Jeepers, Creepers. Make sure to check those Peepers!

by Sue on June 14, 2016

Giving your dog regular home eye exams will help keep you alert to any tearing, cloudiness or inflammation that may indicate a health problem. The following suggestions will help keep your dog’s vision sharp.

Face your dog in a brightly lit area and look into his eyes. They should be clear, bright and the area around the eyeball should be white. The pupils should be equal in size. There should be no tearing, discharge or any crust in the corners of the 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 could be signs that something may be wrong with one or both of your dog’s eyes:

Discharge & crusty gunk
Red or white eyelid linings
Tear-stained fur
Closed eye(s)
Cloudiness or change in eye color
Visible third eyelid
Unequal pupil sizes

Gently wipe with a damp cotton ball to help keep your dog’s eyes gunk-free. Wipe outward from the corner of the eye and be careful not to touch his eyeball as you may scratch the cornea. If your dog constantly suffers from runny eyes and discharge, please see your veterinarian. Your dog may have an infection.

Long-haired breeds can get eye damage if their locks are not trimmed. 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. In wirehaired breeds you may simply pluck the hairs which are close to the eyes. My wires seem to get hairs growing towards the eyes from the corners of the eyes. These hairs are easy to pluck.

Soaps and topical medications can be major irritants. Make sure to protect your dog’s eyes before bathing him, applying ointments or flea-control formulas.

Dogs love the open road with the wind in their face. But if debris or an insect touches their eyes they can suffer pain and a long-lasting injury. It’s much safer to drive with the windows only partially down so the dog cannot put his head outside the vehicle. The wind can also dry out your dog’s eyes which can possibly cause irritation and infection.

Do a little research and find out if eye conditions are common in your dog’s breed. Of course your dog should have his eyes checked on annual vet visits. But knowing about possible inherited problems will help you take important precautions.

Watch your  dog’s body language. Pawing or rubbing his eye area may alert you to possible problems.

The following eye disorders are commonly seen in dogs:

Conjunctivitis: One or both of your dog’s eyes will look red and swollen and there may 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.
Epiphora: An overflow of tears creates stains on the dog’s facial fur.
Glaucoma: The cornea becomes cloudy and the eye enlarges due to an increased pressure in the eyeball.
Ectropion: A turning outward of the upper eyelid causes the lower lid to droop.
Entropion: A rolling in of the eyelid causes discharge and tearing.
Cataract: An opacity on the lens of the eye can cause impaired vision and possible blindness .
Progressive Retinal Atrophy: Caused by degeneration of retinal tissue. Night blindness is often it’s first sign.

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