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One of the many wonders of breeding for specific characteristics is that dogs and other animals have been selected to match a breed standard or set of characteristics that makes that dog unique from other dog breeds. Unfortunately in some of the unique breeds that have developed there are health issues associated with the very characteristics that define the breed. Often these health issues developed before early breeders understood the impact of breeding for certain characteristics, or even the risk of breeding dogs that exhibited certain traits. Exposure keratopathy syndrome is one such example that is very prominent in some breeds due to the specific eye formation that defines the breed. [...]
Eye anomaly, also more commonly known as Collie Eye Anomaly or CEA, is found in all breeds of collies including the Smooth and Rough Collies, Shetland Sheepdogs, and Australian Shepherds. The condition also occurs to a lesser extent in the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever and some types of heelers.
CEA is a recessive genetic condition, which means that both parents have to be carrying the recessive gene for the condition to be passed down to their puppies. While this may sound like terrific news to eliminate the condition, the current estimate is that up to 85% of all collies in the United States are affected by this condition and that the numbers are almost as high in other countries and areas around the world. [...]
Eye injuries and eyeball lacerations or cuts are very serious and time is of the essence to treat these conditions and provide effective first aid that will help preserve the dog's sight if at all possible. Knowing what to do if your dog has a lacerated eyeball is important, as doing the wrong thing can be just as bad as doing nothing at all in many cases.
In emergency first aid treatment for eyeball lacerations the biggest priority is to clean out the eye as much as possible and to prevent further injury by the dog pawing at the eye or rubbing the head along the ground or other surface. In addition it is important to check to see if there is a foreign object embedded in the eye before doing anything, as even a bandage over the eye can further push the object into the eye, creating more damage. [...]
Follicular conjunctivitis is a condition that causes the whites and pink areas of a dog or puppy's eyes to turn red, become itch and irritated, and typically will produce lots of tearing. Some dogs and puppies will also start to squint to avoid opening up their eyes and causing further irritation. There are many difficult conditions that can cause the eyes to become red, itchy and swollen but follicular conjunctivitis is by far the most common and is actually relatively easy to treat if diagnosed and treated in the early stages. [...]
One can imagine how uncomfortable dry, irritated eyes can be. Our dogs, who don't have the means to tell us what is bothering them, must often suffer in silence if this disorder isn't quickly detected. But Keratoconjunctivitis sicca, or KCS as it is usually abbreviated, can have grave consequences if it is not treated or is misdiagnosed. In this article, we'll discover what causes KCS, which breeds may be naturally predisposed to suffer from it, and what treatments are available.
[h]What is KCS?[/h]
KCS is caused by insufficient or abnormal tear production. It is for this reason that KCS is also sometimes called Dry Eye. Tears are mostly made up of watery secretions produced by the lacrimal glands, and a deficiency in this area can cause the dry eyes. Tears are very important to the health of the eyes; they clean and lubricate the corneas and help play a role in the healing of eye infections. [...]
Keratoconjunctivitis sicca, or KCS as it is sometimes called, is a disease affecting the eyes, causing the eyes to become dry and irritated. One can easily imagine the pain that dry eyes can cause, and it must be doubly frustrating for our dogs who cannot always tell us what ailments are troubling them. Unfortunately, this disease is sometimes misdiagnosed, and leaving the disease untreated can cause grave problems and even blindness. In this article, we'll learn what causes Keratoconjunctivitis sicca, who can be affected, and what treatments are available. [...]
Lens luxation is only one of a host of ailments that can affect a dog's eyes. This inherited disorder, if untreated, can lead to glaucoma and inflammation called uveitis, both of which are painful and can lead to blindness. In this article, we'll learn about lens luxation, its symptoms and treatment, as well as which breeds are most at risk to inherit this disease.
[h]What is lens luxation?[/h]
Obviously, lens luxation affects the lens of the eye, which is found between the iris, or the colored part of the eye, and the pupil, the darkest part of the eye. Its function is to focus light onto the back of the eye, or the retina. The lens is suspended and held in place by zonular ligaments, which are tiny fibers. Lens luxation occurs when these ligaments break down and the lens is dislodged from its normal position. [...]
Many breeds of dog are vulnerable to specific health problems, and the Collie is no exception. These beautiful animals are subject to a genetically-carried eye problem known as Collie Eye Anomaly. It's a disorder that occurs deep within the eye and strikes all types of Collies.
Also known as choroidal hypoplasia, collie scleral ectasia syndrome and optic nerve/disc coloboma, it causes four main changes in the dog's eye. [...]
Stars in your eyes are one thing, but "cherries" in your dog's eyes signal trouble. Clinically known as nictitans gland prolapse, cherry eye leaves a mass of red tissue visible in the inside corner of the dog's eye. The condition occurs when the dog's third eyelid pops out or otherwise becomes dislodged from its normal position.
