Eye injury in dogs, or ocular trauma, has two main causes which are either blunt injuries or sharp injuries to the dog’s eye. Each injury depends on the force that caused the injury to the eye. Eye injury in dogs also includes orbital injuries, lens capsule injuries, hyphema, sclera, conjunctiva, abrasions and laceration to the eyelids and cornea and penetration of the eye or cornea.
Blunt injuries to the eyes of dogs occur when the injury to the eye is sustained by a dull or flat object hitting the dog’s eye. The contact made to the eye by the dull or flat object can injure the eye without the object penetrating the eye. The injury the eye can sustain from this blow can vary from proptosis, which is, according to www.dog-health- guide.com “forward displacement of the eye from the bony eye socket,” to luxation, which is displacement of the lens, to hyphemia, which occurs when there is bleeding in the eye’s front chamber. Other blunt injuries to the eye are bone fractures, detachment of the retina and the eye itself can be ruptured and can collapse. Sharp injuries to the dog’s eye occur when the injury is caused by an object that pierces, or is jagged or pointed and that comes into contact with the eye, causing damage. This type of injury is caused by items such as cat claws, briars, sticks, sharp toys and even little objects in the air.
Minor symptoms of eye injuries in dogs are squinting, blinking, tearing or an eye that is red or cloudy. There may be some bleeding coming from the dog’s eye or the eyelid, the dog may have a bruised head and/or face, the dog’s third eyelid may protrude out and the dog may paw at the eye. Major symptoms of eye injuries in dogs include the dog being in extreme pain and the dog may also show that it does not want it’s head touched by anyone or anything. Dogs may also close their eyes and/or squint more than usual and there may be a noticeable increase in the discharge that comes from it’s eye. Other major symptoms of eye injuries in dogs include a noticeable color change of the dog’s eye, the cornea may become cloudy and the white of the eye may become red. the dog may also appear lethargic, it may not eat or drink and there may be signs of trauma to other parts of it’s body.
Diagnosis by a licensed veterinarian should occur as soon as possible if the dog owner suspects that their dog may have an injury to it’s eye. The veterinarian will generally begin the diagnosis with a physical exam of the dog and by taking some medical history on the dog. Then an ophthalmic exam will be performed on the dog’s eye. The veterinarian may also administer a neurological exam, an ultrasound exam of the dog’s eye and an x-ray of the dog’s skull. A computerized tomography may also be used.
Treatment of eye injuries in dogs will usually depend on how bad the eye injury is, but can include either just medical attention or medical attention and surgery to stabilize the injury. The owner of the dog should take the dog to the veterinarian as soon as possible, especially if this is a serious injury, but if that is not possible immediately, the dog owner can do a few things to comfort the dog and to prevent the injury from getting any worse. The owner should keep the dog confined and calm and should keep the dog from rubbing the injured eye. Over-the-counter medications should not be given to the injured dog.