Eye care for cats and dogs
Homelab shares tips for caring for the eyes of cats and dogs: what you need to know about prevention, how to recognize anxiety symptoms and what diseases are most common.
Eye hygiene in cats
As a rule, the eyes of newborn kittens open after 2-3 weeks. For everyone, this process occurs in different ways: sometimes one eye can open and only then the other, and sometimes both at once. If by the third week your eyes have not opened, you need to start rinsing them with a solution of tea or ordinary boiled water to soften the eyelids. Adult cats are able to take care of their hygiene on their own: their daily self-care includes washing their faces and eyes. But no one is immune from external factors – injuries, dust, worms, heredity and household chemicals. Therefore, you must immediately take your pet to the doctor if you notice alarming symptoms. These include antibiotics for cat eye infection:
purulent discharge; prolonged lacrimation; hard crusts in the corners of the eyes; fur on the face with traces of tears; red or white inner side of the eyelid; visible third eyelid; cloudy or discolored eyes; closed eye (or both).
Some cat breeds are more prone to eye diseases than others. Head of the Center for Veterinary Ophthalmology Alex M. notes: “Champions” in eye diseases are brachycephalic (“flat-faced”) breeds – Persian cats, exotic cats, British, as well as hairless, Siamese and Maine Coons. However, there is probably not a single breed that I would not treat ”. To prevent the development of the disease, regular prevention is necessary.
“Prevention is primarily about adhering to the vaccination schedule, treatments for ecto- and endoparasites,” says John S, an ophthalmologist at the PETMEDS veterinary clinic. – As for the eyes, it is necessary to sanitize (rinse) as the discharge appears – with light, smooth movements, remove the accumulated discharge using a cotton pad moistened with either filtered water or specialized ophthalmic lotions.
Eye hygiene in dogs
According to ophthalmologist-microsurgeon Alex M, among dogs, eye problems are most common in Pekingese, Pugs, Yorkshire Terriers, Sharpei and Cocker Spaniels. Many eye diseases in animals are transmitted at the genetic level: for example, more than 150 dog breeds suffer from hereditary cataracts, and about 20 breeds suffer from progressive retinal atrophy. Some diseases are very difficult to recognize at an early stage. For example, glaucoma or cataracts are difficult to detect without medical diagnosis, but conjunctivitis or keratitis will become noticeable with eye discharge and redness.
However, the symptoms of diseases may look the same. In such cases, it is very difficult to make a diagnosis on your own, and the wrong treatment can damage the pet. “Let’s take the seemingly simplest situation: a dog’s eye turned red. Everything seems to be very simple. Redness is the first sign of conjunctivitis. The owners begin to drip antibiotics on their own without a doctor’s examination, as a result, the animal may become permanently blind. Why? Because it was an acute attack of glaucoma, which is also accompanied by redness of the eyeball. Such cases occur in my practice every week, ”says David M.
Do’s and don’ts for injuries (eye drops for dogs; what eye drops can I use on my dog?)
In case of eye injury, you should immediately consult a specialist. In this case, you will need to consult an ophthalmologist. If there is no way to come to the doctor, you can try to provide first aid yourself.
“First wash your hands, wipe them with an alcohol wipe. Plant the affected eye towards the light. Using your index finger and thumb, gently pull apart your eyelids and examine the damaged eye. If there is a foreign surface in the eye, it can be removed with a gauze swab. After removing the foreign body, rinse the eye with antibiotic drops – “Prodex“ or “Ciflodex” will do, — (dog eye drops over the counter with a composition of dexamethasone and ciprofloxacin) recommends David M.
In case of injuries, in no case:
Allowing the animal to rub its eye is irritating. In addition, the animal can further damage the eye and cause infection. If your pet scratches its eye, wear a protective collar over it. They are sold at all pet stores. If there is no pet store nearby, cut the collar out of a 5-liter drinking water bottle (if you have a small animal) or from a plastic bucket (if you have a large one). The collar should be slightly longer than the animal’s muzzle.
Try to forcefully open the injured eye. The risk of additional injury is very high.
Apply on your own eye drops and ointments containing prednisolone or dexamethasone. Without a doctor’s prescription, they can be dangerous and worsen the condition.
The most common eye diseases in pets
conjunctivitis (conjunctivitis eye dogs)
Inflammation of the inner lining of the eyelid, the symptoms of which are redness, swelling of the eye and purulent discharge. There are many possible causes of the disease: infections, parasites, irritating drugs, bruises, foreign bodies, lime dust, smoke, ultraviolet and X-rays, and mold fungi needs cat eye antibiotic.
Eye Inflammation, the main symptom is that the eye begins to grow cloudy and watery. The animal’s behavior changes, the pet worries about constant pain, and photophobia develops. Causes: Infection or injury.
Inversion and eversion of the eyelid
Signs: The eyelashes and edge of the eyelid are wet and turned in or turned out. There is lacrimation and redness of the conjunctiva. Because of this, keratoconjunctivitis (simultaneous inflammation of the cornea and conjunctiva of the eye) can develop. Causes: trauma, chemical and thermal burns, microbes, viruses and some parasites.
Сataract (cataract dogs)
A cataract is a clouding of the lens. Its symptoms are not obvious, since the processes take place inside the eye for quite a long time. The lens becomes white or bluish. Cataracts are common in older cats and dogs. In the last stages of the disease, the animal does not see well with the affected eye. Causes: previous infections, as well as inflammation and trauma.
cataract surgery for dogs
To date, the only effective way to treat cataracts is surgery, which results in the replacement of a clouded lens with an intraocular lens (IOL) or an artificial lens.
Eye disease caused by increased intraocular pressure. The main symptom is a constant or periodic increase in pressure inside the eye. Symptoms include corneal opacity and decreased sensitivity. In this case, the eye is greatly enlarged and hardened. Causes: complications of deep purulent keratitis, hemorrhage or dislocation of the lens.
Alex M also notes that eyeball injuries are common in animals. This is not necessarily related to fighting – due to their curiosity, dogs and cats often like to dig in the grass during the warmer months. This can be dangerous: according to the ophthalmologist, pets often injure their eyes on the skeleton of cut grass or thorns. The stems are infected with pathogenic microflora, which destroys the surface of the cornea at the site of injury. The infection quickly spreads throughout the eye. In some cases (for example, with panophthalmitis), the eye cannot always be saved.
Homelab recommends that the owner see an ophthalmologist if a disease is detected. This will allow you to help your pet as soon as possible, as well as reduce the risk of relapses and complications. The ophthalmologist advises, for prevention purposes, to bring your pet for an examination once a year until the pet is 7 years old. After 7 years, more often – once every 6 months.