Dog Eyesight Problems

Dog eyesight problems can be caused by a number of different conditions. It is very important for pet owners to deal with eyesight problems early on, as the chances for recovery will be much better. If eyesight problems are ignored, they can quickly and easily escalate into bigger problems, such as blindness. Many breeds of dogs are more likely to have problems with eyesight than other breeds.

The Symptoms of Eyesight Problems in Dogs

Signs that your dog may be suffering from eyesight problems may include the following:

  • Red or irritated eyelids
  • Teary or watery eyes
  • Swelling of the eyelids
  • Eyes half open or closed
  • Sticky matter on eyes
  • Excessive blinking
  • Rubbing or scratching the eye excessively
  • Rubbing face on floor
  • Sensitivity to sunlight or lamp light
  • Discolored cornea
  • Shiny eyes
  • Eyes that move quickly
  • White pupils
  • Dull looking eyes
  • Running into walls or objects
  • Bulging eyes

Do not hesitate to contact a veterinarian promptly if you notice one of more of these signs of serious eye problems in dogs. The sooner the condition is caught, the better. 

Causes of Eyesight Problems in Dogs

Eyesight problems can be caused by several different conditions. The most common causes of eyesight issues include the following:

  • Corneal ulcers
  • Injury to the eye
  • Dry eyes
  • Ingrown eyelashes
  • Exposure to smoke
  • Exposure to harmful chemicals or household products
  • Cataracts
  • Inflammation of the eye
  • Prolapsed eyelid
  • Pink Eye
  • Canine diabetes
  • Eye infections

It is very important to diagnose the underlying cause of the eyesight problems in your pet. That way, the problem can be treated specifically to stop the eyesight from becoming more damaged. In addition, certain breeds are more prone to developing eye problems than others. 

Dry Eye in Dogs

Dry eye occurs when issues in the immune systems destroy tissues in the tear glands. Cocker Spaniels, West Highland White Terriers, and Miniature Schnauzers are prone to getting dry eye. Usually, this condition is treated with the use of eye drops designed to add moisture to the eye.

Cataracts in Dogs

Like humans, dogs can get cataracts. Older dogs are known to develop cataracts, as it is usually a condition that occurs in old age. Very rarely, cataracts may occur in dogs younger than age 6. Cataracts cause the lens of the eye to become opaque, and this can eventually lead to complete loss of vision if left untreated. If the condition is severe enough, surgery will be needed to correct the problem.

Entropion in Dogs

Entropion occurs when the eyelids begin to scratch on the surface of the eye, causing much irritation and vision problems. It usually occurs on the lower eyelid, but has been known to affect the upper eyelids on occasion. The Bulldog, the Shar-Pei, the Golden Retriever, the Irish Setter, the Labrador Retriever, the Mastiff and the Great Dane are prone to having Entropion much more than other breeds. 

Excessive Tearing in Dogs

Tearing is a problem for many dogs, and causes more opportunity for infections. Tearing can lead to bacterial infections, as well as yeast infections of the eye. Antibiotics are commonly used to treat excessive tearing, as well as the proper grooming habits needed to keep the area clean and free of bacteria.