Managing your pet’s dry eyes

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Filed under Pharmacy Blog

Dry eyes are more common in dogs than cats

My cat is extremely selfish, yet he is very much loved. As far as I’m concerned, because Midnight isn’t always trying to be something he’s not, that makes him wholly good and wholly loveable. He always follows his nature and that’s honesty at a very pure level. I was reading a book recently that was based around Eastern teachings that suggested the way to enlightenment is to completely give up desires. Halfway through the book I began questioning the concept or its feasibility, since wanting to give up desires is a desire in itself. I kept reading to see if the author had a suggestion and the theme of meditation came up. He suggested that I stare at a spot on the wall for as long as it takes to “clear the mind.” Two hours later my mind was still whirling, and my only thought was that my eyes had become so dry from staring at one spot for so long without blinking. I’m not giving up just yet on the whole ‘desire to decrease desires’ concept, but I do still have many questions; for example: does Midnight have dry eyes? Does he have to keep staring at things to reach enlightenment? I don’t have all the answers, but I know that Midnight always seems content and he’s always loved. Read More »

Treatments for dry eyes in dogs

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Filed under Pharmacy Blog

Certain breeds are predisposed to getting dry eyes

For many years I have suffered from dry and red eyes. I often get asked if I have been crying or if I was up late. The response is always the same, “I have light, sensitive eyes and I’m particularly vulnerable to getting red eyes, especially during the time of year when the pollen count is high.” Dry eyes occur in pets as well, and it occurs when there isn’t enough lubricant released from the eye glands to keep the eye moist. Natural tears not only contain soothing ingredients they also contain antibodies to help fight against potential infection. Read More »

Stop your pet’s tear stains in their tracks!

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Filed under New Pet Products at PetMeds

Tear stains are caused by  is caused by excessive tear production or insufficient tear drainage

If your pretty, white pet has tear stains, you know just how annoying those stains can be.  Those stubborn red stains that appear under your pet’s eyes are from a condition called epiphora. Epiphora, an overflow of tears, is caused by excessive tear production or insufficient tear drainage. Over time, your pet’s tears start to accumulate under the eye and cause the reddish staining. Not only does it cause staining, but it can also cause bacteria to build up under the eye and cause irritation. Read More »

Disease detection with photographs–a photo may be worth more than a thousand words

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Filed under Pharmacy Blog

Certain breeds are more susceptible to primary glaucoma

Since I was ten years old I have enjoyed taking photographs. Whether I was at middle school, high school, or when I went away to college I always had my camera next to me ready to be used at any moment’s notice. I remember the days when I would spend hours and hours under the light of a 25 watt small red bulb developing black and white photographs in my make-shift darkroom at my parents’ house. My middle school “shop” teacher who introduced me to photography had once explained to me that because black and white photographs don’t have “red” in them, it is somewhat safe to have a red light on during the development phase. That’s why it’s more fun to develop black and white prints rather than color ones since color processing has to be done in complete pitch blackness. Read More »

“Keratoconjunctivitis,” a Big Word for “Dry Eye”

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Filed under Pharmacy Blog

Keratoconjunctivitis is more common in certain breeds

Healthcare professionals seem to have their own language and are able to take a very simple concept and make it extremely complicated and difficult to understand. I suppose that provides a certain amount of job security. Today I will discuss a condition called KCS, “Keratoconjunctivitis sicca” which is complicated medical language for “dry eyes.”

KCS is more common in dogs than cats and it occurs when the eye does not make enough tears to keep it lubricated. It is more common in breeds such as the Cocker Spaniel, English Bulldog, Lhasa Apso, and West Highland Terrier. KCS may also be caused as a side-effect of certain medications such as sulfamethoxazole and other sulfonamides. Read More »

Dangerous but Treatable ― Don’t Look Away From Eye Inflammation

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Filed under Pharmacy Blog

Cats and dogs have a reflective surface in the back of the eyes called the tapetum

Ever since I can remember I have been interested in taking photographs of the world around me. My first subject when I was about 8 was my baby brother who I used to chase around the house with my plastic Kodak 110 camera. A few years later when I got my first pet “Lynx” I would spend quite of bit of time chasing after him with the camera instead. I did get a lot of use out of that fist Kodak 110 camera and I have a lot of great memories that I captured with it.

