Thursday, July 8, 2010

Question: Eye squinting?

Dr. Schaeberle,

I noticed recently that my dog squints his left eye a lot and he tends to have a lot of discharge. I just thought it was allergies but now I’m not so sure.



Hi Denise,

The cornea is the clear covering of the eye. Symptoms include squinting, discharge from the corner of the eye which may be clear or green/yellow, a cloudy or blue appearance to the clear part of the eye, and sometimes redness of the white part of the eye and the surrounding conjunctiva.

Corneal ulcers are quite painful. Imagine having an eyelash in your eye that you cannot remove. This is what a corneal ulcer feels like. In some cases, the ulcer can cause enough damage to the cornea that permanent damage occurs. The ulcer may become so deep that it causes the eye to rupture. This may lead to loss of vision, and in some cases, loss of the eye itself.

Any dog or cat can develop a corneal ulcer, but breeds such as pugs, boxers, persian cats, and other breeds with prominent eyes may have a slightly higher incidence. Treatment includes frequent use of eye drops to prevent infection, control pain, and help the ulcer to heal.

If you suspect that your pet has a corneal ulcer or any other problem with his or her eye, it is best to visit your veterinarian as soon as possible. Serious complications can occur if an ulcer or other eye injury is left untreated.

Thomas Schaeberle, VMD

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Keep Pets Safe on Independence Day

Keep Pets Safe & Healthy on Independence Day

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center offers the following tips:

Never leave alcoholic drinks unattended where pets can reach them. Alcoholic beverages have the potential to poison pets. If ingested, the animal could become very intoxicated and weak. Death from respiratory failure is also a possibility in severe cases.

Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to your pet that is not labeled specifically for use on animals. Ingestion of sunscreen products can result in drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. Insect repellent that contains DEET can lead to neurological problems.

Always keep matches and lighter fluid out of your pets’ reach. Certain types of matches contain chlorates, which could potentially damage blood cells and result in difficulty breathing. Lighter fluid can be irritating to skin, and if ingested can produce gastrointestinal irritation and central nervous system depression. If inhaled, aspiration and breathing problems could develop.

Keep your pets on their normal diet. Any change, even for one meal, can give your pets severe indigestion and diarrhea.

Do not put glow jewelry on your pets, or allow them to play with it. Though these products are not highly toxic, excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation could still result from ingestions, and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing large pieces of the plastic containers.

Keep citronella candles, insect coils and oil products out of reach. Ingestions can produce stomach irritation and possibly even central nervous system depression. If inhaled, the oils could cause aspiration pneumonia in pets.

Never use fireworks around pets! While exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws of curious pets, even unused fireworks can pose a danger. Many types contain potentially toxic substances, including potassium nitrate, arsenic and other heavy metals.

Happy 4th!
Thomas Schaeberle, VMD

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