The 5 Most Common Dog Eye Problems

A dog eye problem can be a small irritation or part of a more serious condition. A dog may contract a virus and get an optical irritation or develop cataracts. An infection such as Uveitis may also cause eye problems. Canine eye conditions range from corneal ulcers to inflammation. Along with those, the following health issues may hinder your dog's vision:

When a Virus Causes a Dog Eye Problem

A viral or bacterial infection can impact your dog's eyes and vision. If your dog has an inflammation inside his eye, it may be from a virus called Uveitis. Along with pain, his eyes will become red and sensitive to light. Additionally, blindness may occur if the condition is left untreated. A vet will prescribe an oral steroid or glucocorticoid or betamethasone eye drops.

Other viruses that cause eye issues are:

  • Distemper
  • Infectious Hepatitis
  • Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (dry eye) is remedied with artificial tears and or tear stimulants.
  • Lyme disease
  • Rocky Mountain fever

Red Eye: A Common Dog Eye Problem

Red eye is a condition that causes inflammation in or around a dog's eyes. This is usually due to excess blood in the eyelids or blood vessels of the eyes. In some cases, red eye is a warning sign of an infection. Diseases like sclera and glaucoma can lead to a case of red eye.

Such dog eye problems can occur for the following reasons:

  • Bacterial Infection
  • Damage from sun exposure
  • Dermatitis
  • Fungal Infection
  • Metabolic or immune system malfunction
  • Parasitic Infection

Symptoms of canine red eye:

  • Cloudy eyes
  • Excessive blinking
  • Hampered vision
  • Rubbing eyes
  • Squinting
  • Tearing

Pink Eye in Dogs

In the case of pink eye (conjunctivitis), the infection can be either a bacterial or viral one. A vet will likely prescribe an antibiotic to help get rid of the pink eye if it's from an infection. Other times, medicated eye drops will help to clear up your dog's condition.

Usual causes of pink eye are:

  • A foreign object inside the eye; usually occurs in only one eye
  • Dry eye; inflammation of the tear sac
  • Herpes
  • Lyme disease
  • Dog Eye Discharge

Ocular discharge is a common sign of eye disease. A condition such as this can arise if your dog has an obstruction of his tear drainage due to abnormal tear ducts or their openings. This can cause excessive production of tears from irritation or inflammation in the surface structures of the eyes, or from pain in or around the eyes.

Your dog can get an abnormal discharge that appears little by little or comes on rather suddenly. The types of problematic discharge you may see in your dog's eyes are:

  • Bloody
  • Grayish
  • Thick
  • Watery
  • Yellow

When a Dog Gets Cataracts

One of the most common eye problems for dogs is the appearance of cataracts. Cataracts are white opacities in the lenses of the eyes that impair vision or cause complete blindness. When that happens, the typical course of treatment is surgical removal.

Common causes of cataracts are:

  • Diabetes mellitus: symptoms arise quickly
  • Congenital defect in which cataracts are present at birth
  • Infection such as parvo virus-2 or adenovirus-1
  • Inadequate nutrition causes this dog eye problem
  • Radiation therapy
  • Exposure to toxins
  • Other Injury

Breeds predisposed to cataracts are:

  • American Cocker Spaniel
  • Boston Terrier
  • Chesapeake Bay Retriever
  • German Shepherd
  • Golden Retriever
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Miniature Schnauzer
  • Old English sheepdog
  • Siberian Husky
  • Standard Poodle
  • Welsh Springer Spaniel