How to manage your dog’s eye health – Tips
As every dog owner knows there is a delicate balance between a healthy pet and a sick pet. Learning how to manage your dog’s eye health is really important to help them lead long and active healthy life. Pet owners read on to learn the top tips on how to keep your dog’s eyes health for an enriched life.
To manage your health keep their eyes in check
A dog is a man’s best friend. We all love this friendly and loyal animal. If you own a dog then you probably take your dog’s health very seriously. You probably take your dog to the vet once a month for a general check-up. But are you taking enough care of their eyes?
This is a crucial factor that most dog owners don’t know about, and hence their dogs can develop various eye problems. Thanks to medical science, these problems come with solutions in different forms, like eye drops for dogs and ointments. From this article, you will learn when to know your dog needs help with their eyes, what are the common problems, and how to prevent any eye disease.
Dog Eyes are Different From Human Eyes
Dog eyes are structurally different from those of humans.
- They can see better in low light conditions as they have larger pupils than humans.
- They have a third eyelid for further protection of their eyeballs.
- Their eyes can detect movement better with color and details.
- Dogs with a long nose have a better peripheral vision as they can focus on long distant objects.
- Dogs with small noses are better at focusing on objects within a shorter range and can read details.
Keep Your Dog’s Eyes in Check
Your dog’s eyes can tell you a lot about their health. This is why it is very important to check for a few signs from time to time to ensure that they are doing fine health-wise. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), there are nine factors that you should check.
- In an area with sufficient light, investigate your canine’s eyes. They ought to be clear and brilliant and the white region around the eye ought to be white. The pupils of each eye should be of similar size and should be free from tearing, or release of fluid from the outside layer in the corners. If you see darkness, yellowish whites, inconsistent in the size of the pupil, or a noticeable third eyelid, take your canine to the veterinarian.
- Avoid any product that can irritate your dog’s eyes. Some sprays and shampoos can be uncomfortable for their eyes. Make sure to cover and protect their eyes while using these products.
- When your dog has dust or any small particle stuck in its eyes, you may notice discharge or water. Take a piece of clean, damp cloth and wipe outwards. Be careful not to scratch the inner part of the eye. If the problem persists, take your dog to the vet.
- Grooming the eye area is important. Hair sticking around here may poke in the eyes. So if you don’t take your dog to a professional groomer and like to groom it yourself, make sure that you trim the hair in this area using round-tipped scissors.
- Different breeds of dogs may require different kinds of attention about their eye health. So it is necessary to research your dog’s breed and know the common symptoms of diseases, and the best way to prevent them.
- The lower lining of your dog’s eyes should be pink. Check this by pulling the skin down using your thumb. Any color other than pinks, such as red or white may indicate that something is wrong.
- If you take your dog out in your car, you may have observed that they love to put their head out the window to enjoy the air. However, this can be a problem as particles and dust can easily get into their eyes.
- Looking out for the change in their behavior is a great way to assess if their eyes are doing well. If your dog squints more frequently or rubs its eyes often, you may need to get its eyes checked.
- Every time you take your pet to the vet, make sure to get its eyes checked.
Eye Tests Required for Dogs
To identify if there is any problem with your dog’s eyes the vet may want to carry out some tests. It is good for you to know what these tests are so that you can be more aware of their eye health.
- Fluorescein stain test: This is a test that detects foreign things in the eye by using an orange dye (fluorescein) and a blue light. This test can also detect corneal damage.
- Schirmer Tear Test: measures the tear production level. A higher level can mean that an infection is present. A lower than the normal eye can indicate dry eyes.
- Eye pressure measurement: pressure outside the normal range can be an indicator for glaucoma. Early detection and treatment are required.
- Ophthalmoscopy: looks at the internal eye structure to ensure that no internal trauma is present.
Know how to take care of your dog’s health and fitness from here.
Common Eye Diseases in Dogs
Diseases are boundless. There are so many diseases associated with dogs’ eyes. We have listed the most common ones here.
- Corneal damage: can happen anytime due to a hard scratch or other injuries. Look for redness or excessive tearing.
- Glaucoma: this happens due to pressure buildup inside the eyes as fluid cannot drain out properly. This can be extremely painful and can cause blindness. The symptoms you should look for are redness, dilated pupils, bulging of the eye, cloudiness, and tearing.
- Conjunctivitis (Pinkeye): This can be due to an allergic reaction or bacterial infection. Antibiotics will be prescribed for the latter. Symptoms include gooey discharge, redness, or inflammation.
- Cataracts: cloudy or whitish eyes are the most common symptoms of cataracts. If not treated in time, your dog may eventually go blind.
- Dry eye: enough tear is not produced. Tears help lubricate the eyes and remove any dust particles stuck inside. Dry eyes are more prone to ulcers and scratches. If your dog is blinking too often or pawing at the eye, this may be because their eyes are too dry.
Cherry eye: when the ligaments holding the third eyelid of the dog weaken, the eyelid can hang out. This is known as cherry eyes and typically requires surgery to get it fixed.
Eyelid mass: a lump around the skin can occur due to the formation of a tumour. This, in most cases, is benign. But it can become cancerous too. So it is important to get them checked by a vet.
Entropion: This is a hereditary disease that causes the eyelid to fold inwards. This could be irritating to your dog as the hairs around the eye area poke the eye more often. See if your dog squints more than usual or if there is excessive tearing.
Foods to Keep Your Dog Healthy
There are various foods to keep your dog’s eyes healthy and prevent any diseases. For example, foods containing antioxidants are vital for their ophthalmic health. These foods should usually be fed raw. After all, being healthy from the inside and maintaining a balanced diet is the best preventive action. Here are some common food items that will help maintain good eye health for your dog.
Sweet Potatoes: Beta-carotene and anthocyanins (always serve well cooked)
Carrots: Vitamin A and beta-carotene
Sardines and Salmon: Omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA (raw salmon must be deep-frozen before serving)
Kale: Antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin
Blueberries: Carotenoids, phytonutrients, and flavonoids
Eggs: Lutein, sulphur, and cysteine (lightly cooked or raw)
Pumpkin: contains carotenoids and neutralizes free radicals.
Ophthalmic health in dogs is largely ignored by many because owners are not aware that their dog’s eyes need special care. Now that you know, make sure to check routinely for any problem and seek medical help if necessary.
Further reading about dogs and dog minding
At Housesitmatch.com we always try to share useful and informative blogs and practical advice with our members. Read on to find some helpful articles with useful tips for dog owners and dogsitters about dogsitting.
How to improve a pet dog’s health and fitness
Top dogsitting tips for beginners
Dogsitters’ tips – Dog’s body language and how to read it