diseases. Offering your pup fish oil for dogs may help to reduce the risk of these types of issues; however, even if you are offering your pooch fish oil, problems can still arise. If it seems like something is wrong with your pet’s eye, schedule an appointment with your vet as soon as possible. Your vet may prescribe eye drops or other medication to help alleviate some of these issues.
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