A cataract, a degenerative condition that affects the eyes, is characterized by a loss of clarity of the lens. The lens is a transparent structure that focuses the light on the retina, allowing clear vision
Ulcerative keratitis is a type of inflammation of the cornea: the transparent surface of the eye. A corneal ulcer is the loss of specific cells produced by the outermost layer of the cornea.
Glaucoma is an uncommon condition in dogs characterized by increased pressure inside the eyes (intraocular pressure, or IOP). When eyes do not properly drain aqueous humor (a type of liquid in the eye), pressure builds, which causes pain, damages ocular structures, and leads to vision loss.
Foxtails and other grass awns, are a common form of seed dispersal for many types of grass. Awns have numerous bristles that allow the seed head to embed in the skin and orifices of animals and their shape makes them difficult to remove
Cloudy eyes, also referred to as corneal edema, have a hazy, filmy, blue, gray, or white discoloration over the cornea - the usually clear dome that protects the iris and pupil
Nystagmus is rhythmic involuntary movement of the eyes. It presents as a rapid horizontal or rotatory twitch.
Nystagmus is the involuntary, erratic movement of the eyes, generally caused by conditions affecting the cat’s nervous or vestibular (balance) system
Glaucoma is a collection of disorders that damage the retina and optic nerve, leading to vision loss.
A tumor is an abnormal and uncontrolled cell growth that can appear anywhere in the body. The eyelid is a very common site for tumors in dogs, especially as they age.
Eyelash and eyelid disorders in cats are uncommon. Brachycephalic breeds (those with flat faces) are at higher risk of these disorders.
Eyelash and eyelid disorders in dogs are a group of conditions affecting the area around the eyes. These disorders may be congenital (present from birth) or be the result of injuries or infections.
An eyelid tumor is a mass of rapidly growing cells located anywhere on the eyelid from the base of the lashes to the topmost edge of the lid. Masses can be benign or malignant but in cats, eyelid tumors are usually malignant.
The uvea is an anatomical term for the iris, the ciliary body behind it, and choroid structure behind the retina. Uveitis occurs when one or more of these structures becomes inflamed. Anterior uveitis affects the iris and ciliary body; posterior uveitis occurs in the retina and the choroid.
The cornea is the clear outer layer of the eye which acts as a protective barrier. When the cornea loses cells and thins out, it is called a ‘corneal eye ulcer,’ or ulcerative keratitis. Corneal ulcers can be painful and may cause pawing at the affected eye or rubbing it on a carpet which can cause the condition to worsen.
Luxation (aka prolapse or dislocation) of the lens occurs when all of the strands of tissue holding the lens in place within the eyeball break. A loose lens can either move towards the front of the eye (anterior luxation) or to the back of the eye (posterior luxation).
Cherry eye is a colloquial term used to describe prolapse (popping out) of the gland of the third eyelid in cats, thought to be caused by weakening of the fibers that hold the gland into place.
Cataracts are a loss of clarity of the lens of an eye. They are typically easy to recognize, looking like a white or crystalline opaque color blocking part of the pupil behind the iris.
Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) is commonly called ‘dry eye’ because it’s caused by a lack of water in the tears. Without watery tears, the surface of the eye dries out and irritants cannot be flushed away.
Dogs have a third eyelid, visible as a pink membrane mostly hidden under the inside corner of the eye. When the bulbous, dark pink gland of the third eyelid slips out of place and becomes visible, this is called a “cherry eye.”
Dacryocystitis is inflammation of the tear sac. The tear sac is part of the system which allows the draining of tears inside the nasal passages. When tear drainage is obstructed, tears overflow from the eye and conjunctivitis develops.
Lens prolapse, or luxation, is when the lens of the eye becomes dislocated from its proper position. A dislocated lens can move into the front (anterior) or the rear (posterior) of the eye, and may be primary (inherited) or secondary (occurring due to another condition).
The cornea is the transparent cover over the front of the eye. When inflamed, it swells with fluid (edema), and becomes cloudy. Corneal edema may appear as a hazy, blue, or milky opacity covering the surface of the colored part of the eye.
The uvea describes the internal structures of the eyeball. Uveitis is inflammation of the uvea, and has a number of underlying causes. Urgent care is required for any cat that develops symptoms of uveitis, as the condition is often painful and can result in vision loss.
A coloboma, sometimes called a “hole in the eye,” is a congenital condition where tissues in one or more structures of the eye fail to form properly. Eyelid colobomas involve a portion of the eyelid being absent, impacting function.
Nystagmus is involuntary, erratic movement of the eyes. Nystagmus is a very rare symptom in horses, but when present indicates a brain injury or disorder and requires urgent medical attention.
Eye discharge or epiphora is a common symptom in dogs. Causes, as well as treatment of eye discharge, vary greatly. Eye discharge can present in various ways including clear water (tears), crust-like formation on the inner corner of the eye, reddish discharge, white mucus, and yellow discharge.
Blepharitis is inflammation of the upper or lower eyelid. This condition can affect one or both eyes, and the experience is uncomfortable. Blepharitis is common in cats and is caused by a variety of underlying conditions including infections, birth defects, allergies, immune conditions, environmental irritants, and cancers.
Coloboma describes the presence of an abnormal hole, or thinning, in part of the eye. Colobomas are rare in dogs but, where present, are most commonly found in the iris and eyelid margin.
A tumor is a proliferation of cells resulting in uncontrolled tissue growth. Primary eye tumors originate from within the eye, and secondary tumors spread to the eye from somewhere else in the body. Retroviruses, UV exposure, and genetics can predispose a dog to eye tumors.
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is a disorder of the retina which eventually results in blindness in dogs. The retina is a layer of tissue at the back of the eye which translates signals from the eye into images in the brain.