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The Eyes have it!

Your eyes are the windows to your soul. Through your pets’ eyes you see their love and devotion and without them… well let’s not go there! Your pets can be plagued with numerous conditions of the eyes and in this article, we will discuss just a few common conditions that you may encounter with your furry pals. Common complaints include a change in colour, cloudy/redden eyes, excessive tearing/discharge, inability to open/close the eye(s), myiasis (maggots), unusual growths or constant pawing at the afflicted eye.
Proptosis of eye is when the eye has popped out of the eye socket. It occurs after severe blunt trauma to head/face. Some animals may still be visual in the affected eye but if left untreated it can lower the visual status to the eye. The animal should be taken immediately to a veterinarian, within hours, to ensure the eye can be saved. In severe cases the eye may need to be surgically removed.
Opacities of the eye can range from specks to cloudy or blood-filled changes seen in the eye. Chemical irritants, tick fever, prolapsed third eyelids (cherry eye) and trauma are some of the usual suspects that cause these changes to the eye surface in young dogs. In older dogs we may be looking at cataracts which is usually associated with underlying disease processes or it could be linked to natural aging processes of the eyes known as asterisks.
Ulcers of the eye is commonly seen in cats, especially those who get into fights. Ulcerated eyes can be extremely painful. Most animals will squint or tear excessively due to the pain associated with it. Dogs with ulcers usually get it from traumatic accidents or a condition known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) also known dry eye.
Tumours are more common on the eyelid or the third eyelid but are sometimes also intraocular. Ulcers can often develop after the tumour constantly irritates the globe. Treatment choice would depend on the tumour type, size, location and how advanced it becomes. In more severe cases the affected eye is removed with a very good prognosis for the animal. If both eyes are removed the dog will still do well in a constant familiar environment.
All eye conditions should be seen by a veterinarian, where special examinations and tests can be performed to rule in/out disease or underlying conditions. Treatments for the various conditions can take time to resolve and it is always advised to follow the recommended course of treatment to ensure that the problem is resolved.
It is important to seek Veterinary attention at the first signs of illness for your pets. The TTSPCA Tobago clinic is open 8 to 6 Monday to Friday and 9 to 1 on Saturday. We are also available for Emergencies and House-visits. Call us at 639-2567 or 309-0219 to speak to a TTSPCA Tobago Veterinarian. Like us on Facebook and Instagram @TobagoSPCA.

Author: Kalidia Millette, DVM, BSc Shelter Veterinarian at TTSPCA Tobago.
Last Updated: 2019-02-11T12:56:00.469Z