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Dog eye tumor

Canine Eye Tumor

Dog eye tumors usually develop on the eyelids.

These growths tend to develop in middle aged to older dogs and a majority of such tumors are found to be benign. Eyelid tumors may originate suddenly from the glands present around the eyelid. The recommended treatment is surgical removal of the tumors. The dog may experience difficulty in blinking due to the formation of dog eyelid tumors.

Irritation may also occur as the tumor rubs against the cornea. Growing canine eyelid tumors are often associated with conditions such as conjunctivitis and excessive discharge from the eyes. Signs to watch out for when detecting eyelid tumors include increased tearing, reddish areas on the eyelid, swelling or growths on the surface or along the margin of the eyelid, ocular discharge, reddened eyes, cloudiness, excessive blinking, mild bleeding from the eyelid and repeated rubbing or pawing at the eye.

Diagnostic tests may be done by the veterinarian to identify the type of growth and decide on the course of treatment.

For this, your veterinarian may recommend thorough ophthalmic testing including examination of the cornea, conjunctiva, frontal chamber and eyelids. Bacterial cultures of the eye may also need to be obtained. A tissue biopsy of the eyelid mass and chest x-ray is also advisable to check for spread of the tumor. Surgical removal of the eyelid tumors is usually curative. For removal of larger tumors, reconstructive surgery may also be required after the removal so that the tissue and skin of the eyelid can remain intact. In some cases, cryotherapy may be done which is essentially freezing of the mass. In case of large and widespread tumors, surgical removal of the eye may become necessary. The skin of the forehead and face is then close permanently.

In case a swelling or growth is detected on the dog’s eyelid, it is important to consult a veterinarian immediately.  In case there are accompanying symptoms such as tearing, excessive blinking and redness, immediate examination of the eye is necessary. Eye discharge may be wiped gently using a moist and warm cloth. The dog must be prevented from rubbing at the affected eyelid. Until surgical removal is performed, certain lubricating ointments may be prescribed to relive discomfort. Dogs with white or pink eyelid margins that are exposed to increased sun exposure are prone to developing squamous cell carcinoma. Reducing the amount of sun exposure in these dogs will help to limit the risk of eyelid tumors.

  Submitted on April 6, 2010  

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