Common Eye Diseases in Dogs

Eye diseases in dogs run the gamut from mild and temporary discomfort up to dangerous and potentially very serious. There are a wide range of different conditions that your pet may experience which will affect his eyes. Because of this, it's important to be aware of these conditions so that you're best able to help to treat your pet if and when he contracts one of these diseases. Fortunately, many of these diseases are easily treatable. Read on for a brief overview of some of the most common eye diseases that are found in dogs.

Conjunctivitis in Dogs

Conjunctivitis is one of the most common conditions which affects dogs' eyes. This can be caused by a piece of debris or another object getting into your pet's eye, or it can occasionally be caused by particles in the air as well. Your pet's eye will become inflamed and red, and he'll likely begin rubbing at it in an attempt to clean it up. There may also be discharge. Conjunctivitis is typically treated with medicated eye drops.

Dog Eye Allergies

Many dogs experience allergies which affect their eyes. The symptoms of these allergies are very similar to those of conjunctivitis, but your pet may also experience breathing difficulties and discharge from his ears or nose as well. Eye allergies are generally atopic, meaning that they arise as a result of pollen, dust, or other particles in the air. If your pet comes into contact with these particles, they may get into his eyes and cause him pain and other symptoms of an allergic reaction.

Dogs and Cataracts

Cataracts are cloudy formations that develop within the lens of the eye. They can negatively impact your pet's vision and, if left untreated, may result in a loss of vision in one or both eyes. These eye diseases are typically inherited, so having a knowledge of your pet's medical history can help to determine whether he may be at risk for coming down with cataracts. Certain breeds tend to be more likely than others to develop cataracts, including:

  • Australian Shepherds
  • Cocker Spaniels
  • Poodles
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Huskies

Lenticular Sclerosis

Similar in many ways to a cataract, lenticular sclerosis involves a cloudy growth on the eye lens that typically develops in older dogs. Unlike cataracts, however, cases of lenticular sclerosis do not usually involve damage to the dogs' vision. Still, they should be dealt with promptly in order to avoid further damage and troubles.


Glaucoma is a building up of pressure in the eye. It can cause a number of uncomfortable and painful symptoms, and may result in blindness in the affected eye quickly if left untreated. This condition can arise in virtually any dog, though it's more common in older animals than in younger ones.

This is not a comprehensive list of eye diseases for dogs. If you detect any symptoms in your pet which concern one or both of his eyes, take him in to the vet immediately for analysis and treatment.