Is Your Dog Squinting? It May Have a Serious Eye Condition

Dec 3, 2019 | Dogs

Has your dog suddenly begun squinting, but only on one side? This is probably not a wink of affection. It may have developed an open sore on the clear protective layer covering its eye. These types of wounds are called corneal ulcers, and are a very common cause for squinting and discomfort in dogs.

How did my dog get a wound on its eye?

A corneal ulcer may come after an acute traumatic event (for example, a cat claw to the eye) scratches the surface of the eye, or when dogs have canine dry eye, also known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca. The ulcer develops when the scratching or rubbing causes a loss of the corneal epithelial cells that protect the front surface of the eye.

Does a corneal ulceration hurt?

In humans, even dealing with an eyelash on the surface of our eye can be extremely irritating so you can imagine that once an ulcer develops, it is very painful in our pets. A corneal ulcer can lead to additional problems such as infection, cloudiness, loss of vision or even rupture.

How to diagnose a corneal ulcer

Often dogs will develop goopy discharge, squinting and redness in the eye with an ulcer. In order to medically diagnose a corneal ulcer, however, we use a few drops of a fluorescein dye. We deposit the dye into the eye and then shine UV light on the lens. A healthy, intact cornea will not absorb the dye. Any ulcerated regions will take the dye up and shine bright green under the UV light.

How veterinarians treat an ulcer in your dog’s eye

We often send home antibiotic drops or ointments to prevent secondary infection and speed healing. We also have additional drops which can help repair the ulcerated site.

Because the cornea doesn’t have its own direct blood supply, providing nutrients to the eye is pivotal. One treatment option involves collecting a blood sample, spinning it down and preparing serum from the patient themselves. The serum can be applied directly to the eye and contains plenty of growth stimulators which can help heal the surface of the eye even faster.

How quickly will my dog recover?

In general, dogs that experience a superficial corneal ulcer will heal very quickly with appropriate treatment and management. Dogs often respond very well to treatment and tend to feel a lot better in 3-5 days. Occasionally, certain breeds of dogs will develop ulcers that don’t heal within 7 days and require additional workup and treatment.

If your dog or cat develops a red or squinty eye, call a vet immediately to alleviate the pain of a corneal ulcer and protect their vision! If you live in Charlottesville, call VETSS for emergency care.

– Dr. Wasi Ashraf

For more information, contact our team at VETSS!

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This is our office manager Debbie’s handsome pup Gunner. He had his senior lab work done today.

We recommend annual senior lab work for most dogs and cats over 7 years old. This helps us screen for any disease process before there are complications. This helps us to treat early and more efficiently!

Gunner was happy to trade a blood draw for some treats and a pink bandaid. 💓
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This is our office manager Debbie’s handsome pup Gunner. He had his senior lab work done today. 

We recommend annual senior lab work for most dogs and cats over 7 years old. This helps us screen for any disease process before there are complications. This helps us to treat early and more efficiently!

Gunner was happy to trade a blood draw for some treats and a pink bandaid. 💓Image attachment

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Wow! What a great-looking dog. Gunner, give everybody there a kiss from us!

Handsome boy Debbie!

Ugh, such a good boy.

So handsome!

THAT FACE!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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We are gowned, gloved, masked, and ready to see your emergencies today! 😷Remember to stay in your car and give us a call 📞 Stay safe everyone! ... See MoreSee Less

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Thank you to the wonderful staff for staying open and all that you do.

This place is great! They were wonderful to my Bella!

Thank you for all you do. We appreciate each and everyone of you.

Thank you to all the wonderful docs & staff of VETSS! You guys are awesome!

I dont use you guys but thank you for still being avail 🙂

You guys are amazing! Thank you for always being there ❤️

Thanks for recently taking such good care of my Bubba!❤...yall rock!

Thank you!!!!

You guys ROCK.

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Good afternoon. VETSS has moved to low contact appointments to help combat the current pandemic.

Low-contact, or no-contact appointments offer the same care as a regular visit, without unnecessary exposure to others in waiting room spaces, and limits in-person interaction with our team members.

We are pleased to offer this service as a way to keep your pet’s care up-to-date and to help them when they are sick, while also protecting our clients, team, and community.
We can also deliver medication, food, and preventatives to your car, no appointment needed. Please call ahead so we can be prepared to greet you.

As committed members of our community, we understand the importance that your pet’s welfare plays in everyone’s heart, health, and family – especially during these times of social distancing and low interactions with others. Our highly-trained and dedicated staff are committed to continue serving the community through this period, just as we have over the years. In the medical field, we regularly deal with disease and infection control, and are required to maintain high standards of cleanliness and hygiene at all times, regardless of external factors.

Please click on this link if you would like more information.
emergency-vets.com/services/low-contact-appointments/
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