Eye Care for Your Dogs
18 March, 2014
We want our beloved canines to remain healthy, happy and thrive in every way. We can usually tell when something is wrong with our dogs by their sluggishness, lack of eating or just not being themselves. However, sometimes our dogs don’t know that something is wrong with them, especially with their eyes, as it doesn’t always hurt them but can eventually impair their vision.
It is recommended that you give your dog(s) a regular home eye exam to make sure that they aren’t tearing too much, or there is any cloudiness or inflammation. Below are what to look for to make sure your dog’s eyes are in good shape and healthy.
Take your dog to a bright area and really look at them
Face your dog in a brightly lit area and look into his or her eyes. They should be clear and bright, and the area around the eyeball should be white. His pupils should be equal in size and there shouldn’t be tearing, discharge or any crust in the corners of his eyes. With your thumb, gently roll down your dog’s lower eyelid and look at the lining. It should be pink, not red or white.
The following are signs that something may be wrong with one or both of your dog’s eyes:
Discharge or gunk around the eyes
Red or white eyelid linings
Cloudiness or change in eye color
Unequal pupil sizes
How to clean your dog’s eyes
A gentle wipe with a damp cotton ball will help to keep your dog’s eyes clean. Try to wipe from the corner of the eye outward and be careful not to touch his eyeball as you don’t want to scratch the cornea. If your dog constantly suffers from runny eyes and discharge, make sure to see your veterinarian immediately. Your dog may have an infection.
Make sure that your dog’s hair doesn’t get in their eyes
Be careful that your dog’s fur doesn’t get in your pup’s eyes as it can sometimes damage your dog’s eyes if they aren’t tamed. Using scissors with rounded tips, carefully trim the hair around your dog’s eyes to keep his vision clear and prevent hairs from poking and scratching.
Soap, shampoo and some topical treatments can irritate your dog’s eyes. Make sure to protect your dog’s eyes before bathing him or applying ointments or flea-control formulas.
When driving, make sure your dog doesn’t put his head out of the window
While dogs love to stick their heads out when we drive them, it can be harmful if dirt or an insect touches your pups’ eyes and can injure them. It’s much safer to drive with the windows only partially down and your pup’s head inside the vehicle. The wind can also dry out your dog’s eyes, possibly causing irritation and infection.
Your dog will “tell” you if his eyes hurt
Watch your dog’s body language-pawing or rubbing his eye area may alert you to possible problems. Obviously, once is not an issue; however, if your pup constantly rubs his or her eyes, make sure to call the vet.
The following eye-related disorders are commonly seen in dogs:
Conjunctivitis: One or both of your dog’s eyes will look red and swollen and there could be discharge.
Dry Eye: Diminished tear production can cause corneal inflammation, squinting and discharge.
Cherry Eye: An enlarged tear gland forms a cherry-like mass on the dog’s eye.
Glaucoma: The cornea becomes cloudy and the eye enlarges due to an increased pressure in the eyeball.
Cataract: An opacity on the lens of the eye can cause impaired vision and possible blindness.
Retinal Atrophy: Caused by degeneration of retinal tissue-night blindness is often its first sign.
As always, if you see anything abnormal in your dog’s eyes or behavior toward his or her eyes, be sure to call your vet immediately to schedule an appointment. A home eye check can go a long way towards your dog’s health and comfort.
Tips For Your Dogs At The Dog Park