April 11, 2010

Caring for your Pet’s Eyes

Vision is an incredibly important sense for humans and animals alike. While blindness does not signify the end of life, we want to protect our senses and you should protect your pet’s vision as well. Any time you think your pet may be suffering from some kind of eye problem, it is important to get it checked by a veterinarian right away. Cataracts, pink eye, dry eye, glaucoma, retinal degeneration, and ocular discharge are common conditions that can affect cats and dogs.

Let’s take a moment to discuss some of the most common eye ailments.

Red Eyes

Both cats and dogs can suffer from red eyes. This condition occurs when blood vessels in the sclera, cornea, or lining of the eyeball and eyelids become enlarged. Red eyes may also be the symptom of more serious eye conditions like glaucoma or diseases of the eye socket. Have a veterinarian check for possible illnesses if your pet suffers from red eyes and always make sure to keep your pet’s eyes clean to prevent inflammation and discomfort.

Dry Eyes

More formally known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KIS), dry eyes are a condition marked by decreased tear production. As the cornea and conjunctiva dry out because of a lack of watery tears, they become inflamed and sore. This can cause scarring and pigmentation on the cornea which may ultimately affect vision.

Ocular Discharge

While not a disease in and of itself, ocular discharge is one of the most common symptoms of eye disease or infection. Depending on the ailment, discharge may have a sudden or gradual onset and may be watery, mucusy, or bloody. More ocular discharge would indicate a more serious eye disease or infection and if your pet suffers from prolonged ocular discharge it is always best to have it checked by a vet.

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Disclaimer: CritterCures is an educational resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure diseases, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) treatment or recommendations of your veterinarian or healthcare provider. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet are taking, including herbal remedies and supplements.