Different eye diseases in dogs

Posted on October 08 2018

Different eye diseases in dogs

The diseases of the eye are of various natures, with more or less severe consequences for the dogs. Here are the main canine eye conditions and their characteristics.

There are a number of disorders that can affect the eyes of dogs . Canine eye diseases are, for the most part, quite close to ours. Severity levels are highly variable  : some are benign, while others can be much more severe, leading to partial or total blindness of the animal. The origins of these eye diseases in dogs are also very diverse, which can be congenital or acquired . In all cases, the earlier the diagnosis , the greater the chances of recovery .


It corresponds to the partial or total opacification of the lens . The latter is a convergent lens located inside the eye. Cataracts can be original hereditary , with predispositions to disease in some breeds such as American Cockers or Husky . It can also be consecutive to a trauma or another illness (diabetes, senile degeneration ...).

If it is spotted early and taken care of quickly, it can be effectively treated. Otherwise, the risk of the dog losing sight is great.


It is a degenerative condition of the optic nerve resulting in a gradual loss of visual ability of the dog, from the periphery to the central area of ​​the eye. Glaucoma is the result of an increase in intraocular pressure , itself caused by the accumulation of aqueous humor. The treatment of glaucoma, which involves relieving intraocular pressure medically or by surgery, must be done as soon as possible. Its consequences are irreversible.


It is an inflammation of the uvea , an intermediate pigmentary region of the eye. Uveitis is often the cause of other eye conditions: conjunctivitis, corneal edema, iridian edema, and so on. The treatment of uveitis is to treat as much its cause as its characteristic symptom (inflammation).

Entropion and ectropion

When the free edge of the eyelid curls inwards, we speak of entropion . And when it winds out, we are dealing with an ectropion .

The St. Bernard is one of the breeds of dogs with a predisposition to these diseases. At the same time, traumatic causes are also observed, as is the involvement of aging, especially with regard to entropion. In either case, a blepharoplasty (surgical procedure to eliminate the abnormality of the eyelid) is needed to achieve a lasting cure.

Dislocation of the lens

It corresponds to the partial or total rupture of the ligament ensuring the retention of the lens. A hereditary malformation can be at the origin of this affection, with known predispositions in the Jack Russell Terrier or the Fox Terrier , for example.

The dislocation of the lens may also result from another ocular disease (glaucoma, tumor, trauma ...). It must be managed quickly because it can promote the development of glaucoma or aggravate it.

Eyelashes abnormally oriented

A situation or problematic eyelash orientation can lead to corneal lesions , conjunctivitis or other types of complications. We speak of distichiasis when eyelashes are implanted abnormally on the inner edge of the eyelid, while being oriented normally. It is trichiasis  when the eyelashes are implanted correctly, but oriented towards the cornea.

Finally, eyelashes are called ectopic when they are incorrectly implanted on the conjunctiva of the inner side of the eyelid and oriented towards the cornea. The English Bulldog , the Pekingese and the Yorkshire Terrier are among the breeds predisposed to these 3 types of anomalies. Surgery is required in most cases.


It corresponds to an inflammation of the conjunctivae of the inner face of the eyelids, those partially covering the eyeball or the nictitating membrane . The causes can be parasitic, allergic or irritative. Red eye, edema around the cornea and tearing are the most common manifestations.

The mildest forms of conjunctivitis cure on their own, but symptoms must be managed through antiseptic, astringent, anti-inflammatory and antibiotic treatments.

The affections of the retina

The retina is also not spared from eye diseases affecting dogs. The latter can suffer from a detachment of the retina  : the 2 leaves of the retina are disjoined for various reasons (genetic origin, consecutive to other diseases or without identified cause).

Just as ARP ( progressive atrophy of the retina ) can occur, corresponding to a degeneration of photoreceptors. PRA causes night vision loss in dogs aged 1 to 5 years, and then totally blinds them at 5 to 8 years of age. The Tibetan Terrier and the Poodle are among the breeds predisposed to PRA.

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