Eye Problems in Senior Dogs

Regrettably, most senior dogs do not see as well as they did when they were younger. There are 4 disorders listed here that cause their world to become foggy.

1. Cataracts are the most common cause. Cataracts are a clouding of the eye lens. They take place when the normal mechanics of the lens is altered, as well as the regular balance of water and protein in the eye, enabling excess water to get into the lens. The eye has a whitish cloudiness to it. In the event the cataracts have advanced sufficiently, your dog may well show signs of vision loss.

Most senior dogs at some point acquire a blue-gray color as opposed to a white color on their eyes. Some people often mistake this development for cataracts, it is a great deal more probably that your dog actually have a condition referred to as nuclear stenosis, which has little effect on the dog’s ability to see.

The only real cure for cataracts is to have the lens removed surgically. But should your dog has diabetes or you have an elderly dog that is failing in health, it might be best to merely get treatment for any inflammation that the cataracts have caused and naturally, to take as many steps as you possibly can to restore your elderly pets overall health.

Older dogs are especially vulnerable to conjunctivitis or “Pink eye”, which is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the tissue that surrounds the eyeball and eyelids. This well-known canine eye ailment has many causes, including bacterial or viral infections, foreign bodies in the eye, irritation from shampoos and dips, or possibly allergies, and a wide range of other underlying eye diseases.

2. Conjunctivitis. A dog with conjunctivitis exhibits very apparent signs of discomfort in the eye area. Redness will appear in the white parts of the eye and, or the eyelids, your dog may squint or perhaps paw at the affected eye. The eye will more than likely produce a discharge, although the nature of the discharge typically depends on the main cause of the conjunctivitis.

To treat conjunctivitis, the vet will try and find out what brought on the condition in the first place. If the veterinarian can determine the cause, treatment would be determined by his findings. The vet will start out by soothing the pain your pet is feeling. If the veterinarian does not discover an exact cause, he generally prescribes a topical antibiotic and or corticosteroid to decrease irritation and eliminate the infection. Conjunctivitis clears up relatively fast if the actual cause is discovered and eliminated. If the cause is unknown, remedy of the symptoms tends to be slow.

3. Dry eye, formally know as keratoconjunctivitis sicca, or KCS, results when a dog’s eye does not produce enough tears. Causes of dry eye include skin allergies, side effects of certain drugs, and of course, age. Among some breeds, such as Cocker Spaniels, Bulldogs, and West Highland Terriers, the condition is rather common. With no treatment, the surface of the cornea can become damaged, which can significantly increase the distress your dog is already feeling and will lead to blindness.

A dog with dry eye develops a red eye that discharges thick mucus. Your dog will start to squint to relieve the discomfort or paw at the eyes. Crusty material often form at the corners.

Dry eye responds very well to appropriate treatment. Cyclosporine in cream or liquid form applied a couple times a day can increase your dog’s tear production. Artificial tears and antibiotic eye medications can help also. Wiping away the crusty eye material at the corners is a good plan, just soak a cotton ball with warm water or acquire dog wipes designed to be gentle around the eye area. The moisture will soften the crusts which makes it easier to wipe away. Unfortunately, in a number of cases, treatment continues for the rest of your dog’s life.

4. Glaucoma results when the fluid in the eye, which normally drains into the circulatory system, is blocked from making such an exit. Consequently, the fluid accumulates and takes up space in the eye, causing fluid pressure within the eye to increase. As the pressure increases, the optic nerve becomes irreversibly damaged. With no treatment, the dog loses sight in the eye.

An abrupt bright redness in the eye is a typical symptom of glaucoma. Other signs consist of light sensitivity, dilated pupils, loss of vision, eyelid spasms, eye enlargement, discoloration or cloudiness of the cornea, and rubbing or pawing of the eye area. The dog also may tilt his head on the same side as the affected eye to be able to alleviate the pressure. Unlike human glaucoma, the canine version of this disease can be incredibly aggressive, because of this, your canine can lose sight in the eye within just a few days if he or she is not treated as quickly as possible.

Treatment will depend on whether or not any sight remains in the afflicted eye. If the eye retains some sight, surgery to diminish the production of fluid, in order to bypass the blockage may help. To reduce pressure inside the eye, prescribed medications will help. When the pupil no longer responds to light, your dog loses his or her vision in the afflicted eye. When this occurs, the best course of action is often to remove the eye in order to eliminate any infection or pain that results from the disease. A prosthetic eye can be used to replace the eye.

A dog with glaucoma ultimately loses sight in the affected eye, and generally, sadly, the other eye is affected later on. Quick treatment may put off the inevitable, generally for some time.

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