The Five Most Common Eye Problems in Pets

Dog eye problems.

Pet owners spend a lot of time gazing into their pet’s eyes. It’s like we can feel the human-animal bond revitalized and reconnected each and every time we sustain meaningful eye contact. This amount of attention is great because if any issues start to affect our pet’s eyes, we can spot them straight away. The five most common eye problems in pets might never affect your best friend, but knowing exactly what to look for can lead to early intervention and effective treatment.

Where’d You Get Those Peepers?

Your pet’s most prominent facial features are likely to be among your favorites. They look intently at you and convey so many emotions. Because of this, it’s essential to take extra good care of those beautiful peepers. 

At your pet’s routine wellness exam, we take a close look at their eyes. We make sure their vision isn’t impaired and that the functions of the eyes are working well. After all, the eyes act as windows into the whole body’s overall wellness.

Here’s Looking At You

You might notice a sudden change to your pet’s eyes that you can’t necessarily connect to an obvious illness or injury. Some eye issues can resolve independently. However, an exam and testing can pinpoint exactly what’s wrong. 

Certain pet breeds may have a genetic predisposition for eye problems, so exams are especially important for breeds that are more likely to have ocular issues. 

Know the Score

Common eye problems in pets can cause the following symptoms that must be quickly addressed:

  • Enlarged (dilated) pupils
  • Excessive tearing or watery-looking eyes
  • Strange appearance to the eyes, including size difference or cloudiness
  • Ongoing rubbing, scratching or pawing of the eyes
  • Swelling
  • Squinting
  • Redness
  • Discharge

Eye problems in pets can be painful, and some can lead to partial or complete blindness. Since they depend on their eyes to get around their environment without incident, it’s critical to take eye problems in pets very seriously. 

Five Common Eye Problems in Pets

Of all the possible issues facing cats and dogs, the following five common eye problems in pets should always be handled promptly:

  1. Conjunctivitis can be caused by a virus or bacteria, but can also be the result of a secondary infection from allergies. Keratitis is characterized by corneal inflammation. 
  2. Dry eye disease (Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca) is diagnosed when a pet cannot adequately produce the film that covers the eye surface and the lining of the eyelids.
  3. Glaucoma, a condition caused by added pressure in the eye, may be diagnosed after a marked buildup of fluid and/or bulging in and around the eyes. This can be very painful to cats and dogs.
  4. Cataracts inhibit light from reaching the retina and appear to have a somewhat cloudy appearance.
  5. Cherry eye is a condition caused by swelling protruding from the third eyelid.

Because of the possibility of various issues, like ulcers, degeneration, cancers, wounds, scratches, strain, or infection in and around the eyes, it remains essential to have your pet’s eyes “seen to” on a regular basis. Diagnostics, medications, and even surgery can treat and even correct certain eye problems in pets. 

Our team understands the importance of your pet’s eye health. Please call us at (615) 646‑7387 with any questions or concerns.