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Alert signs of ocular diseases in pets

Some ocular diseases can progress very quickly and lead to the loss of the vision and/or the loss of the eye. This document reviews the signs that should be an alert for the pet’s owners. Signs of ocular pain Blepharospasm/rubbing It is very frequent to observe...

Blepharitis

What is a Blepharitis? Blepharitis is inflammation of the eyelid margins. The inflammation may be “sterile” or due to a bacterial infection, auto-immune skin disease or parasitic infestation of the eyelids. Most often, blepharitis is caused by a bacterial infection...

Caring for a blind pet

The sens After your pet loses his/her vision, there will be an initial adjustment period and you will need to follow a few guidelines in order to keep your pet safe. Blind pets will utilize their senses of hearing and smell making the loss of vision less traumatic...

Cataract

What are cataracts? A cataract is a change in the clear protein of the lens. Normally the lens is clear allowing the image on which they eye is focused to be clearly projected onto the retina. When some of this protein becomes abnormal it becomes crystallized and...

Cataract: Tests before surgery

Our goal for your pet is to improve the quality of life by restoring functional vision. Good communication is very important in the success of the surgery over your pet’s lifetime. Committing your pet to our care is a responsibility we welcome and cherish. At the time...

Cherry eye (Prolapsed third eyelid gland)

What is Cherry Eye? Within the folds of the lower eyelid, a thin membrane is present that is called the “third eyelid” or “nictitans”. Located at the base of the third eyelid is one of two tear producing glands around the eye. This gland produces 30-40% of the tears...

Chronic superficial keratitis (CSK)

What is a Chronic Superficial Keratitis (CSK)? Chronic Superficial Keratitis (CSK) or Pannus is a condition is which the cornea (the clear dome in front of the eye) becomes inflamed. In many dogs, the third eyelid and part of the conjunctiva (white part of the eye)...

Corneal Endothelial Dystrophy

The cornea, the clear front of the eye, consists of three layers. The outer layer that contacts the tear film is the epithelium, and the inner layer that contacts the inside of the eye is the endothelium. Sandwiched between these two layers is the corneal stroma. One...

Corneal lipid dystrophy

Corneal dystrophy is typically an inherited, bilaterally symmetrical disease of the cornea. It usually appears as a gray-white or silver opacity in the central corneal region. These opacities represent deposits of lipid and cholesterol in the cornea. It is not...

Corneal sequestrum

What is an corneal sequestrum? A corneal sequestrum is a dense, black spot on the cornea (the clear front part of the eye). This condition appears to be unique to cats. The development of a sequestrum follows this sequence: A cat suffers trauma (external trauma,...

Distichiasis

Distichiasis are extra, abnormally positioned hairs (cilia) along the eyelid margin. These cilia can cause irritation to the eye because they are directed toward, instead of away from the eye surface. Many dogs go through life with distichiasis hairs and if few in...

Ectopic cilia

What is an ectopic cilia ? An ectopic cilium is an eyelash hair that has grown in an abnormal location and is misdirected towards the eye surface. These hairs are usually located on the inside of the upper eyelid. When the pet blinks, the hair rubs on the surface of...

Entropion

What is a entropion? Entropion is usually an inherited condition in dogs where the eyelids are misshapen and turn inward to rub on the cornea. Increased tearing and chronic conjunctivitis develop in mild forms of the condition. In severe cases, the hairs on the...

Enucleation

In some cases, the eye is not savable (trauma, laceration, perforation, cancer) or the eye remains painful despite the medical or surgical treatment (glaucoma, uveitis). In these cases, the removal of the eyeball and the closure of the eyelids represent the best...

Eosinophilic keratitis

Eosinophilic keratitis is a condition in which the cornea (the clear front part of the eye) becomes infiltrated with eosinophils (a type of white blood cell) and other types of inflammatory cells. The cause of the eosinophilic keratitis is often multifactorial, but in...

Eyelid tumors

Eyelid tumors are often benign growths that develop in middle-aged and older dogs and usually cause no serious problems when small in size. As the tumor enlarges, it can cause irritation of the cornea (clear front part of the eye) and conjunctiva (white part of the...

Feline herpes virus infection

One of the more common ophthalmic diseases seen in cats is herpes virus infection. Herpes virus is suspected any time a cat has an infection on the eye surface that does not respond to antibiotics. The virus causes conjunctivitis (inflammation of the pink tissue...

Follicular conjunctivitis

What is a follicular conjunctivitis ? Follicular conjunctivitis (inflammation of the thin membrane that covers the white part of the eye) is often, but not always associated with seasonal allergies. The conjunctivitis results from exposure to environmental allergens...

G to K

Glaucoma

What is a glaucoma? Glaucoma is defined as increased pressure within the eye that causes degenerative changes in the optic nerve and retina with subsequent blindness. What causes glaucoma? Cells inside the eye behind the iris, called the ciliary body epithelium,...

Glaucoma: Surgical option

The goals of glaucoma treatment are to save as much vision as possible for as long as possible and to keep the patient comfortable. The treatment program is determined by the type of glaucoma, the severity and duration, the pet’s other medical problems, and the...

