Cataracts are one of the most common eye problems in dogs, and they show up in canines of all breeds and in animals both young and old. As with humans, the only successful treatment is surgery.
The word "cataract" literally is Latin for "break down," and refers to a problem that develops with the fibers in the lens of the eye. The disruption of these fibers causes the lens to become cloudy, reducing vision. There are several types of cataracts, which have different causes. All, however, result when the biochemistry of the eye (66 percent water and 33 percent protein), becomes out of balance. The end result is that too much water remains in the lens of the eye, while the percentage of insoluble proteins increases. The combination causes the cloudy white coating, loss of transparency and loss of vision characteristic of cataracts. [...]
Retinal dysplasia, or RD, is an inherited disorder in which the retina of the eye is malformed. To understand retinal dysplasia it's first necessary to understand the basics of the eye's anatomy. The retina itself is the nerve-containing structure in the back of the eye that takes in light and converts it into electrical signals. These signals are then transmitted to the brain via the optic nerve, and interpreted by the brain as vision. Formation of the eye in utero is a complex, multi-stage process that is closely tied to development of the entire nervous system.
There are three forms of retinal dysplasia. The first and least serious occurs when the two primary layers of the retina do not form together properly, creating folds in the inner retinal layer. In geographic RD there are larger areas where the retina is malformed in addition to the inner retinal layer. In the most severe form of the disease, the two retinal layers do not meet at all, resulting in retinal detachment, or separation, from the rest of the eye. [...]
Among the many hereditary eye disorders that can appear in your canine is an unusual condition known as an ocular coloboma. Colobomas are a congenital anomaly in which some of the structures of the eye are missing. This occurs when tissues fail to fuse and/or form completely while the puppy is still in the mother's womb. In ocular colobomas, for example, there is a visible black hole or cleft in the ocular nerve.
Colobomas also can be found in other structures within the eye, including the iris, choroid, ciliary body, eyelid, lens, and retina, where they again are present as a hole, split or cleft in the affected structure. [...]
One of the multiple eye disorders that can affect your dog is an inherited condition known as iris coloboma. With this condition, and for unknown reasons, development of eye tissues is incomplete in the womb. This causes the puppy to be born with a hole, split, or cleft in certain structures within the affected eye. In this case it's the iris, which is the colored portion in the front of the eye. Dogs with this condition will have a dark hole and/or an irregularly shaped iris, but their vision is usually not impaired. However, they may squint and be uncomfortable in bright light, since the coloboma prevents the iris from contracting normally upon exposure to light. [...]
Cataracts are one of the most well-known forms of eye disease, appearing as a cloudy or opaque spot that changes the lens of the eye and causes it to lose its translucence. Cataracts may be limited to a small section of the lens, or they may grow to affect the entire eye. Cataracts also can strike one or both eyes, depending upon the cause. If left untreated, cataracts inevitably end up costing the dog its sight.
Many breeds are prone to inherited cataracts, which can be passed along through both dominant and recessive genes. Inherited forms result in what are known as primary cataracts. [...]
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. [...]
Due to poor breeding, many dogs unfortunately suffer from a number of hereditary diseases. Thankfully, the Norwegian Elkhound is not among the breeds that suffer from the largest number of health problems. There is increasing evidence that Elkhounds tend to suffer from a variety of eye problems, such as progressive retinal atrophy (common in a number of dog breeds), lens luxation and glaucoma. Norwegian Elkhound owners should constantly monitor their dogs for changes in behavior or strange behavior that could indicate the onset of any of these issues; it's also a good idea to have your Elkhound's eyes checked regularly by a veterinarian so as to catch these problems early if they do indeed pop up in your dog. [...]
Among the many inherited conditions that can affect your dog's eyes are a group known as corneal dystrophies. These conditions cause abnormal corneal development, usually in both eyes, and lead to various problems with the animal's vision. Depending upon the type, one or more layers of the cornea (the transparent lens that covers the front of the eye) will be affected. The major types of corneal dystrophies are:
Epithelial Dystrophy, which causes shallow but painful ulcers and erosion on the surface of the cornea.
Endothelial Dystrophy, which affects the function of the endothelial cells, causing a buildup of fluid in the cornea (also known as corneal edema). [...]
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. [...]
It's unfortunate that many breeds of dogs suffer from a variety of genetic problems due to the poor decisions of some uninformed or careless breeders. Before bringing home a canine addition to your family, you should do some research into how healthy the breed is; if not, you may be in for a surprisingly large number of visits to the vet and some serious heartbreak. The Redbone Coonhound, fortunately, is an extremely healthy breed, which suffers only rarely from less than a handful of genetic issues. Besides hip dysplasia, common in many dogs, the Redbone tends to suffer from two main eye problems: entropion and progressive retinal atrophy, also known as PRA.
Entropion is an eye problem that occurs in many breeds of dogs, including Redbones, though is not as common in Redbones as it is in breeds such as Bloodhounds or Mastiffs. [...]
Beagles are relatively hardy dogs, but they are prone to certain health problems, some of which involve their eyes. Besides glaucoma and Progressive Retinal Atrophy, present in many species of dogs, Beagles also suffer from cherry eye and a condition called distichiasis. Fortunately, neither of these conditions is as serious as Retinal Atrophy and in the overwhelming majority of cases both can be corrected by surgery and neither lead to permanent blindness. [...]
As with many Brachycephalic (short-nosed) breeds with prominent eyes, the Boston Terrier unfortunately suffers from a number of eye problems. Some are less severe than others, though all require prompt veterinary attention. If you are considering the addition of a Boston Terrier to your family, you must be willing to devote time to regularly checking the health of your dog's eyes and bringing him or her for regular visits to the vet. Some of the more common eye conditions that can develop in Boston Terriers are cataracts and corneal ulcers, the latter usually in conjunction with corneal dystrophy. [...]
The Cardigan Welsh Corgi is a relatively healthy breed, though as usual the breed is not without its typical health issues. These dogs suffer from a series of eye problems that, though not frequently recorded in the breed, do show up from time to time and can cause serious, lasting damage, depending on the severity of the condition. The Cardigan is prone to Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), like many dogs, as well as lens luxation and retinal dysplasia. If you suspect any of these conditions, you should immediately take your dog to the veterinarian, who may suggest you see a veterinarian ophthalmologist. [...]
Progressive Retinal Atrophy, also known as retinal pigment epithelial dystrophy (RPED), is part of a group of genetic degenerative eye diseases that affect the retina. Although it is more common in dogs it is also found in cats especially Persians, Abyssinian, some shorthairs and Siamese cats.
The disease causes vision impairment, which eventually leads to blindness. Progressive Retinal Atrophy appears in both male and female cats and is either a dominant or recessive trait (autosomal trait). This disease is similar in nature to Retina Pigmentosa in humans.
In Abyssinian cats there are two forms of the disease, if it is present at birth or shortly thereafter it is a genetic autosomal dominant gene. If it occurs in middle age it is genetic autosomal recessive gene. [...]