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.
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 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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Blepharitis describes inflammation of the eyelids affecting one or both eyes. Eyelid inflammation is a common presentation in dogs with a variety of underlying triggers.
Anisocoria is the term for unequal pupil size in dogs. One pupil is normal, while the other is either constricted or dilated. Anisocoria is common in dogs experiencing Horner’s syndrome, but it also results from a variety of conditions and injuries that either affect one eye directly or the parts of the nervous system that control pupil size.
Squinting (blepharospasm) occurs when the eyelids are lowered so that there is only a small space for the eye to look out of. Squinting is considered a symptom in dogs if it continues for a prolonged period and is not related to protecting the eyes from bright light.
Strabismus describes an uncommon disorder in dogs in which one or both eyes are not correctly aligned, giving the appearance of crossed eyes or eyes not pointing in the same direction together.
The retina is located at the back of the eye, and sends visual input to the brain via nerve impulses, creating the sensation of sight. If the retina detaches from the structures underneath it, it loses function, resulting in partial or complete vision loss.
Blindness refers to loss of vision, either due to a problem within the eye itself, or within the nerves or brain affecting the processing of visual input from the eyes. Vision loss can affect one eye or both, and be partial or complete.
Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) refers to an eye condition in dogs commonly referred to as “dry eye.” KCS causes decreased watery tear production, which leads to inflammation of the eye and surrounding tissues.
The pupil is the dark circle located at the center of the iris (the colored portion) of dogs’ eyes. The size of dogs’ pupils varies depending on light levels. When one or both eyes dilate (when the pupil becomes larger), this is called mydriasis.
Uveodermatologic syndrome in dogs is a rare grouping of symptoms that results from the autoimmune system attacking the pigment-producing cells in the eyes, hair, and skin. Symptoms include reddened, cloudy, painful eyes with diminished vision, and whitening of the coat and skin.
Lenticular sclerosis in dogs is a normal part of the aging process in which the lens of the eye (the structure that focuses light onto the retina) hardens and thickens. This causes a bluish, cloudy appearance to the lens.
Valley Fever is an infection by the fungus Coccidioides immitis in dogs. This species of fungus is commonly found in dusty, dry areas in southwestern USA, Mexico, and parts of central and south America.
Meningitis is an uncommon, potentially life threatening condition that refers to inflammation of the meninges. Meninges are membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord.