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Dog Friendly Tips: Eye Problems in Dogs

If your dog's eyes are squinting, blinking, tearing, unequal in pupil size, or foggy, a vet appointment is in order.

Many eye conditions are very serious dog health problems; here are a few of the most common:

1) Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the membrane that lines the eyelids. Redness of the lining, squinting, and discharge are the usual signs of this infection. Drops may be prescribed.

2) Keratoconjunctivitis sica (KCS) is a condition where tear production is decreased, causing the outer surface of the eye to become dry. This causes the eye to be prone to infection and pigment scarring. This can be caused by a reaction to certain medications. Drops may be prescribed.

3) Wrinkled-faced dogs such as the shar pei sometimes suffer from entropion, a condition in which the eyelids turn inward and the eyelashes scratch the cornea. Surgery can correct this condition.

4) Cocker spaniels may develop "cherry eye," which is a swelling of the third eyelid (nictitating membrane). A bright red bulge will appear in the corner of the dog's eye. Surgery corrects this condition.

5) Although cocker spaniels, poodles, huskies, Labrador retrievers, and schnauzers are genetically predisposed to cataracts, any breed can be afflicted with the condition. Cataracts turn the pupils white and can cause blindness. Cataract surgery can restore sight in many dogs.

6) Glaucoma, a condition that can afflict any breed, causes a fluid buildup that increases eye pressure. This can lead to partial or total blindness. Medication or laser surgery may control this condition.

Eye medications for these dog health problems include cyclosporine and triple antibiotic ointment or drops.

See more on Medical Matters for Dogs.

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