Owners urged to check their dogs’ eyes or risk them going blind

Owners are being urged to check their dogs’ eyes or risk them going blind.

Dry eyes is a common condition that can lead to infections, ulcers and even eyes being removed – but only half of ­owners are aware of it.

Nicole Paprotny, 30, had to have both her pet’s eyes removed after he was diagnosed.

Nicole said: “It was ­heartbreaking. It was a last resort to get my happy ­puppy back.”

The first symptom her ­labrador boxer cross Scully showed was conjunctivitis. Despite various treatments, he stopped producing tears.

He had ­surgery to direct his salivary glands to his eyes but this failed so he lost his left eye. Then, two months later, the condition hit his right eye.

Nicole, a vet nurse from Tranent, near Edinburgh, chose to lose the eye rather than have him put to sleep.

She said: “Scully now navigates his way around home with his sense of smell and senses where ­obstacles are.”

One in five vulnerable breeds and one in 20 of all dogs suffer with dry eye at some stage in their life.

Symptoms include eyes appearing red and sore, repeated cases of ­conjunctivitis, excessive blinking or eye rubbing, discharge and eyes ­having a dry and dull appearance.

Trendy breeds such as pugs and bulldogs with eyes that pop out are more at risk, as are cocker and cavalier King Charles spaniels, westies, and pekingese pups

Pugs and pekingeses ­cannot fully shut their eyes so they dry out. Cavalier King Charles spaniels do not have tear glands and cocker spaniels are prone to an autoimmune disease that attacks the gland.

Chris Dixon, specialist at Veterinary Vision, is helping educate owners throughout July for Dry Eye Awareness Month.

He said: “Sadly if cases go ­unnoticed, dogs can develop long-term eye ­damage. Early diagnosis is essential.

“Your vet can do a simple test and if they are one of the predisposed breeds, they should get tested annually.”

Article by guest blogger Rachel. Read more here…

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