August 23rd is Blind Dog Day! Our canine companions can suffer from many of the same vision problems that people get, such as cataracts and glaucoma. While any pooch can be afflicted by vision problems, they are more common in some breeds … and are particularly prevalent in bulldogs. A Coral Springs, FL vet offers some information on this below.
Vision problems can be caused by injury, illness, trauma, or congenital issues. The last is most often the case with bulldogs. This isn’t a coincidence: it’s due to the unique shape of their skulls. Those shallow eye sockets cause Fido’s eyes to bulge out, rendering them quite vulnerable to injuries. Bullies also have very short snouts, which may be cute but is actually a deformity. These lead to skin folds, which can come into contact with your canine buddy’s eyes.
Some common conditions include cherry eye; dry eye; corneal ulcers; entropion, an extremely painful condition that causes the eye lashes to scratch against the eyeball; ectropion; and conjunctivitis, or pinkeye. Tearstains are also an issue: they can collect dust, dirt, and germs, which isn’t great to have so close to the eye. Fido is also prone to eye injuries, as mentioned above.
Keep an eye out for warning signs. These include thick mucus; excessive tearing; swelling; redness; constant blinking; light sensitivity; rubbing at the face or eyes; and tear stains. Fido may also hold one or both eyes partially or fully closed, and he may show some signs of having trouble seeing, such as bumping into things, being unable to catch toys, and/or becoming hesitant about moving forward. Contact your vet right away if you notice any of these issues.
While there’s nothing to be done about genetic issues, there are ways to reduce the chances of your furry buddy getting eye injuries or infections. Clean your pet’s face and skin folds regularly, to get rid of tearstains and bacteria. Pay close attention to what’s at Fido’s eye level. Certain supplements, such as EPA, DHA, beta-carotene, lutein and fish oil, may also help. Finally, don’t let Fido stick his head out the car window: he could get dust, pollen, pebbles, or bugs in his eyes. Ask your vet for more recommendations.
Do you have questions about caring for your canine pal’s eyes? Contact us, your Coral Springs, FL animal clinic!