Eye infections and diseases are a common concern in pets and can be a result of an allergy or a genetic condition. At Animal Trust, we treat hundreds of pets each year with an eye complaint.
There are several signs which may indicate that your dog or cat needs their eyes examined by a vet, including red or inflamed eyes, swollen skin around the eye area, scratching their eyes, pus or excessive tears leaking from the eye, and cloudiness of the eye area.
Types of eye surgery we provide
There are many kinds of eye conditions that can affect both dogs and cats, each of which requires surgical treatment to improve your pet’s wellbeing. An estimation of prices for each surgery can be found on our prices page.
Also known as prolapse of the Nictitans gland in a dog’s third eyelid, Cherry Eye is a relatively common condition. The condition appears as a red, swollen mass at the corner of the eye closest to the nose.
To correct the condition and relieve your pet of its symptoms, surgery is the preferred treatment option. This involves replacing the gland into a pocket in the 3rd eyelid and sometimes anchoring the 3rd eyelid gland to the orbit. Dog breeds commonly affected by cherry eye include Bulldogs, Pugs and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.
Entropion is a medical condition that causes an animal’s eyelids to roll inwards. The inward rolling of the hairs can cause painful abrasions and ulcers to the surface of the eye. Left untreated, the condition can result in blindness. Surgery to correct entropion can include a temporary ‘tacking’ of the affected eyelids in puppies, through to surgically removing some of the excess tissue in adult animals. Common dog breeds affected include Shar-Peis and Bulldogs.
Ectropion is where the eyelids roll outwards. It is typically less of a problem than Entropion, but surgery may be required in complex cases, e.g., St Bernards or Spaniels with extreme droopy eyelids to remove the extra skin and make them smaller.
It is common for middle-aged and older animals to grow warts or small tumours in the eyelid margin. As the animal grows, these can start to bother them or even rub on the eye. These lumps are removed surgically by taking out a small wedge and careful closure to maintain a smooth eyelid margin.
Larger lumps can be trickier as the eyelid must be kept functional to prevent damage to the eye itself. A combination of delicate surgery and sometimes advancement of surrounding tissues on the face to fill any defects is used.
Costs for wart/tumour removal can vary depending on the size. We recommend for your pet to attend a free consultation and one of our vets can examine the concern.
Distichiasis is when extra hairs grow out of your pet’s eyelash area. Some of these extra hairs can irritate the eye, leading to corneal ulceration. The severity depends on the location, number and length of the extra hairs. Common dog breeds affected include; Cocker Spaniels, English bulldogs and Golden Retrievers.
Treatment is carried out under general anaesthetic and involves surgery to remove the hair follicles if the problem is localised to one area. Cryosurgery is used to freeze the eyelid margin where there are multiple extra hairs. Several treatments may be required to ensure the hairs do not continue to grow back.
Enucleation involves surgically removing the eyeball. While this may sound like a drastic measure, the procedure is recommended in cases of severe trauma or cancer of the eye area, glaucoma and perforated corneal ulcers. Left to deteriorate, these conditions can lead to significant pain and blindness for the animal.
The procedure is performed when medical treatment options have failed to relieve the pet of their pain and symptoms. Brachycephalic (flat-faced) dog breeds such as Bulldogs and Pugs are most prone to trauma and ulceration due to their bulging eyes.
Retrobulbar abscesses often occur due to infection or foreign material entering behind the eye from the eye or mouth. These will often be treated using antibiotics and lancing from within the mouth under general anaesthetic. CT scans and ultrasound scans are useful for diagnosing these masses and finding any foreign material.
Corneal ulcers are very painful. Most pets will respond well to antibiotic creams or drops and gel to aid comfort and pain relief. Sometimes we can use your pet’s own serum (made from their blood) to help treat deep or infected ulcers. However, corneal ulcers that are very deep or are healing slowly or poorly may need surgery.
Boxer dogs are particularly prone to non-healing or recurrent ulcers due to a defect in the cornea, meaning it cannot heal properly. Surgery can involve removing the dead or poorly healing layer of corneal tissue (grid keratectomy) or a corneal graft, where a thin piece of the conjunctiva is sutured into the defect.
Eye conditions and infections can cause severe discomfort to a pet if left to deteriorate over a period of time. That’s why at Animal Trust, we offer free consultations with a vet to everyone as we don’t want you to delay having your animal’s condition diagnosed and treated properly.
Take a look at our prices page for more information on our treatments.