Dog eye problems, infection and proper eye care

One of the more common problems plaguing dogs is getting an eye infection. Your dog’s eyes are delicate organs and adequate attention should be paid to cleaning and caring for his eyes. Although lids, lashes and tears are natural forms of protection, they are sometimes not adequate against the dust and dirt that can get into your dog’s eyes.

Dogs can be susceptible to conjunctivitis, a bacterial infection which affects the thin membrane covering the front of the eye called the conjunctiva. It causes redness and dryness in the eye or eyes. When your dog’s eye is inflamed, it will tend to result in a thick exudate which clogs up the front of the eye and makes it difficult for your dog to open his eye. Treatment is very quick and effective and is usually cleared up with a short course of ointment which can be prescribed by your vet.

Although some dogs look cuter with longer fur, do bear in mind that if your dog’s hair or fur is too long, it could potentially obscure his vision. You’re well advised to keep it trimmed so that the ends do not blow into his eyes and cause damage or irritation. You should also be on the look out for dirt or foreign bodies that could have gotten into your dog’s eyes so they can be removed as quickly as possible.

There are a number of diseases and conditions which can affect your dog’s eyes – the main being cataracts. Cataracts are a condition in which there is a clouding of the lens and over time, the clouding grows more opaque. Over time, this could lead to total blindness in the affected eye. Glaucoma occurs when there is am increase in the pressure within the eye. When there are irritants or foreign bodies lodged in the eye tissues, the constant irritation can lead to corneal ulceration and a change in the surrounding tissues. Slight abnormality in physiology within the tear ducts may lead to epiphora, a chronic leaking in lachrymal fluid and you will observe that your dog is tearing frequently. With old age setting in, blindness is sometimes experienced by dogs because of gradual deterioration of the lens following development of cataracts.

Besides being alert to dirt that could irritate your dog’s eyes on a daily basis, a thorough check on your dog’s eyes should be incorporated into your routine when you do your weekly checkups on him. This will allow you to pick up any problems with his eyes as soon as possible. Making sure that his eyes are kept clean is the first step to good eye care. Clean the skin around the eyes gently with some threadless cotton wool dipped in warm water to remove mucus, dust and dirt. Swab the cotton wool away from the eye and not towards the eye to ensure you do not sweep dirt into your dog’s eyes.

The more you can do to reduce the possibilities of infection and disease the happier and healthier your dog will be.