Eye Spy – Understanding Your Pet’s Eye Health

Photo courtesy of Erika Martin

While our pets aren’t familiar with reading letters off an eye chart, routine eye checks during their annual exam are important. Our pets experience many of the same eye issues as we do – although knowing when there is a problem is sometimes trickier since our furry family members can’t tell us something is wrong.

One of the top reasons why clients call Blum is due to eye-related questions – such as red eyes, discharge or squinting. With eyes, we like to err on the side of caution, so we usually recommend an appointment. Many of the eye-related issues we see has to do with a pet’s cornea, which is the clear, top layer on the very front of the eyeball. These problems include corneal trauma (scratches), foreign bodies (dust or other objects) and ulcers.

Although during the exam, the doctor will take a thorough look at your pet’s eyes and based on what they find perform additional tests. These diagnostics include measuring tear production, staining the eyeball to look for corneal ulcers, and checking eye pressure. Based on the findings, the doctor will prescribe the appropriate medications or make recommendations to see an eye specialist if necessary.

While you may have medication left over that was prescribed for a previous eye problem, we recommend you not use this medication unless you first consult with your pet’s veterinarian. Some medications may exacerbate any eye issue and could possibly cause more damage if used.

Occasionally with eye issues, our pet’s may not show any signs of pain or discomfort. Instead sometimes when they have an eye problem, they will sleep more or be less active. This is why annual exams are so important to have our furry family members examined by their veterinarian to catch these potential health problems!

Written for Blum Animal Hospital by Jackie Sheppard.