Regular eye examinations by your pet's veterinarian can help in the early detection of eye diseases and conditions. Detecting problems early allows for prompt intervention and treatment, which can prevent or slow down the progression of certain eye diseases and preserve your pet's vision.

Certain dog breeds are also more susceptible to inherited eye conditions or breed-specific eye diseases. Having yearly eye examinations can also help stave off long term complications or the need for eye removal (enucleation).

If you suspect that your pet has an eye issue or recently sustained an eye injury, schedule an appointment as soon as you can.

If after hours, seek emergency care for a painful or injured eye.

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What are some common eye problems in dogs and cats?

There are several common eye problems that can affect dogs and cats. Here are a few examples:

  • Conjunctivitis: Conjunctivitis, or "pink eye," is the inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin membrane that covers the inner surface of the eyelids and the white part of the eye. It can be caused by infections, allergies, foreign bodies, or other irritants. Symptoms include redness, swelling, discharge, and increased blinking or squinting.
  • Corneal Ulcers: Corneal ulcers are defects or erosions in the transparent outer layer of the eye called the cornea. They can occur due to trauma, foreign objects, infections, or underlying conditions. Signs include squinting, tearing, redness, cloudiness, and sensitivity to light.
  • Cataracts: Cataracts are the opacity or clouding of the lens within the eye, leading to impaired vision or blindness. They can be caused by genetics, diabetes, trauma, or certain diseases. Cataracts may appear as a white or grayish discoloration in the center of the eye.
  • Glaucoma: Glaucoma is a condition characterized by increased pressure within the eye, which can damage the optic nerve and lead to vision loss. It can be primary (genetic) or secondary to other eye problems. Symptoms include redness, pain, squinting, cloudy cornea, dilated pupils, and vision impairment.
  • Cherry Eye: Cherry eye is a condition where the gland in the third eyelid prolapses, causing a red or pink mass to protrude from the corner of the eye. It is more common in certain dog breeds. Surgery is often required to correct this condition.
  • Dry Eye (Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca): Dry eye occurs when there is insufficient tear production or excessive tear evaporation, leading to a lack of lubrication on the eye surface. It can result in discomfort, redness, discharge, corneal inflammation, and even corneal ulcers.
  • Retinal Diseases: Various retinal diseases, such as progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), can lead to progressive vision loss and blindness in dogs and cats. These conditions are often genetic and may have different manifestations and progression rates.

It's important to note that these are just a few examples, and there are numerous other eye problems that can affect pets. If you notice any abnormalities or changes in your pet's eyes, it is recommended to seek veterinary attention promptly for a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

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