Corneal Ulcer In Dogs: Tips And Treatments
The eyes are one of Organs most complex organs in the body. Because of this complexity, there are many pathological processes that can affect these structures. As you already know, the more complicated a thing is, the greater its susceptibility to damage. Among all the possible changes, today we are going to present one that stands out for its treacherous character: the corneal ulcer.
What is a corneal ulcer?
Regarding the structure of the eye, we know that it is externally covered by a structure called the cornea. Thus, a corneal ulcer is nothing more than a loss of continuity in this outer layer of the eyeball.
It is usually associated with severe discomfort or severe pain, depending on the extent of the injury. In addition, there is also inflammation, secretion, tearing and photophobia (fear of light), among other problems.
Preventive causes and tips
Mechanical causes are the most common for corneal ulcers. We can include trauma, burns or foreign bodies as external causative elements. As for anatomical changes, all those related to eyelid or eyelash problems are involved.
- Entropion: eyelid change in which the eyelid bends toward the eyeball.
- Ectopic eyelashes : when an eyelash is born in an abnormal area, producing friction in the eyeball.
- Dystikiasis : a congenital anomaly that causes the eyelashes to grow abnormally toward the inside of the eye, rather than turning outward.
On the other hand, there are also biological agents, among which are mainly viruses, which can cause this type of injury.
Knowing the main causes, we can focus on tips to prevent unpleasant corneal ulcers:
- Check his eyes frequently, especially after walks if our dog has come into contact with plants or bushes: it is possible that a foreign body has lodged in its eye socket, and the sooner it is removed, the less damage will be. It may be a good idea to bring some saline or water so that, if that happens, you can do a thorough eye wash.
- Resolve anatomical changes whenever possible: early surgical resolution will avoid the ensuing consequences.
- Double the precautions whenever we are handling potentially dangerous products. Some examples are working in workshops where metal chips or sparks are produced, or handling bleach or other chemicals at home. In these cases, we must take precautions to prevent the dog from passing through the place.
Corneal Ulcer Treatment
Despite these tips, if the animal is unlucky enough to develop an ulcer, it is necessary to seek out the veterinarian for immediate treatment.
The therapeutic measures, in general terms, are as follows:
- Undoubtedly, to eliminate the cause, in the first place: removal of the foreign body, solution of the causing anatomical alteration or cleaning of any corrosive agent, among other procedures.
- Reducing pain: as this process can be very painful, it is vitally important to provide your pet with as much comfort as possible. Thus, an anti-inflammatory and analgesic treatment will be applied, which can be topical, in the form of eye drops, or systemic.
- In these situations, it is essential to keep your eyes protected from the dog itself. Despite medication, they often rub their eyes, which can make the situation worse. In these cases, it will be useful to use the Elizabethan necklace to avoid complications in the process.
- Antibiotic therapy: the use of antibiotics is recommended because, although the ulcer is traumatic in origin, there are usually secondary infections.
- Surgery: In certain cases of extensive, deep or long-lasting ulcers, surgical intervention may be necessary.
So, as you can see, the issue of corneal ulcers is quite complex. It is one of the eye diseases that veterinarians face most often.
All in all, we hope these tips will be helpful to you and, in the face of any unusual symptoms in your dog’s eyes, don’t hesitate to contact your trusted veterinarian. With corneal ulcers, time is precious.