The Eyes Have It
Pet owners often notice changes in their pets’ eyes over a period of time or more often the sudden awareness of an eye problem. When an owner presents their pet for an exam some times the problem is very apparent and some times a more detailed evaluation is needed. All exams start with a good history taken from the one who has all the information – the owner. Has the pet been outdoors, around other pets, exposed to dust, smoke or windy conditions (head outside window of moving vehicle- NOT A GOOD IDEA). With a good history a more precise diagnosis and predictable outcome can be expected.
Teary eyes are often seen and some times are a normal finding for some breeds.
A watchful owner will notice any signs of excessive changes in tear production. More than usual tear production often precludes signs of a pending eye concern. We encourage the owner to inspect their pet’s eyes for a source of irritation (debris or hair close to eyes) and early cleaning around eyes may stop a further concern. A simple wet cloth applied gently over eyes and around face will often be enough to remove most irritating material.
A red eye is cause for more concern and possibly more immediate action. An inspection to see if both eyes are equal in redness needs to be made as the cause for this may be environmental (irritation and or allergies). Mother Nature’s flashing sign of major concern is the squinting and or single “very” red eye. One or both of these presentations is a sure sign of pain. When owners notice their pet rubbing the side of it faces repeatedly eye pain may be the source. (Cats can some time show pain by butting their head or side of face on their owner.)
Obviously the perseveration of you pet’s eye is everything to save its vision. More often than not, time is the limiting factor for a positive out come. We encourage you as the Sheppard of your pet’s eye health to be vigil for changes in its appearance. Please call our office if you notice changes that warrant your concern.