Like cats, dogs have three eyelids - an upper, a lower and a third, largely invisible, eyelid which contains a tear gland and acts as a windshield wiper across the eye. It's when this third eyelid comes loose from its normal position (prolapses) and swells that the animal is diagnosed with cherry eye. [...]
You may have noticed that your dog or puppy appears to have a metallic or opaque look to the outer layer of each eye, either in the middle or to the edges of the eye. In some breeds it may also appear like a crystalline growth in the eyes, or even as a smoky or smudgy area of the cornea. Any type of eye discoloration that is inherited, bilateral (affecting both eyes), and is not swollen or inflamed is known as corneal dystrophy. This condition is common in many different breeds of dogs and can strike at any age from just a few months old up to senior ages. Typically the condition affecting the dog's vision will slowly progress, decreasing sight in both eyes as the dog matures and ages. In some breeds the progression will be relatively slow while in others the condition rapidly leads to vision loss. [...]
Corneal ulcer is the correct medical term for any type of painful irritation to the corneal or outer protective layer of they eye. Corneal ulcers can happen from a variety of normal circumstances but they can also occur from specific medical conditions and diseases. In dogs the most common forms of corneal ulcers include scrapes and scratches of the eye or eyes from grass, debris or even the dog's own claws, entropion or eyelashes rolled inward to the eyeball, dry eye conditions resulting in abrasion or rubbing of the surface of the eye without lubrication and infections in the eye.
Corneal ulcers are typically noted by increased watering or tearing as the eye tries to soothe the irritated and painful area, refusal to open the eye or squinting, thick discharge from the eye or a red irritated appearance to the eye in mild cases. The dog may try to scratch at his or her eye continually or may rub the side of the head along the ground, on furniture or even against your hand or leg. [...]
Many breeds of dogs have brown, hazel or even yellow eyes, but there are also some breeds that are more prone to blue eyes, commonly referred to as glass eyes. The breeds most commonly associated with glass eyes include Australian Shepherds, Blue Heelers, Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs, Catahoulas, Siberian Huskies, Corgies, Dachshunds and Shetland Sheepdogs. Any other dog breed could potentially have a blue eye or glass eye, but in many breeds the rare blue color is considered a disqualification in the show ring, but does not mean that the dog cannot be registered. Glass eyes do not indicate damage to the eye and there is no indication that the dog is not able to see equally well through any colored eye, despite many myths to the contrary. There is no breed standard that only allows for blue eyes, but it is favored in many of the breeds by breeders looking for flash in their breeding line. [...]
In a normal canine eyelid structure, hairs called eyelashes grow forth from the rim of the eyelid, pointing outward, and are used much like bronchial cilia to trap dust and foreign bodies from entering the sensitive membrane of the eye. There are, however, instances where this goes wrong, and it usually manifests in one of three ways. Ectopic cilia, when the eyelash grows through from the outside to the inside of the eyelid; trichiasis, which eyelashes start growing normally but turn inward; and the most severe: distichiasis, when hairs begin growing from the inside of the eyelid pointed towards the eye. In special circumstances, distichiasis is compounded with a secondary symptom called narrow palpebral fissure in which the opening afforded by a dog's eyelid is significantly smaller than normal. When this happens, it makes treatment especially problematic, and thus it's this compound problem that this article concerns itself with. [...]
In normal circumstances, dogs develop in the womb with a thin film called the pupillary membrane covering each eye. The idea is that since the animal is not yet sighted anyway, this won't interfere with vision and is the most efficient way to supply blood to the developing organ. It usually can still be seen once a dog is born but dissolves on its own within the first few days. In some cases, however, this membrane refuses to dissolve and can cause problems; this is known as a persistent pupillary membrane.
The membrane is made up of thin but tough strands of a silk-like film. Depending on how much of the membrane persists after birth, these strands can be located in any number of places and their location determines to a large extent how much of a problem the persistent pupillary membrane will cause. The strands can stretch across the entire pupil, from the pupil to the lens, from the iris to the cornea, or they can be free-floating, attached at only one eye. [...]
Protopsis is an emergency medical condition in which an otherwise healthy eye explodes or falls out of the orbital socket that normally contains it. Though it can happen in any breed, it seems to occur most often in those with short and wide faces such as pugs, bulldogs, and pekingnese.
Protopsis can happen for a wide variety of reasons. It could occur as the result of trauma such as a scratch or bite by another animal, even when the resulting damage is not externally visible. Likewise, it could occur as the result of pressure exerted upon the inner eye from the build-up of ocular fluids. It's even possible for protopsis to happen spontaneously with no discernible cause whatsoever. [...]