Horner’s syndrom (Claude Bernard)

Horner’s syndrome is not uncommon and occurs in dogs, cats, horses and many other species. The symptoms generally include a sunken in eye (enophthalmia) with a small pupil (miosis), a droopy upper eyelid (ptosis) and a prominent third eyelid. What is Horner’s...

Chronic superficial keratitis (CSK)

What is a Chronic Superficial Keratitis (CSK)? Chronic Superficial Keratitis (CSK) or Pannus is a condition is which the cornea (the clear dome in front of the eye) becomes inflamed. In many dogs, the third eyelid and part of the conjunctiva (white part of the eye)...

Eosinophilic keratitis

Eosinophilic keratitis is a condition in which the cornea (the clear front part of the eye) becomes infiltrated with eosinophils (a type of white blood cell) and other types of inflammatory cells. The cause of the eosinophilic keratitis is often multifactorial, but in...

Pigmentary keratitis

What Pigmentary Keratitis ? Pigmentary keratitis is the response of the cornea to chronic irritation and/or inflammation in which pigment or melanin is deposited in the corneal epithelium (surface of the eye). There are many factors that make this a breed problem in...

How does my dog see?

Everyone wonders about the vision of their pets. With this document I hope to bring you some answers. The vision includes many factors such as: visual field, depth perception (ability to evaluate a distance), visual acuity (ability to focus), movement perception,...

Hypertensive retinopathy

What is hypertensive retinopathy?  Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can be a spontaneous (primary) condition, but is usually associated with kidney disease or hyperthyroidism. We always recommend a complete blood count (CBC), serum profile / panel, urinalysis and...

Indolent corneal ulcer

Indolent Corneal Ulceration in the Dog Normal Ulcer Healing A corneal ulcer is a break in the outer (epithelial) layers of the cornea. (The cornea is the clear, front part of the eye that acts like a windshield, protecting the inside of the eye while allowing light to...

Infected corneal ulceration

What is the normal healing of the cornea? The cornea is the clear, front part of the eye that acts like a windshield, protecting the inside of the eye while allowing light to pass through. It is formed by 3 layers, from outside to inside: the epithelium, the stroma...

Iris hyper pigmentation and melanoma in the cat

Occasionally animals will develop different areas of pigment on their iris as they age. Some of these pigment changes are completely benign and do not pose a problem, but occasionally these pigment changes indicate the presence of a melanoma. Melanomas in cats tend to...

Iris cysts

Iris cysts are benign, fluid filled cysts that form in certain young purebred dogs or in some dogs and cats as they age. An iris cyst originates from the tissue on the backside of the iris and then iris. These cysts typically do not adversely affect vision or ocular...

Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS)

What is Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca or Dry eye syndrome? KCS is the abbreviation for “Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca”, the medical term for dry eye. When there is either inadequate tear production or distribution of tears, the eye surface becomes desiccated or “dried out”....

L to P

Luxation of the lens

What is a luxation of the lens? A luxation of the lens is a complete displacement of the lens from its normal anatomical position, behind the iris (the colored part inside the eye). A luxation can further be defined by the position of the lens at the time of...

Medial canthoplasty

Dogs with large flat faces (brachycephales) are at high risk of getting eye problems during their life, and sometimes very early in time, because of various reasons due to their conformation. These factors include a big ocular globe (therefore more exposed), a shallow...

Nodular granulomatous episcleritis

What Nodular granulomatous episcleritis (NGE)? Nodular granulomatous episcleritis is an immune-mediated (inflammatory) disease that affects the sclera, cornea and nictitating membrane. The condition is diagnosed most commonly in Collies, Cocker Spaniels, and related...

Normal aging of the eye

Aging changes in the eye: Iris atrophy and nuclear sclerosis The loose “flaps” of healing tissue at the edges of the ulcer are gently scraped / debrided away with sterile swabs and then a small needle is used to scratch a grid pattern over the surface of the dead...

Ophthalmology of exotic animals

What are the main ocular diseases in exotic animals? •  In ferrets Conjunctivits caused by various agents including Distemper are common in ferrets. Cataracts are also observed quite often in ferrets and, like in dogs and cats, cataract surgery is possible in this...

Persistent pupillary membranes

During development, the iris (colored portion inside the eye) first forms as a solid sheet of tissue. Just before birth a breaking down of tissue takes place to form the pupil. If some of these fine strands of tissue remain they are described as persistent pupillary...

Pigmentary keratitis

What Pigmentary Keratitis ? Pigmentary keratitis is the response of the cornea to chronic irritation and/or inflammation in which pigment or melanin is deposited in the corneal epithelium (surface of the eye). There are many factors that make this a breed problem in...

Progressive retinal atrophy

What is progressive retinal atrophy? Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is an untreatable but painless disease of the retina that leads to blindness. Light reaches the retina which lines the back of the eye and forms an image on the retina much as it does on the film...

Q to U

Sudden acquired retinal degeneration (SARD)

The retina is a highly organized tissue layer that is located deep within the eye. When light entering the eye reaches the retina, a series of chemical reactions occurs which generates an electrical impulse. The impulse travels from the retina through the optic nerve...

Uveitis

What is uveitis? The outer layer that encloses the eye is composed of the clear cornea and the white sclera. The middle layer of the eye – called the uvea – is the nutritional layer, rich in blood vessels. When inflammation develops within the uvea, this is termed...

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