Eye Disorders in Pets: Understanding and avoiding them


Our loyal companions are extremely expressive in nature. The love and affection they hold for us in their hearts are evident from the sudden shine in their eyes as they watch us return back to the house following work hours or a trip to the local shopping store. Sadly, there are certain vile threats and illnesses which deprive our furry munchkins of the gift of eyesight rendering them partially blind.

It is necessary to give such threats the importance they deserve and tackle them effectively as the inability to do so could prove fatal. Loss of vision and impaired eyesight is extremely critical for another reason as well i.e. being unable to communicate effectively. The two are certainly interconnected as eyes can indicate a lot of emotions ranging from happiness to sorrow considering their inability to speak like humans. Let’s take a look at the different eye disorders which our pets are forced to face on a regular basis:


  • Retinal Dysplasia:

The term refers to a form of eye disorder which is initially noticeable in case of puppies that are almost 6 weeks of age. In such cases, the retina seems to appear in layers of folded tissues rather than flat which you can diagnose usually with the help of an ophthalmoscope. Retinal dysplasia usually involves a scenario where the layer of retinal tissue and cells are not developed properly.

The disorder is usually common amongst several different breeds of dogs which include Cocker Spaniels, Doberman Pinscher, Cocker Spaniels, Beddington Terriers. However, this disorder is not restricted to these breeds and can be inherited as well.

It is impossible to detect the disease as there are no symptoms involved with puppies affected to a major extent, capable of being rendered partially or totally blind. Sadly, there is no treatment involved at the same time for this disorder.

  • Persistent Pupillary Membrane:

Such a disorder involves the formation of a papillary membrane for a development which is correlated with the growth of the fetus. With the development of the eye of the normal fetus, certain blood vessels remain present inside the eye simply in the early stages of development going on to lose their function and deteriorate. However, in certain cases where the deterioration is incomplete in nature, small strands of abnormal tissues may be left inside the eye attaching to the cornea or a lens. Sadly, it is impossible to treat such an illness which affects dogs.

  • Hepatitis Blue Eye

The disease involves the formation of corneas which are cloudy in nature. This hazy, cloudy formation is caused due to an Adenovirus Type 1 infection. The infection is quite severe in nature and affects the liver of dogs across all age groups. The effect on the liver of the pet results in the

‘Blue eye’ i.e. a term used to describe cloudy corneas as a result of an adenovirus type 1 infection. The infection has been observed amongst dogs of all age groups which makes it all the more dangerous. Usually, the liver of the dog is affected; hence the name hepatitis has been used to coin the disease as “Hepatitis Blue Eye”.

  • Microphthalmia:

    The condition involves a decrease in the size of the eyeball with the internal structure abnormal at the same time. Microphthalmia is usually observed in case of breeds like Cavalier King Cocker Spaniels, Labrador Retrievers, Dachshunds. The disease can be transmitted to newborns as well from their mothers due to medications received during pregnancy.


  • Corneal ulceration:

    It is referred to as a break or scratch in the cornea which may be caused due to viruses like feline herpes along with other upper respiratory symptoms. Certain respiratory symptoms which have been identified include eye discharge, light sensitivity. Usually, treatment involves antibiotics as well as other forms of medication demanding dosage on several occasions in a day with surgery necessary in serious cases.

  • Cataracts:

    Though rare in nature, cataracts which appear as a clouding of the eye lens can prove to be extremely lethal in nature. In such cases, the victim can suffer impairment of vision leading to blindness due to blockage of transmission of light to the retina. It is difficult to prevent such a disorder but the condition can be treated to a certain extent. Cataracts which are spontaneous or inherited are removable in nature while no medical treatment is available for other forms of cataract based disorders.

Such eye disorders need to be negotiated at the earliest in order to safeguard the health of pets. Proper information can guide us effectively in taking concrete steps towards preventing any mishap.