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General Practice Services

Your Dog's Eye

A healthy dog's eye should be clear, bright and free from dirt, discharge and inflammation.

Common Symptoms of Illness

  • Red inner eyelids

  • Matter 'stuck' on the surface or in the corners of the eye

  • Cloudiness within the eyeball

  • A dull eye surface

  • The 'third eyelid' coming across the eye

  • Excessive tearing or unusual discharges

  • Tear-stained fur around the eyes

Eye Tests used to Diagnose Eye Problems

  • Fluorescein stain to identify the presence of corneal ulcers

  • Schirmer Tear Test to determine the level of tear production

  • Ocular pressure to detect glaucoma

  • Slit lamp biomicroscopy to examine the eye surface

  • Ophthalmoscope to see into the eye

Common Eye Conditions & Symptoms

Conjunctivitis is inflammation of the membrane that covers both the inner lining of the eyelid and the white of the eye. It may be caused by infections, allergies, inadequate tear production or irritation.

Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (”Dry eye”) occurs when the tear glands do not produce enough tears. This results in recurrent or chronic conjunctivitis - persistently sore eyes - and, if left untreated, may eventually lead to blindness. Certain breeds, such as West Highland White Terriers, Cavalier King Charles and Cocker Spaniels, seem to be more prone to this problem, though any dog may be affected. 

Corneal Ulceration can occur when the shiny surface of the cornea is scratched or damaged.

Epiphora. If your dog's eye constantly 'weeps', or if the fur around it appears 'stained', the normal tear flow may be blocked.

Cataracts & Glaucoma. Dogs, just like humans, can have these serious eye diseases. Cataracts cloud the lens inside the eye and are the most common cause of canine blindness. A hereditary condition in some breeds, early examination by your veterinary surgeon is important, as such animals should not be bred. Glaucoma stems from too much pressure being exerted upon the eye's interior as a result of a decrease in the amount of fluid draining from it.

How to Administer Eye Drops

  • In some cases you may need to muzzle your dog.

  • Remove any discharge from around the eye with a cotton ball moistened with warm water.

  • See the instructions on the bottle for dosage. Shake if necessary.

  • Use one hand to hold the bottle between thumb and index finger and place the other under your dog's jaw to support the head.

  • Tilt the head back and, to prevent blinking, use your free fingers to hold the eyelids open.

  • Hold the bottle close to the eye but DON'T touch the eye's surface.

  • Squeeze the drops onto the eye and once the drops are in, release the head.

  • Your dog will blink, spreading the medication over the eye's surface.

How to Apply Eye Ointment

  • In some cases you may need to muzzle your dog.

  • Remove any discharge from around the eye with a cotton ball moistened with warm water.

  • Check the instructions on the tube for dosage.

  • Gently pull back upper and lower eyelids.

  • Holding the tube parallel to the lower eyelid, squeeze the ointment on to its edge. DON'T let the tube touch the eye's surface.

  • Lightly massage upper and lower eyelids together to spread the medication.

  • Release the head. Let your dog blink.

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