A swollen or red might be a warning-sign of some infectious eye disease in your dog/puppy. Learn about treating eye infections in dogs.

Eye Diseases in Dogs

Sometimes you might notice your pet getting restless with a swollen or a red eye. He might occasionally rub his paws against his eyes in an effort to ease the discomfort. Never ignore such a condition in your pet. You never know if it is a kind of interim allergic reaction or the first signs of a terminal eye disease. Various infectious ocular eye problems start with red and sensitive eyes. Usually a few drops of eye medicine might help in treating the problem. Otherwise, major eye surgeries need to be performed if the infection is severe. Below, we have listed the various eye diseases that generally occur in dogs.

Conjunctivitis
This disease is characterized by itching, due to swollen mucous membranes of the eyes. Increased blood flow makes the eyes appear red and swollen. Different viruses and bacteria transmit this disease. Ticks may also carry certain parasites that give birth to conjunctivitis. Eye discharge is generally clear or mucus-ridden, depending on the severity of the condition.

Keratitis
Chronic Superficial 'Keratitis' or 'Degenerative Pannus' is an ophthalmic disorder that causes pigmentation and formation of superficial blood vessels on the eyes. If left untreated for a long time, it might lead to decrease in the visionary level of the animal. Though not painful, a thick ropy discharge is seen in severe cases. Sometimes, Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca also gives birth to this disease.

Cherry Eye
This disease is mostly seen in young dogs and is characterized by a prolapse of the gland of the third eyelid. Here, the gland protrudes and gets inflamed. Generally, if one eye catches the disease, the other eye gets easily vulnerable to the problem. In such cases, surgical replacement of the gland becomes a necessity to get rid of the disease.

Scleritis
Here, the outer cover of the eyeball (sclera) gets inflamed. It generally involves only one eye. A red, swollen and hard cyst-like structure can be seen on the infected eye. Various parasitic diseases like 'Toxoplasmosis' or 'Lyme Disease' lead to Scleritis. It can be cured with the help of steroids. But, in severe cases, the disease might also lead to permanent loss of eyesight.

Uveitis
This disease can be very painful, and might be the result of harmful parasitic disease like 'Toxoplasmosis'. Here, the entire uveal tract, or a part of it, gets infected and inflamed. Signs of the disease include moist and sensitive eyes, eyelid spasms and small pupils. This ocular disease is also common in humans and might lead to damaged vision, if left untreated for a long time.

Glaucoma
This is a serious eye disorder that requires immediate medical supervision. It occurs when the free flow of eye fluids is obstructed. Thus, a huge amount of pressure builds up in the eyeball and gives rise to cloudy pupils and swollen red eyes. The situation, if not controlled immediately, leads to damaged retina and optic nerve and might even result in the removal of the infected eye.

Cataract
Cataract is caused due to the presence of white opacities in the lens of the eye. The disease can either be congenital or acquired after birth. Sometimes, conditions like 'Diabetes Mellitus' also leads to cataract. The disease might also be acquired due to various infections, injuries or radiation therapies. Acute cases of cataract might impair vision. Surgery is unavoidable in most cases.

Blepharitis
Blepharitis is a serious condition, characterized by infected, red and swollen eyelids. Various signs include puffy eyelids, sensitive eyes, spasm of eyelid, abscesses, scales and a thick discharge from the eyes. Hormonal disorders, nutritional imbalance, chemical reactions, parasitic infections and even insect bites may lead to the problem.

Watery Eyes
A dog might also suffer from various eye infections due to certain abnormalities in the growth of the eyelashes. Sometimes, the eyelashes turn inward and constantly rub on the surface of the eye. This condition is known as 'Entropion'. Sometimes, two lashes may grow from a single hair follicle (Districhiasis) and the extra lash may be a cause of severe eye irritation. All this leads to watery eyes.

If you notice any of these eye problems in your dog, immediately consult your veterinarian. Prolonging diagnosis and surgery result in irreversible ocular damages in most of these cases.