When it comes to the eyes, any changes you notice should be reason enough to make an appointment as soon as possible. Many conditions of the eyes look similar but have very different causes and treatment. Some diseases or trauma need immediate treatment in order to preserve vision.
So, how do you know which of the many eye changes are the ones to be concerned about? The bottom-line is, you don’t. Though it may appear to look like pink eye, it may be far more serious and can jeopardize your pet’s vision if not diagnosed and treated promptly.
If you bring in your pet with a concern, there will be an initial examination with an ophthalmoscope and a few tests. Occasionally, a seed or splinter can penetrate the eyelids. They may do a test to detect inadequate tear production or a sterile swab may be used to obtain a sample of the discharge for bacterial culture and susceptibility. The cornea will be stained after a numbing agent is applied to detect corneal ulcers. Ulcers can vary in severity and may take a long time to heal. Some even require surgery. The intra-ocular pressures of both eyes are measured to help rule our glaucoma. Immediate treatment is necessary to control elevation in pressure to maintain vision and control pain.
You can imagine that letting us look at a painful eye and do all these tests is very difficult for most dogs and cats. Sedation may be necessary to get a better look. Some conditions may need surgical correction and may be referred to our local ophthalmologist.
You have the hard part of medicating those eyes. Don’t despair or quit too soon. Most patients adapt to the routine, especially if rewarded with their favorite treat.
Courtesy – Dr. Carla Edwards
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