We try to protect our pets, nonetheless, eye injuries can happen. Here, our Charlotte vets share some of the types of eye injuries that are common in dogs as well as the causes, symptoms, and what you should do if your dog has an eye injury.
Eye injuries in dogs, just like people, can begin with a minor irritation and quickly develop into a serious or painful infection. In fact, even a small eye injury can lead to permanent scarring or even blindness without the proper care.
If your pooch begins to display any of the symptoms listed below a trip to the vet is in order. Your veterinarian can determine the cause and severity of your dog's eye injury and provide treatment or a referral to a veterinary ophthamologist in your area for advanced care.
Types of Eye Injuries Seen in Dogs
Eye injuries can occur at any time and can range from mild to extremely severe. There are a number of types of eye injuries that your dog could experience including:
- A corneal laceration (a cut or scratch on the surface of the eye)
- A puncture wound resulting from a foreign object
- Proptosis (eye pops out of its socket)
- A corneal ulcer can result from chemicals, debris or rubbing
- Eyelid trauma
Common Causes of Eye Injuries
There are countless ways that an eye injury can happen to your dog, some of the most common ways are:
- Altercations with other animals
- Scratching or pawing at the eye
- Running in the woods or digging in brush
- Abnormal growth of eyelashes
- Dangerous projectiles such as fireworks
- Riding in a car with head out the car window
Common Symptoms of Eye Injuries
Needless to say, if your dog is experiencing an eye injury it will be both painful and irritating. If your pup has any of the following symptoms, it is important you see your vet as soon as possible in order to prevent the injury from becoming more severe, or infected.
- General Discomfort
- Twitching or spasming of the eyelid
- Rapid Blinking
- Inability to Open Eye
- Tearing Eyes
- Bloodshot Eyes
- Pawing at Eye / Face
- Cloudiness or Discharge
- Inability to close eye properly
Diagnosis & Treatment
You can help your vet determine the diagnosis by providing specific information including when your dog’s symptoms began, if they seem better or worse, and any details about the situation that caused the injury.
If your vet can’t immediately see a foreign object in your pet's eye, they’ll conduct a thorough ocular exam to determine if there’s a deeper injury, irritation or bruising as a result of trauma, or your vet may refer you to a veterinary ophthamologist for more advanced diagnostic testing and treatment.
Treatment for your pup's eye injury will depend on the type of injury as well as the severity and whether the injury is infected. A simple injury may be treated with an e-collar (to prevent your dog from rubbing the injured eye) and prescription antibiotics or drops, whereas more complicated injuries may require surgery to repair your dog's eye and preserve your pet's eyesight.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. Although we do not provide ophthalmology services, we will happily refer you to a certified specialist.