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

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