5 Signs of Eye Trouble

“Here’s looking at you kid.” (Casa Blanca) “I see dead people.” (Sixth Sense) “Are you looking at me? Are you looking at me? You must be looking at me, because I am the only one standing here.” (Taxi Driver)

Do you see the commonality of these three quotes? In a broad sense they are all about sight and using our eyes. So what does this have to do with our pets? While it may be easier to recognize vision or eye problems in ourselves, it may be harder to recognize in our pets.

More obvious symptoms of eye problems include:

  • Ocular discharges, especially if the discharge is anything other than clear
  • “Red eyes” (not from a camera flash) are easily visualized
  • Blepharospasm, commonly called squinting, may be a symptom of discomfort or a painful eye(s)
  • A cloudy appearance to the cornea is also abnormal
  • Often times owners will think their pet has cataracts, and while they are fairly common, a condition of lenticular (lens) sclerosis (hardening) is more common and initially may appear the same

Less obvious eye issues may include:

  • Unequal pupil size
  • Incomplete blindness or mild vision deficits
  • Lens luxations (the lens is floating freely in the back of the eye)
  • Less than normal tear production
  • Mild increases with internal ocular pressures
  • Retinal defects
  • Behavioral issues

Did you know that eye problems can be a manifestation of other systemic diseases? Infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases, hypertension, cancer, viral diseases, endocrine diseases and toxicities may include ocular changes.

While most of our dogs and cats don’t need to drive a vehicle or read a book, I think we would all agree that we want them to be able to see as well as possible and be pain-free and healthy. During your pet’s annual or semiannual examination, your vet may recommend checking eye pressure as an early screen for glaucoma. If you think your pet may be experiencing eye problems, don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian. Eye problems can deteriorate rapidly in some cases.

You may also be referred to a veterinary opthamologist. Did you know there are specialty eye doctors for pets? They have several years of special training and advanced equipment that allows them to make sure a diagnosis is not overlooked. They can also do advanced surgical procedures such as cataract removal as one example.

Hopefully this will help to open our eyes on what to look for with regards to our pet’s “big brown, blue, or other color peeps.” Eyes are a complex and remarkable structure for us and our pets. As pet parents, make sure the “eyes” have it when it comes to health, just as with the rest of their bodies. We want to make sure all of our pet’s health is “lookin’ good.”

Editor’s Note: Did you know that a lot of health care products are available over the counter? You can treat worms, fleas and ticksbehavior issues and much more in the convenience of your own home. For more information about health care products for pets, go to sentrypetcare.com. 

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