Eye Problems

Information on the causes of common eye problems and healthy eyes in cats and dogs.

Select a Topic

  1. What are Eye Problems?
  2. Diagnosing Eye Problems
  3. More Information on Eye Problems

What are Eye Problems?

Our pets are subject to many of the same eye conditions that we are, including glaucoma, corneal ulceration, cataracts, dry eye, retinal degeneration and eye infections such as conjunctivitis. However, in many cases, serious eye problems are not realized or treated in time and the result can be long term damage or visual impairment.

What makes eye problems so tricky is that the severity of the symptoms is not always a testament to the severity of the condition. For example, a pet with a very red, puffy eye may have a harmless infection, while a pet with a slight squint may have a serious eye condition requiring immediate treatment.

Our pets are also unable to tell us of any change in vision, eye pain or any eye discomfort the may be feeling. For these reasons it is always best to walk on the side of caution and take your pet to the vet if they show any symptoms of eye problems.

Diagnosing Eye Problems

Signs and symptoms may include:

  • red eye
  • painful eye (often expressed by squinting, pawing or rubbing at the eye, tearing, and appetite or behavior changes)
  • cloudy eye
  • yellow or greenish discharge
  • blood in or around eye
  • excessive tearing
  • bulging of the eye
  • dilated pupil or difference in pupil size
  • pupils that do not react to light changes
  • eye inflammation

More Information on Eye Problems

Tips for preventing eye problems in your pets
  • Provide your pet with a high quality nutritional diet which will support eye health and immune functioning.
  • While your dog may love the thrill of riding in the car with its head sticking out the window, it is not advisable. Foreign substances or matter such as chemicals or grit can get into your dogs eye causing infection or injury.
  • Avoid exposing your pet to harsh chemicals, pollutants and toxins such as household cleaners, pesticides, and plant chemical sprays as these can get into your pet’s eyes and cause irritation or serious visual damage.
  • Check your pet’s eyes after if they’ve been running in long grass as seeds and grass awns can find their way under your pet’s third eyelid.
  • When introducing a new kitten to other pets in the family, keep a watch out for those feisty claws. Many pets are brought into the vet after receiving a nasty eye scratch from a terrified kitten. Scratches on the eye (most not even visible to the naked eye) can develop into ulcers if not treated.
  • Make sure your pet has its eyes checked during its annual veterinary check-ups and seek swift veterinary attention for any eye problems noticed in your pet. Early treatment can help prevent blindness in serious eye conditions.
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