Caring For Your Dog's Eyes
Your dog's "puppy eyes" do a good job of pulling on the heart strings and while there's nothing quite as satisfying as gazing lovingly into your dog's eyes, those same eyes require a lot of care and attention in return. Dogs have no effective, safe way to keep their own eyes clean, leaving them susceptible to a range of problems, with eye issues not uncommon.
It's important to know the common symptoms of eye issues to ensure you can get them the medical attention they need. When left untreated, the risk of permanent damage or blindness can increase significantly. Eye health is an important part of their routine wellbeing checks and is also something you can keep check at home.
Common eye issues:
- Corneal ulcer
- Corneal lacerations (cuts or scratches to the surface of the eye)
- Puncture wounds
- Eyelid trauma
- Dry eye
- General discomfort
- Inability to open the eye
- Pawing at the eye or face
- Rapid blinking
- Cloudiness or a yellow/greenish discharge
- Bloodshot or tearing eyes
If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, it's important you seek veterinary care as soon as possible - eye issues can appear less severe than they actually are and can progress rapidly. Don't risk your dog's vision!
Do some dog breeds have predispositions to eye diseases?
Yes - for example, corneal exposure and corneal dystrophies are more common in flat faced breeds such as Pugs, Shih Tzus and Bulldogs, both of which cause discomfort and vision loss. Additionally, dogs with longer hair around their faces, eg poodles, oodles, maltese can be more at risk of eye injuries and irritations. With that being said, all dogs are susceptible due to their canine lifestyle.
How to maintain healthy eyes for your dog:
The canine lifestyle inclines dogs to suffer from injuries and infections of the eyes, however, there are some steps pet owners can take to reduce the risk. Keeping a routine for your dogs' eye care can help you keep on top of any issues before they develop into something more sinister. While you can't always prevent eye injuries from occurring, there are things you can do to help keep their eyes as healthy as possible.
Schedule check ups
Routine eye checks as part of a wellness check at the vet can help detect an eye problem in the early stages before symptoms show or before you even notice.
Trim their hair
Keeping your dog well groomed can help stop the fur around their eyes from becoming irritating if it gets too long.
Trim their nails
Trimming your dog's nails will prevent them from injuring their eye when they paw at their face. Regular nail clipping is important in dogs that don't wear their nails down naturally.
Close car windows
Regardless of how much your dog may enjoy hanging their head out of the moving car window, it simply isn't safe for them. Bugs, dirt and debris can enter their eyes through open windows, causing infections, irritations or more serious eye problems.
Regularly look into their eyes
Taking a close look into your dog's eyes on a regular basis will help you notice any changes - look for signs of redness, cloudiness or tearing. When concerned, be sure to get in touch with the vet as soon as possible.
Eye diseases can have detrimental effects on the health and quality of life of your dog. The good news is, virtually all eye issues can be treated with high rates of success with early detection and diagnosis. Regular observations and checks as well as veterinary health checks are vital to maintaining the quality of your pets vision as well as keeping them comfortable.
If you're concerned about your dog's eye health or want to bring them in for a routine check up, call us on (03) 9596 4804 for an appointment- we're here to keep your pet as happy and healthy as possible.