BevHills_iStock_000014142069_LargeWhomever the first person was to say that the eyes are the windows to the soul must have had a pet. You can’t help but look into those big, loving eyes and see your pet’s true nature.

Our pet’s eyes and vision are very important and it is crucial that we take good care of them. Pets can have ophthalmology issues just as people can, and pet eye care is a must. Learn about your pet’s eyes and how to be sure that they allow you to see your pet’s soul for a long time to come.

Good Pet Eye Care for Owners

The foundation of caring for your pet’s eyes is as simple as bringing him or her in for regular wellness appointments. During a routine examination, your pet’s eyes are evaluated for any early signs of trouble.

All of the responsibility can’t rest on your pet’s doctors, however. Pet eye problems can change and progress rapidly, so it is important that you make an appointment to bring your dog or cat in as soon as you notice:

  • Your pet pawing or rubbing at an eye
  • Squinting or elevation of the third eyelid
  • Increased tearing from one or both eyes
  • A yellow or green discharge
  • Cloudiness of the eye
  • Change in the appearance of the surface of the eye (cornea)
  • Swelling in or around the eye
  • Redness in or around the eye
  • Noticeable change in vision
  • Uneven pupils

All of these changes can indicate something serious going on in or around the eye. Eye problems are considered an emergency because vision can be lost in a very short amount of time. If you notice any of these issues, be sure to bring your pet in right away.

Common Pet Eye Problems

In order to provide good pet eye care, it is important for pet owners to recognize some of the more common pet ophthalmologic problems. While animals can have a great many issues with their eyes, some of the more common conditions that we see include:

Corneal ulcer – A scratch or scrape on your pet’s eye can be very uncomfortable. Untreated it can even lead to an infection or, in severe cases, rupture of the eyeball itself.

Cataracts – Cataracts occur when the lens of the eye has a disruption in its normal structure. A cataract can disrupt vision and can sometimes lead to glaucoma. Another change in the lens of the eye we frequently see is called nuclear sclerosis. In this condition the lens becomes cloudy but does not change vision.

GlaucomaGlaucoma is a condition in which the pressures in the eye become increased. This can be very painful and result in blindness. Pets with glaucoma need treatment as soon as possible.

Conjunctivitis – Irritation in the tissues surrounding the eye, such as from allergies, can cause conjunctivitis. This is quite uncomfortable.

Dry eyeKeratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) is an autoimmune condition resulting in the disruption of the normal tear film. Dry eyes are itchy and uncomfortable and can result in corneal ulcers.

Eye problems in pets can be very mild or very serious. When you are not sure it is best to have your pet examined. Waiting too long can make the difference between a pet who can see and one who cannot. Good pet eye care means recognizing trouble early. A little education regarding common problems can help pet owners rest a little easier knowing that they are informed.

If you think your pet might have an eye problem, please let us know right away. We are well equipped to diagnose and treat pet eye diseases and always happy to help.