How To Treat Common Eye Injuries in Dogs
It’s important to keep an eye on your dog’s vision. Not only should you be on the lookout for eye injuries, but you need to know how to treat them.
Dogs have an especially keen sense of smell, but they rely on all of their senses to interact with the world around them. Unfortunately, eye injuries are fairly common in dogs and they can lead to vision problems that could cause scarring or even permanent blindness. To help protect your dog’s vision, take the time to learn about common eye injuries in dogs and how to treat them.
What Kinds of Eye Injuries Are Common in Dogs?
There are a number of different injuries that can affect a dog’s eyes, and some breeds are more prone to eye injuries than others. For example, breeds with bulging eyes like the Pug may be more prone to scratches and lacerations while hunting breeds might have a higher risk for foreign bodies from working in the field.
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Some of the most common eye injuries affecting dogs include scratches, foreign bodies, perforating injuries, and corneal trauma. Even if the injury is minor, it should be addressed immediately because it could lead to permanent scarring and that could impair your dog’s vision or lead to blindness.
Dogs tend to hide their pain as much as possible, so it is your job to notice when your dog starts acting differently. If your dog is keeping one eye closed or if the eyelid appears not to be working correctly, it is not something you should ignore – seek veterinary attention immediately.
Other symptoms of eye injuries in dogs may include general distress, squinting, excessive tearing, rapid blinking, bloodshot eyes, pawing at the face, cloudiness or change in eye color, eye discharge, or inability to open the eye. If you notice any of these symptoms, take your dog to the vet. If you see a foreign object, don’t try to remove it yourself because you could do more harm than good.
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What Treatment Options are Available?
The treatment options for eye injuries in dogs vary depending on the type of injury. Eye injuries are usually classified as simple injuries if they involve penetration or perforation of the cornea or the sclera (the white of the eye). A complicated injury is more serious and one that involves perforation of the cornea or sclera as well as other structures of the eye such as the retina, iris, lens, or eyelid.
Treatment for simple injuries may involve prescription antibiotics or eyedrops to relieve pain and treat bacterial infections. Complicated injuries may require surgical repair along with antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medications, and analgesics. In many cases, the dog will also need to wear an Elizabethan collar to keep him from doing further damage to the eye during recovery.
Eye injuries are no laughing matter, as minor as they may seem at the time. Your dog’s eyes are sensitive and it is important that you protect his vision so, at the first sign of injury, you need to take your dog to the vet. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
Kate Barrington is the loving owner of two cats (Bagel and Munchkin) and a noisy herd of guinea pigs. Having grown up with golden retrievers, Kate has a great deal of experience with dogs but labels herself a lover of all pets. Having received a Bachelor’s degree in English, Kate has combined her love for pets and her passion for writing to create her own freelance writing business, specializing in the pet niche.