Our dog’s eyes are very sensitive and vulnerable organs. Any injury to them can have very negative consequences for their vision. Due to this, we cannot delay going to the vet for any injury to them.
Index of contents
- 1 What do I do if my dog hurts his eye?
- 2 The cornea
- 3 Corneal abrasion
- 4 Corneal ulcer
- 5 Apply the medication to the eyes
What do I do if my dog hurts his eye?
If we observe a wound or bleeding in our dog’s eye, the first step is to try to discover where the injury is. Of course, if the eye appears collapsed or with heavy bleeding we must urgently go to the veterinary clinic.
The eye outside its orbit must be covered with a gauze soaked in serum or, failing that, warm water. In this way, the vet will not be resected on the way. In these cases, when there is heavy bleeding or the dog is so sore that it does not allow us to examine it, we must give up handling it and go directly to the vet.
These types of injuries are very bulky, so we will detect them right away. Trauma can cause the eye to bulge. Scratches caused by other animals or by bushes, contact with foreign bodies, etc. They can cause more or less superficial wounds around or inside the eye.
The cornea is the outer layer and transparent of the eye that will serve as protection against external agents. A wound in it will not produce a scratch to use or a sacred, but an opaque and blurred area. Dogs with bulging eyes, due to their morphology, are more prone to suffer these injuries.
Any injury to the cornea will require prompt veterinary attention. An injured cornea causes pain and symptoms such as tearing or light intolerance, which is known as photophobia. The third eyelid or nictitating membrane stretches out in an attempt to protect the eye.
If our dog seems to have a wounded eye in no case should we apply drugs on our own, without consulting the vet. For example, corticosteroid drops, if there is an injury to the cornea, can perforate it.
Especially scratches and foreign bodies will damage the cornea causing a wound that irritates and inflames the area. This is what produces that matt and fuzzy eye effect we are referring to. The vet can confirm this by instilling a few drops of fluorescein over the eye.
In some dogs the eyelashes grow into the eye so that they also cause abrasion. These more superficial wounds can heal in a few days. If they are not resolved, it may be that some foreign body remains inside the eye.
An untreated corneal abrasion can be aggravated. To avoid this, the vet will prescribe the appropriate drugs that we must administer several times a day until complete healing. Medication is also given to avoid pain.
We can understand the ulcer as a deeper abrasion. If the cornea has three layers, the abrasion would affect the most superficial, while the ulcer would reach the middle and internal layers. Most have their origin in trauma but there are others associated with different diseases such as diabetes, hypothyroidism or eye disorders.
The ulcer is very painful. We will see that the affected eye is tearing intensely. The dog will rub his eye and will not tolerate light. It is important to go to the vet even if we do not observe the eye without dullness or blurring since, in small ulcers, this damage may not be visible to us but it will have the same negative consequences for the dog.
As in the case of abrasions, they are stained by putting a few drops of fluorescein on them. Ulcers can be complicated to the point of loss of the eye. That is why it is essential that we go to the veterinary clinic without delay. The treatment is similar to that of abrasions, although it usually has to be administered for a longer time.
When the drugs are not capable of solving the ulcer, it will be necessary to resort to surgery. In this case there are several options among which the suture of the third eyelid over the eye stands out to protect it while the ulcer that the ophthalmologist has previously debrided has healed. Lenses with the same function can also be fitted.
In more severe cases the contents of the eye will come out through the ulcer. It can be seen as a kind of bulge or a lighter area within the cloudy area caused by the ulcer. If we appreciate these signs, we should notify the vet immediately. It is an emergency that must be resolved with surgery. Otherwise, the dog will lose his eye.
Apply the medication to the eyes
The vet will basically prescribe us eye drops or ointments. To administer them we must keep the dog still. If we are alone we will hold it against our chest and, with the index and thumb, we will keep his eye open and his head tilted upwards. With the other hand we will put the eye drops.
If we must administer an ointment we will start from the same position but, instead of keeping the entire eye open, we will lightly pull the lower eyelid with the thumb. It is in that space that we will deposit a small amount of the ointment. We will close the eye and give a gentle massage to make sure it spreads.