Eye problems affecting Labrador Retrievers
It is quite normal for a Labrador Retriever to experience eye problems. Here are some of the many eye problems that could affect your Labrador Retriever.
When you wake up, do you sometimes find something in your eyes especially in the corners? You may find a crusty discharge called "sleepers". This discharge is a result of the eye's natural self-cleaning efforts. The presence of sleepers is natural to humans as well as to dogs. However, if the discharge is watery, discolored or bloody, then it's not normal and it could be a sign of eye disease.
Eye discharge may be caused by an obstruction of the tear drainage caused by an abnormal tear duct or a tear in theopenings. Abnormal production of tears by the tear glands may also result to eye discharge. Other causes of eye discharge are diseases like keratitis, conjunctivitis, blepharitis, corneal ulcers, glaucoma, lens luxation, keratoconjunctivitis sicca or uveitis.
If you see this problem with your dog you should clean the eye gently with a warm moist cloth. Visit your vet immediately for accurate diagnosis and proper medication.
Certain dog breeds are more prone to cataracts than others although it could affect all breeds, ages and sizes.
Cataracts is a disease affecting the lens of the eye. In a normal eye, the lens should be clear, and the opacity within a lens is an indication of cataracts. The opacity can be very small and may not affect the vision or can involve more of the lens causing blurred vision. The entire lens may also become cloudy causing lost of vision.
Cataracts in dogs are usually inherited. It may develop quickly or slowly and may affect one or both eyes. A Labrador Retriever may develop cataracts as earlier as six months. Aside from being hereditary, cataracts may also be the result of trauma such as automobile accident, penetration of a thorn, shotgun pellet or other objects that could damage the lens. Diabetes mellitus can also cause the development of cataracts.
Treatment of cataracts usually consist of surgery. But as much as possible, diabetic animals, aggressive animals or animals in poor health condition should not undergo surgery. Ask your vet for proper treatment of cataracts with these dogs.
Distichiasis is an eye related problem in which there is growth of extra eyelashes (cilia) from the glands of either upper or lower eyelid. These eyelashes called distichia may rub on the cornea irritating the eye causing tearing, squinting, inflammation, scarring and corneal ulcers.
Other signs of distichiasis include blood vessel accumulation, pigmentation or dark coloring of the cornea and corneal ulceration. A thorough inspection of the eye is done to check for the presence of distichiasis. There are also other tests that can be performed to help diagnose Distichiasis- the Schirmer tear test to check tear production of the eyes and the Fluorescein staining of the cornea to detect any corneal abrasions or ulcers.
In conclusion - it is important to treat any unusual eye issues with caution and with advice and direction from your vet. Just as with your eyes, you only have one pair so taking good care of them is extremely important. Your dog depends on you for his care and it is your responsibility to ensure your furry friend is well cared for.