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Corneal diseases in dogs

Corneal Diseases in Dogs

Corneal diseases in dogs usually find their onset during late adulthood.

Almost all corneal diseases in dogs are of a progressive nature. These diseases may be inherited, or may occur due to the natural processes of ageing. Corneal dystrophy, one of the most common corneal diseases in dogs, can affect both the eyes of a dog. In this disease, the cornea, which is the outermost, clear layer right in front of the eye, is affected.

This disease is very common in dogs and is not associated with any other disease.
Depending on where the cell formation is affected, corneal dystrophy can be classified into various segments. Epithelial corneal dystrophy, stromal corneal dystrophy, and endothelial corneal dystrophy are the three main kinds of corneal dystrophy and corneal diseases in dogs. In corneal diseases in dogs, symptoms largely depend on the kind of corneal dystrophy that the dog is suffering from.

Some of the symptoms that you may be able to observe include corneal spasms, formation of irregular opaque rings around the cornea, reduced vision as the opacity begins to diffuse into the eyes, swelling of the cornea, and formation of purulent blisters in the corneal layer. In advanced stages, corneal diseases in dogs can impair vision or cause blindness.

Corneal diseases cannot always be prevented. If you are wondering how to prevent corneal diseases in dogs, it may be worthwhile to notice that most corneal diseases are inherited. There are certain breeds that are more susceptible to corneal diseases than others. Dog breeds such as Afghan hounds, beagles, bearded collies, cocker spaniels, German shepherds, mastiffs, Lhasa Apso, whippets, Siberian huskies, chihuahuas, and dachshunds are more susceptible to this disease. For corneal diseases in dogs, treatment depends mostly on the causes of the disease. If there are any innate degenerative anomalies in the cornea of the dog, it may eventually cause the corneal disease. Age-related degeneration of the corneal lining cannot be treated or prevented. The veterinarian usually performs a thorough check on the dog. A physical examination is usually followed with an ophthalmic exam. There is a urinalysis, an electrolyte panel, a chemical profile of the blood and a complete blood count. Apart from these tests, the diagnosis could require a slit lamp microscopy using a non-evasive dye and a tonometer to check for pressure inside the eye and look for possible glaucoma. The tonometer would essentially be used if there is swelling in the corneal lining of the eye.

  Submitted on February 15, 2011  

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