Signs Your Dog Needs To See A Veterinary Ophthalmology Specialist

Most veterinarians have a vast, broad knowledge and are able to treat an array of ailments, from those that affect the joints to those that affect the teeth. Your ordinary vet should also be able to treat minor and common eye problems, such as a minor eye infection or eyelid injury. But for more involved eye care, you may want to seek out a vet who specializes in treating the eyes. These specialists are known as veterinary ophthalmology specialists. Here are some signs that your dog needs to see one.

Chronic Dry Eye

Are your dog's eyes often red and irritated? Your dog may itch them regularly, but you rarely see them tear. Chances are, your dog has chronic dry eye. This condition can have many causes. Sometimes it's caused by an allergy. Other times, it may be the result of an autoimmune condition that has begun to affect the tear ducts. If left untreated, dry eye can leave a dog prone to corneal abrasions from all of the itching. They may also develop an eye infection if those abrasions are exposed to bacteria. A veterinary ophthalmology specialist is your best bet for figuring out what is causing your dog's chronic eye dryness so you can treat it most effectively.

Corneal Ulcers

Has your dog developed what looks like a sore or hole on the surface of their eye? Discovering such a problem can be scary. Usually, owners assume the ulcer is due to an injury, but it can also be caused by certain viruses and bacteria. In either case, it is a cause for serous concern. Your dog should see a specialist right away. They may need to temporarily suture the eyelids closed so that the eye can be left to heal without risk of contamination. Your dog will probably be prescribed antibiotic and steroid eye drops, too. In some cases, the eye may need to be removed; this is also something an ophthalmology specialist can handle for you.

Cloudy Eyes

If your dog's eye or eyes begin to look cloudy, this is another good reason to take them to the veterinary ophthalmology specialist. Often, clouded eyes are a sign of cataracts, which are common in older dogs. The lens of the eye thickens as the proteins that comprise it begin to change structure abnormally. There is no cure for cataracts, but they can be managed with special eye drops, and when they become too severe, your veterinary specialist can perform surgery to replace your dog's clouded lenses with artificial ones — if you so desire.

Seek the help of a veterinary specialist if your dog develops any of the conditions above. Your ordinary vet should be able to give you a referral to someone in the area.