Cataracts – Inherited / Diabetic / Hypermature
A cataract is an opacity or cloudiness in the crystalline lens of the eye which prevents light from passing through to the retina and causes blurriness and loss of functional vision. There are several categories of cataract depending on the cause and degree of development. [more info]
Dystrophy is the degeneration of tissues due to disease or malnutrition, frequently inherited. As with all diseases of the eye, corneal dystrophies are variable in cause and severity making their treatment very specific to your pet’s condition. [more info]
A corneal ulcer is an abrasion to the outer layer of cells, the clear part of the eye lining the cornea, and is very common in both dogs and cats. Symptoms of corneal ulcers include redness, excessive tearing or discharge, squinting, sensitivity to light, rubbing at the eye, and holding the eye closed. Treatment can range from medications to surgery based on the severity of the ulcer.
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Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca, commonly referred to as Dry Eye, is seen frequently in dogs, but less so in cats. It is associated with the lack of normal tear production from the numerous glands that surround the globe. These glands produce the aqueous portion of tear film, which is made up of a mixture of aqueous, lipids, and mucus. Dogs with dry eye will have red irritated eyes with blepharospasms and frequently a thick mucoid discharge. Dry eye stimulate a pigmentary vascular keratitis as the eye tries to compensate for the lack of tears, which bath and nourish the cornea. As with many other cases, early evaluation and very specific therapy is needed to control and stimulate tear production to prevent blindness. Medical therapy can be challenging and often requires several medications several times daily. Surgery is an option in nonresponding cases.
Entropion is the rolling in of the eyelids. It is one of the most common problems associated with dog eyelids. An entropion causes the hair on the eyelid to rub the eyeball and can cause a corneal ulcer and erosion.
Episcleritis is an immune mediated disorder that causes inflammation to the white fibrous part of the eye, called the sclera. Episcleritis usually appears as a red nodule or thickening on the surface of the normally white sclera. In severe cases it can lead to opacification of the cornea. It can be controlled with medication, sometimes aggressive and/or long term.
Eyelid Tumors (Full Thickness Resection)
Eyelid tumors are most frequently see in dogs and may be either benign or malignant. Fortunately most tend to spread locally and in general are not metastatic in nature. Growth of tumors can be very significant and sometimes aggressive and need to be removed while small or reasonable in size before eyelid function, if not the eye itself, is damaged or lost. Full thickness resection and cosmetic repair of the lid tumor is highly successful when properly performed (greater then 95%).
Glaucoma is the increase of pressure within the eye (intraocular pressure or IOP). This increase in pressure is associated with blockage of the drainage of a normal occurring intraocular fluid known as aqueous humor, which maintains normal intraocular shape and nourishment to structures such as the avascular lens and cornea. In general, glaucoma is categorized as primary (which means inherited) or secondary to other events: infections, inflammations, or lens luxation being most common. Primary glaucoma frequently occurs in one eye causing loss of vision then within weeks or months the second eye becomes involved. Early evaluation and therapy is critical in your pet’s long term visual health. Glaucoma is an aggressive often blinding disease and requires specific and sometimes aggressive medical therapy. Surgical therapy may be needed to maintain vision.
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The most common problem with the crystalline lens is development of a cataract. The second most common problem is lens luxation. Luxation means to move out of normal position. [more info]
Ocular trauma to the globe (eyeball) and surrounding structures is not an uncommon occurrence in pets. Injuries from other household pets, new visitors from next door, blunt force trauma, scratches, corneal laceration, eyelid trauma, gunshot trauma, auto accidents, etc. This trauma can be severe, especially if the globe is involved. When the globe is involved the cornea is most frequently damaged. These traumas with laceration and/or frequently perforation of the cornea are definite emergencies, often with surgical intervention. This type of surgical repair (corneal laceration/perforation) is very critical requiring operating microscope magnification and very small 7-0 or 10-0 ophthalmic surgical suture, but the results can be amazing.
Pigmentary Vascular Keratitis
Pigmentary vascular keratitis is inflammation of the cornea that has many causes, but specifically in dogs because they have cells containing melanin (pigment) at the juncture of the cornea and sclera (termed the limbus). [more info]
Prolapsed Gland (cherry eye)
The third eyelid is a structure in the medial or nasal portion of the orbit. It is frequently not too visible to owners. The gland of the third eyelid is located within its base. This gland produces a significant amount of the aqueous tear film; therefore, it is important in maintaining good tear production and preventing the development of a dry eye. [more info]
Uveitis is an inflammatory process of the vascular portion of the eye, the uvea. This is made up of the iris, which makes eye our color blue, brown, green, etc., the ciliary body, which produces fluid (aqueous humor) to provide nourishment to the avascular cornea and lens, and the choroid, which nourishes the retina and the back part of the eye. If left untreated uveitis can lead to blindness, sometimes very quickly. [more info]
Other Diseases of the Eye
- Feline Conjunctivitis
- Feline Corneal Sequestra
- Feline Herpes Virus
- Hypertensive Retinopathy
- Lenticular Sclerosis
- Nasolacrimal Duct Blockage
- Optic Neuritis
- Retinal Degeneration
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
- Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome (SARDS)
- Retinal Detachment
- Sudden Blindness