Canine Eye Ulcer
Dogs commonly experience eye problems and ulcers are one of the most common eye conditions that dog’s face. Ulcers which develop on the eyes are referred to as corneal ulcers. They are the result of disease or some kind of damage that occurs in the any of the layers of the cornea. The transparent dome-shaped part that covers the front of the eye is known as the cornea. The ulcers that develop in this area can either be located on the surface or in the deeper parts of the cornea. Deep ulcers can pose serious complications as they can advance and worsen, leading to rupturing of the eye. This may result in dog blindness.
Causes of Dog Eye Ulcer:
Trauma is usually the cause of corneal ulcers in dogs. Such trauma may result from scratches to the eye area. In some cases, the dog may even scratch himself causing damage to the eye. Tussles with other animals or contact with thorny bushes can also cause scratches in the eye. Irritation caused due to presence of foreign substances in the eyes such as dirt and hair may also contribute to a dog eye ulcer. Harsh chemicals present in shampoo or soap may enter the dog’s eyes during cleaning. This can lead to inflammation, thereby resulting in an ulcer. Certain types of dogs may be more vulnerable to developing eye ulcers. Boxers and pugs have eyes that protrude and these breeds are susceptible to indolent ulcers, which are a type of corneal ulcers. This condition results in the inward rolling of the eyelids, leading to contact of the eyelashes with the inner part of the eye. The irritation that results may contribute to an ulcer. Diseases that cause the eye to become irritated such as dry eye may also cause ulceration of the cornea.
Symptoms of Eye Ulcer in Dogs
The symptoms of corneal ulcers in dogs include redness, tearing, swelling, discharge, light sensitivity and filming over the eye.
Treatment for Eye Ulcer in Dogs
Diagnosis of an eye ulcer will be done by a veterinarian. Canine eye ulcer treatment may involve administering antibiotics to treat the infection. Pain relieving ointments may also be prescribed. To keep the dog from rubbing the affected eye, an Elizabethan collar may be necessary. If the ulcer is very deep and progressing, surgery may be required. Corneal ulcers must be treated on time as they can lead to blindness if left unchecked. Superficial ulcers will heal in about a week with proper treatment, while deep ulcers may take a few months.