Keeping a close watch on your pet’s eyes can help you get the jump on any problems that might be developing.
Shakespeare said the eyes are the window to the soul. This truth not only applies to humans, but to pets, too.
When your dog contemplates you with loving eyes, or your cat blinks sleepily when he cat catches your gaze, you are witnessing Shakespeare’s sentiments in the eyes of your pet.
Of course your pets’ eyes serve a practical purpose too. Without healthy eyes, you pet won’t be able to chase a toy, follow you around the house, or enjoy the view from the back window.
While most dogs and cats are born with healthy eyes, some develop issues as they age. Genetic conditions like progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and glaucoma can affect even younger dogs and cats, causing gradual loss of sight and eventual blindness.
Other eye issues can result from injury to the eye or infection. Aging can also cause problems with cataracts and other types of progressive blindness.
Here are eye issues to look for in dogs and cats. Also, prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to eye issues. Here are tips on keeping your pet’s eyes healthy:
Avoid potential injury–Just as with humans, dogs and cats can suffer eye injuries from debris lodged in the eye, or a blow to the eye. Canine eye injuries can result from a dog hanging his head out of car window. While he might be enjoying the wind in his face, debris can strike the eye and cause damage to the cornea. On some occasions, both dogs and cats injure their eyes while playing or fighting with other animals.
After your cat has been playing outdoors, or your dog has been digging in the dirt, flush out his eyes with Vetericyn Plus® Eye Wash to help remove any debris that may have lodged there.
Daily inspection–Eye problems are best caught early, so take the time to give your cat or dog’s eyes a look every day. You want to see clear, bright, alert-looking eyes gazing back at you.
Keep them clean–If your dog has a tendency to develop tearstains under his eyes, rinse them regularly with Vetericyn Plus Eye Wash. This should help reduce the amount of staining.
It’s important to take care of your pet’s eyes from birth to his senior years.
Signs of Trouble
Early intervention is key to saving your pet’s eyes if a problem develops. If you see any of these following signs, take your pet to a veterinarian right away:
- Squinting or holding the eyelid shut
- Scratching at the eye
- Vision loss (bumping into things, not focusing)
- A distended third eyelid
- Crusty discharge
Vetericyn Plus Eye Wash and Ophthalmic Gel are a great way to care for your pet’s eyes. Our eye products are safe, non-toxic, and can be used to soothe eye irritations, flush contaminants, clean tear stains, and more!
If problems persist, please contact your veterinarian. They may be able to handle whatever eye problem your pet is struggling with, or she may refer you to a veterinary ophthalmologist for special treatment.
Dr. Melinda J. Mayfield-Davis, DVM, WCHP-AH, brings over 20 years of experience in veterinary medicine. She is the Technical Services Veterinarian with Innovacyn, Inc., parent company of Vetericyn Animal Wellness. She received her DVM from Oklahoma State University and now resides in Southeast Kansas with her husband, two children, four dogs, and six horses. Prior to working with Innovacyn, Dr. Mayfield owned and operated the Animal Care Center in Columbus, KS.