Eye health for pets

Wind, dirt, and dust can all irritate our pet’s eyes. While it may be hard to identify eye problems in our pets, it’s important to monitor for signs and get advice from a vet as soon as symptoms appear.

Signs that things may not be quite right with your pet’s eyesight include redness, frequent blinking or squinting, or yellow or green discharge from the eyes. Perhaps you have noticed your pet has a new sensitivity to light, or is bumping into things more often – this could also indicate a problem with your pet’s vision.

Eye disorders can be minor to very serious. Here are some ailments that can impact our furry, four-legged friends.

General irritation: Environmental conditions could lead to eye irritation for dogs and cats. Windy days can carry dust and dirt through the air and cause irritation in the eyes. Perfumes, cleaning chemicals, and smoke can also irritate our pet’s eyes. If your pet is rubbing its eyes more than usual, seek advice for treatment.

Eye infections: Like humans, pets can get conjunctivitis, which is contagious and can be passed to other pets. Discharge, puffy, and red eyes are all signs of conjunctivitis, which is best assessed and treated by a vet.

Dry eye: Dry eye can be a disorder of the immune system, which occurs when the tear glands become inflamed and are unable to produce the normal amount of tears that the eyes need to stay lubricated and healthy.[1] Dry eye can be painful and can worsen if left untreated. Seek advice from your pet for medication or treatment options.

Serious eye problems: Our pets can also be prone to eye health issues such as cataracts and glaucoma, which can be hereditary but can also be due to other factors. Underlying health issues such as diabetes could contribute to cataracts. If you notice cloudiness in your pet’s eyes, seek advice on the next steps. Glaucoma occurs when there is a build-up of pressure inside the eye that eventually damages the eye structure (the optic nerve and retina).[2] Eye examinations by a qualified vet will be able to determine the most appropriate diagnosis and treatment for your pet.

Note: The above is guidance only and not to be used as medical advice. Always seek expert advice from a qualified vet if you have concerns about your pet’s health.

[1] https://www.petsecure.com.au/pet-care/caring-for-your-dogs-eye-health/

[2] https://www.petsecure.com.au/pet-care/caring-for-your-dogs-eye-health/