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Spotting eye disease

Eye disease in dogs can be inherited through genetics or through eye trauma which results in chronic changes, including blindness if symptoms are not addressed quickly.

Symptoms can range from very subtle minor redness and squinting through to obvious signs such as discharge and swelling. Here are some common eye diseases to look out for to keep your pooch happy and healthy. If you notice any of these signs in your greyhound get your vet to do an eye exam asap and follow their recommendations on treating the conditions.

  • Pannus

Pannus is a common eye condition of Greyhounds. It is an immune mediated disease that affects the cornea or surface of the eye, resulting in a brown pigment deposited there. If left untreated, pannus can lead to vision impairment.

What to look for:

  • Increased colour or freckling on the eye surface that may become greyish pink in colour initially
  • Both eyes usually effected
  • Brown colour on surface of eye in later stages
  • Glaucoma

Glaucoma can be an inherited disease or caused by iris inflammation, lens dislocation, bleeding, trauma and tumours.

What to look for:

  • Dogs may show signs of pain around their eyes
  • Develop a watery discharge
  • Have bulging eye
  • Eyes may suddenly look cloudy
  • Cataracts

Cataracts occur when the lens of your dog’s eyes becomes cloudy or opaque which harms your dog’s vision. Cataracts range in severity depending on the percentage in which your dog’s lens has been affected. 

What to look for:

  • Cloudy or bluish-grey eyes
  • If your dog is suddenly bumping into walls or furniture or having trouble finding food or water

Cataracts can be remedied with surgery which involves removing the affected lens and replace it with an artificial lens.

  • Pink eye (conjunctivitis)

Pink eye can occur from a viral or bacterial infection, as well as allergic reactions to environmental irritants such as cigarette smoke, pesticides and chemicals.

What to look for:

  • Redness
  • Weeping discharge
  • Inflammation
  • Blepharospasm (corneal damage)

While not an actual eye disease, Blepharospasm can lead to eye disease. Blepharospasm is commonly caused by a scratch to your dog’s eye or can also be caused by allergies, infections, and environments irritants like smoke.

What to look for:

  • Swelling
  • Redness and excessive tearing
  • If your dog is pawing at its eye
  • Squinting in one eye
  • Spasms of the eyelids

While eye problems in dogs can be quite common, there are small things you can do to limit injury to their eyes and help keep your greyhound healthy.

  • Regularly check your dog’s eyes to see if you can notice any changes.
  • Ensure you schedule regular checkups with your vet to diagnose problems before they become an issue.
  • If your dog has allergies, use saline solution to flush your dog’s eyes after walks (please consult your vet before doing this).
  • Clean around their eyes with a soft cloth when you bath your dog.