When I used to look at the photographs that I had taken, I would notice something quite different however between the photographs of my brother and those of the cat. The pictures of Lynx more often than not seemed to have this glow to them at night. This allowed me to imagine the idea that our pet cat was a “ghost” and scared my brother and I enough to never allow our poor cat into our bedrooms at night. Back then I certainly had no idea that the eye of a cat and dog is a little different than that of humans and that behind the retina there is a reflective strip (tapetum) which causes the eye to glow green or yellow when light hits the eye at night. Read More »

Causes of Cloudy Eyes in Pets

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Filed under Dr. Dym's Vet Blog
There are many possible causes of cloudy eyes in pets

A concerning symptom seen in both dogs and cats is the appearance of cloudy eyes.  Dogs and cats suffer from many of the same eye diseases that people do, including viral/bacterial infections, corneal scratches/ulcers, foreign bodies in the eyes, glaucoma, cataracts, and various diseases of the middle and inner eyes and retinas. Many of these conditions can cause the development of cloudy eyes as part of the clinical presentation.

Other symptoms that often accompany cloudy eyes include red, squinty eyes that are sensitive to light or held closed, as well the development of various eye discharges. The treatment of cloudy eyes will depend upon a specific diagnosis from a full veterinary ophthalmic exam.  Because many of these eye conditions can be acute emergencies, it is important for animal guardians to understand that any pet with acutely severe or chronically cloudy eyes needs to be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible for the best treatment outcome.

Blepharitis in Pets

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Filed under Dr. Dym's Vet Blog

Blepharitis is defined as an inflammation of the eyelids

Blepharitis is defined as an inflammation of the eyelids, and most commonly affects the edge of the eyelids, as well as the eyelash hair follicles. Symptoms of blepharitis in pets include red and sometimes swollen eyelids sometimes accompanied with eye discharge.  Blepharitis can sometimes be painful and cause the eyelids to be held closed, especially when exposed to light.

Blepharitis can have many causes. The most common cause in pets is due to bacterial infection of the eyelids, typically a staph bacteria, which can commonly cause an infection of the glands along the eyelids. Other causes of blepharitis include allergic contact dermatitis to molds, dander, pollens, etc, as well as seborrheic blepharitis, which is due to an excess oil production by sebaceous glands.

Treatment of blepharitis will depend upon the specific underlying causes and may include topical antibiotics, as well as oral antibiotics and anti-inflammatory allergic medications including antihistamines and sometimes low doses of Prednisone if infection is not predominant. Prognosis for cure of blepharitis is excellent, as long as these underlying predisposing factors are addressed and corrected.

National Service Dog Eye Examination Month

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Filed under Dr. Dym's Vet Blog

Every pet should have a complete eye exam at least once yearly.

May is National Service Dog Eye Examination Month. As part of a complete medical exam, every dog should have a complete ophthalmologic or eye exam as well. This often involves special instruments known as a direct and indirect ophthalmoscope, which are special hand held instruments needed for a thorough and complete eye exam. Veterinarians will also often first check to see if adequate tears are being produced in the eyes, as well as whether any scratches or ulcers on the cornea are present. Using the ophthalmoscope, the veterinarian will be able to look into the middle and back chambers of the eye, as well as check the health of the retina located at the back of the eye.

Very often topical anesthetic drops are placed on the eye, so that the veterinarian may check for glaucoma using a special device called a tonometer, which gives the doctor an accurate measurement of the intraocular pressure. Symptoms of common eye problems may include squinting of the eye, redness of the eye, as well as changes in the pupil size.  In certain diseases of the eye, swelling and/or pain may also be present, as well as in some cases a sunken in appearance may also appear. If these signs are noted, it is important to have a veterinary evaluation as soon as possible. Every pet should have a complete eye exam at least once yearly.

Uveitis in Pets

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Filed under Dr. Dym's Vet Blog

Uveitis can occur in both dogs and cats

Uveitis is defined as an inflammation of the inner structures or uvea of the eye, and may include inflammation of the iris, ciliary body and choroids. This condition occurs in both dogs and cats. Clinical signs of uveitis may include squinting and redness of the eyes, inflammation of the cornea or covering of the eyes, as well as the finding of narrowed or constricted pupils. This inflammation is usually mediated by some sort of vascular damage to the eye, which can occur secondary to many diseases.  Many of these diseases are systemic diseases of the rest of the body.

Some of these causes may include viral/bacterial infections, cancer, trauma and immune mediated. Diagnosis of uveitis is only made through a proper veterinary ophthalmologic exam. Because of the many above possibilities, a full veterinary workup is usually indicated to determine the underlying cause of the uveitis.

Treatment as well as prognosis will vary depending upon the underlying cause. In many cases where infectious causes have been ruled out, many conventional veterinarians will manage these cases with topical steroid eye drops, and/or non-steroidal anti inflammatory eye drops.