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    Inform Pet Owners: 6 Symptoms of Eye Problems

    cat laying on cushionWhen the appearance of an animal’s eye is noted to have an observable change, an examination of the eye is warranted. While clients may try to provide their pet with some relief, they need to know that an eye problem can go from being a minor ailment to a serious condition in a short period of time and that eye ailments should not be ignored.


    Give your clients the following information identifying the symptoms of eye problems in pets that need prompt veterinary attention.

    6 Symptoms of Eye Problems in Pets that Demand Prompt Veterinary Attention

    1. Eye Pain in Pets
      There are a number of signs and symptoms that can be identified as the start of an eye disorder, but pain is the most serious. Any animal that is felt to be experiencing eye pain should be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible.
      • Signs of pain include:
        • Excessive tearing
        • Squinting or closing the eye
        • Tender to touch
        • Light sensitivity
        • Protruding nictitating membrane
      • An animal with eye pain may also show a change in behavior; for example,
        • Loss of appetite
        • Whining and crying
        • Lethargy
        • Pawing or rubbing at the eye.
      • Eye pain could be caused by any of the following:
        • Corneal injuries
        • Inner eye disease, such as:
          • Glaucoma
          • Uveitis
          • Keratitis.
    1. Discharge from the Eye
      When the eye is observed to have discharge, the appearance of the discharge is often a symptom that points directly at the cause of the problem. For instance:
      • Clear discharge with no other signs or symptoms
        • Problem with the tearing mechanism
      • Clear discharge with a reddened eye, but no pain
        • Possibility of conjunctivitis, from a viral infection
      • Thick, sticky, mucus- or pus-like discharge and an inflamed, red eye
        • Possibility of conjunctivitis, from chlamydia
      • Discharge accompanied with any of the signs of pain
        • Indicates corneal or inner eye problem
      • Thick green or yellow discharge, mucoid, possibly sticking to the eyelids or to the hairs around the eye
        • Infection or the possibility of a foreign body in the eye.
    1. Cloudiness of the Eye
      Whenever an eye seems to have lost clarity or its appearance has changed so that it looks cloudy, the animal needs to be seen by the veterinarian. Cloudiness often gives the animal the appearance of having a blind eye.
      Cloudiness can be a result of many eye ailments, of which several require prompt attention. For example:
      • Cloudiness, accompanied by signs the animal is in pain
        • Keratitis
        • Glaucoma
        • Uveitis
      • Cloudiness, with no pain
        • Cataracts
      • Cloudiness that makes the eye appear as uniformly blue-gray, with signs of pain
        • Corneal edema
    1. Change in Eye Color
      • Change in the color of the iris
        •  Indication that the animal has developed melanoma
      • Sclera, or whites of the eyes, are observed with a yellowish tint
        • Jaundice
    1. Hard or Soft Eye
      Disorders of the inner eye can cause changes in eye pressure and alter the firmness of the eyeball.
      • Hard eye refers to a pupil that appears fixed and dilated
        • Glaucoma
      • Soft eye refers to a pupil that is constricted
        • Uveitis
    1. Bulging or Sunken Eye in Most Cat or Dog Breeds
      The eyes of some cat and dog breeds—for instance, Persians, Himalayans, and pugs—normally bulge. However, in most breeds, a bulging or sunken eye indicates a severe condition that requires prompt veterinary attention.
      • Bulging eye often occurs with:
        • Glaucoma
        • Tumor
        • Abscess behind the eye globe
        • Eye out of its socket
      • Eyes that appear sunken are generally associated with:
        • Dehydration
        • Weight loss
        • Eye pain
        • Tetanus

    Inform Your Clients

    Whenever a pet shows evidence of an eye problem, the animal needs to be examined promptly. Inform your clients to ensure they bring their pets to you at the first sign of an eye ailment.

    Contact your Henry Schein representative at 855.SCHEIN.1 (724-3461) for further information regarding the health of cats and dogs!

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