Eye Care - Conjunctivitis
Your dog's eyes should normally be clear, bright, and free of discharge. Red eyes in a dog can signal problems requiring treatment that ranges from eye drops to emergency surgery. The leading cause of eye disease in dogs is conjunctivitis, inflammation of the membranes lining the inside of the eyelids. It leads to red, swollen, itchy, watery eyes. All owners should recognize the signs of an eye problem or injury and get treatment as soon as possible, so the damage does not get any worse

  • Redness and inflammation around the eyes.
  • Mucus-like or watery discharge.
  • Itchiness.
  • Excessive blinking.
  • Excessive tear production.

  • Allergies to airborne pollens and moulds are the major cause of conjunctivitis.

  • Bacterial infections are often associated with thick yellow or greenish discharge.

  • Genetic conditions can be a cause of eye problems. These include entropion , where the lids are turned inward, or ectropion, where the lower eyelids droop down. In entropion, an excessive amount of eyelid tissue drags across the surface of the eye, causing irritation that can lead to ulceration. This becomes apparent in young dogs by the age of six months. Fxtropion is less serious, and is evident in breeds such as the bloodhound. It results in the exposure of the reddish mucous membrane, which is normally concealed under the lower eyelid. This delicate exposed tissue can become inflamed by dirt or dust, or even affected by strong wind.

  • istichiasis is an inherited condition caused by the presence of another row of eyelashes, and is especially common in some smaller breeds, such as the cocker spaniel and Pekingese. The extra eyelashes rub across the surface of the eye and cause variable degrees of irritation, depending on which part of the eye's surface they touch. Surgery is generally the only long-term solution to such genetic conditions.

  • Foreign material-such as bristly bits of grasses and weeds-can get lodged in the eyes of hunting and outdoor dogs, especially those with ectropion.

  • Dogs with cataracts and distemper virus can also get conjunctivitis. 

  • Since there are so many causes of eye problems, if  they recur it's important to ask the vet to   diagnose and eliminate the cause. Keep the eyesclean and apply propriate medication.
Never allow your dog  to put its head out of  the window of a oving car.  Not only is it dangerous, it also increases the chance  of your pet etting conjunctivitis.
Conjunctivitis is far more likely to occur if particles of dirt are forced into the dog's eyes by the rushing wind from a car window. This reates irritation and then inflammation sets in which can cause a great deal of misery.
 For red, itchy eyes, use raspberry leaf tea as an eyewash, or put a drop of cod liver oil in the affected eye three to four times a day. Raw cucumber juice, applied in two to three drops three to four times a day, can help soothe irritations and allergies.3

Extrait from - A Marshall Factfile

Dr. Carol Osborne
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