A healthy dog’s eyes should be clear, bright and free from dirt, discharge and inflammation.

Cross section of a Canine EyeCommon Symptoms of Illness

  • Red inner eyelids
  • Matter ‘stuck’ on the surface or in the corners of the eye
  • Cloudiness within the eyeball
  • A dull eye surface
  • The ‘third eyelid’ coming across the eye
  • Excessive tearing or unusual discharges
  • Tear-stained fur around the eyes

Eye Tests used to Diagnose Eye Problem

  • Fluorescein stain to identify the presence of corneal ulcers
  • Schirmer Tear Test to determine the level of tear production
  • Ocular pressure to detect glaucoma
  • Ophthalmoscope to visualise the eye chamber

Common Eye Conditions & Symptoms

Conjunctivitis is inflammation of the membrane that covers the inner lining of both the eyelids and the white of the eyes. It may be caused by infections, allergies, inadequate tear production or irritation.

Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (DRY EYE) occurs when the tear glands cannot provide a dog’s eyes with enough tears. The most common cause is destruction of the lacrimal gland by cells of the immune system, but viral diseases, drug reactions, allergies or injuries can also lead to this condition which, if chronic, can cause loss of vision. Certain breeds are predisposed.

Corneal Ulceration can result when the cornea’s surface is scratched by a foreign object or is damaged by inadequate tear production or bacterial infection. Very painful, it causes dogs to ‘squint’. Breeds with bulbous eyes and ageing dogs seem to be prone to this problem.

Epiphora If your dog’s eye constantly ‘weeps’, or if the fur around it appears ‘stained’, the normal tear drainage may be blocked.

Cataracts & Glaucoma Dogs, just like humans, can have these serious eye diseases. Cataracts, which cloud the lens inside the eye, are commonly seen in elderly and diabetic dogs and are the most common cause of canine blindness. A hereditary condition in some breeds, early examination by your veterinarian is important, as such animals should not be bred. Glaucoma stems from too much pressure being exerted upon the eye’s interior as a result of a decrease in the amount of fluid draining from it.