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Sunday, June 5, 2011
Dog eye problems can range from pesky to severe and have numerous causes. Eye problems are often caused by bacterial or viral infections. Some of the most common dog eye problems are cataracts, corneal ulcers, in-grown eyelids, prolapse of the third eyelid, pink eye (conjunctivitis), red eye, and injury. This guide will provide you with some basic information about common dog eye problems, signs and possible treatments. Use this guide as a starting point, but remember that it is always best to seek the advice of your veterinarian.
It is usually pretty obvious if your dog is suffering from some sort of eye problems. Symptoms to look for to help determine if your dog is suffering from an eye problem include: squinting, excessive blinking, bulging eyes, closing or rubbing of the eyes, cloudiness, discharge and redness.
There are several steps you can take to prevent eye problems for your dog:
1. Make sure you dog is eating a healthy diet, including supplements. Foods such as leafy green vegetables, blue or purple berries, carrots, sesame or sunflower seeds are all beneficial for dog eye health. Supplements that are good for eye health include Bioflavonoids, Pycnogenols, Zinc, and Vitamins A, D and C. (Please seek the advice of your dog’s veterinarian before introducing any foods or supplements, especially if your dog is prone to allergies).
2. Clear the discharge or “gunk” away from their eyes. Use a warm, wet washcloth or cotton ball and wipe away any discharge. Wipe outward from the inside corner of the eye. You want to do this on a regular basis, daily is ideal.
3. Keep the hair around your dogs eyes trimmed. A dog’s hair can actually scratch the surface of their eyes, leading to irritation and even infection. Leaving this hair too long can also allow the eye gunk” to build up which can also lead to problems. If you choose to trim your dogs hair yourself, make sure you always point the scissors down, away from your dog’s eyes to avoid injury.
4. Don’t let your dog stick his head out the car window. I know, I know, dogs LOVE this, however, be aware that wind can be irritating to your dogs eyes, and debris could blow into his eyes and cause damage. It is safer to crack your windows enough to allow your dog to enjoy the breeze and smells, but now allow him to stick his head out.
5. Try to avoid products that are irritating to your dogs eyes. When looking for items such as shampoo, it’s a good idea to get on-line and search for to find out what other dog owners are saying. You might also want to try an organic dog shampoo made with natural ingredients, so you know you are using the healthiest options for your dogs grooming.
6. Dog goggles are a great option to protect your dog’s eyes during potentially hazardous activities like hunting, or when riding in the car so you can let them stick their heads out the window. Dog goggles can also be helpful after surgery or an injury as they can shield the eyes from further irritation from foreign objects, wind and sun.
So, you clean your dog’s eyes out every day, feed him the healthiest diet possible, use only the most natural, organic dog shampoo and your dog still has eye problems! Don’t beat yourself up, it is bound to happen to just about every dog. Below is a list of possible treatments your vet may suggest, as well as some things you can do yourself before and after you see your vet.
1. The first thing to do is call your vet. He or she will probably have some questions for you over the phone, and then schedule an appointment to see your dog.
2. If you can see something in your dog’s eye, try to wash it out with saline solution or artificial tears.
3. Do not try to pull anything out of your dog’s eye! If there is something lodged or stuck in your dog’s eye get to your vet immediately. If you try to pull it out yourself you could cause further damage. Once the foreign object is removed, the area is susceptible to bacteria, so you want to be at the vet’s office for proper treatment.
4. A warm damp compress can be helpful and soothing to sore and inflamed eyes. Cover each affected eye for five minutes with a warm damp compress. If you dog doesn’t like having both eyes covered, you can do one eye at a time. Make sure you always use a clean cloth.
5. Protect your dog from fleas and ticks. There are many reasons to keep your dog free of fleas and ticks, and one of those reasons that you may not know about is eye health. Fleas and ticks can cause pink eye, or conjunctivitis.
6. You will need to protect your dog from doing further damage to her eye. She may need to wear an Elizabethan collar, commonly known as a cone, to protect her from herself. A dog with an injured or irritated eye may continue to try to rub her eye causing more injury and irritation.
It is very important to take care of your dog’s eye health. If you follow these prevention guidelines, and take the appropriate steps in the cases of irritation or injury, you can help ensure your dog many healthy, happy years of playing fetch and chasing bunnies!
by Joy Randel
Joy Randel is the owner of Dazzle Dog Delight, an online store that offers a variety of high quality dog products. You can find everything from designer dog bathrobes to organic dog shampoo reviews. We are passionate about dogs and would love to send you a FREE e-Guide on how to solve barking problems and other great info. Get your FREE e-Guide now at www.DazzleDogDelight.com.
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