Jump to section

What are Strabismus?

You may notice that your dog’s eyes do not trace objects together and one or both are involuntarily going in different directions. Your dog will most likely not be in any pain or discomfort due to the strabismus, however underlying causes of his crossed eyes may cause him some other concerns or symptoms. 

While the condition is rare in dogs, strabismus is more common in certain breeds of dogs. The one thing to know right away is that while it may appear to be a large concern, there is no evidence that your dog will be in any pain or that his quality of life will suffer.

Strabismus is any abnormal position of your dog’s eyes. Typically, your dog’s eyes move together – left, right, up and down. This condition is more commonly known as lazy eye.

Capstar Flea Tablets for Dogs

wagwalking.com

Shop now
advertisement image

Strabismus Average Cost

From 245 quotes ranging from $500 - $10,000

Average Cost

$6,000

Symptoms of Strabismus in Dogs

The only symptom of this condition that you will notice is your dog’s eyes are looking in different directions. He may struggle to focus both eyes on the same item at one time. He may be in control of one eye, however, the other eye may deviate in a non-typical direction. One or both of his eyes may be impacted by strabismus. If his eye or eyes turn towards his nose he may be diagnosed as being cross eyed, and on the other end, if his eyes turn away from his nose it is called divergent strabismus. 

  • Lack of focus in eyes
  • Deviation of direction in the eye
arrow-up-icon

Top

Causes of Strabismus in Dogs

There are a few possible causes for your dog to develop strabismus. They are inherited/congenital cause, result of injury, or problems with his vestibular system (inner ear). 

Heredity

Certain breeds are prone to developing strabismus. These breeds inherit the weak muscles that cause the traveling eye and may have them at birth.

  • Pugs have been known to develop strabismus
  • Boston terriers tend to develop inherited strabismus 

There is some evidence that the following breeds are also at a higher risk of developing strabismus:

  • Irish Wolfhound
  • Shar Pei
  • Akita
  • Golden Retriever

Injury

Injuries caused to your dog’s eyes, head or the like that have injured his nerves in his eyes can result in a strabismus as a side effect afterward.

  • Head injury
  • Trauma to the eye
  • Falls
  • Car accidents

Vestibular Problems

If your dog has a problem with his vestibular system, this can also result in a strabismus. His vestibular system, just like that in humans, has a primary function of promoting balance. 

  • When your dog can not maintain his balance, his body may attempt to compensate for the sense of spinning and his eyes will move abnormally to adjust
  • Your dog may not want to jump on the bed and would rather sleep on the floor
  • The cause can be from inner ear infections, antibiotic side effects, thyroid issues and brain conditions 
  • However most of the time the cause is unknown
arrow-up-icon

Top

Diagnosis of Strabismus in Dogs

If you suspect your dog may be suffering from strabismus and are concerned, a visit to his veterinarian will be necessary. Prior to your visit, it will be important to note and identify any symptoms you may have been noticing in recent days, weeks, or months that may have concerned you. It will also be important to share with the veterinarian if there have been any accidents or trauma to your dog to explain his new symptoms.

Your veterinarian will want to perform a physical examination of your companion and will want to evaluate his eyes to determine what could be the cause of his eyes looking in different directions. Your veterinarian may want to run blood tests to rule out any underlying causes of the strabismus as well. Testing could also involve MRI or X-rays to see any further damage and underlying issues. However, there is not a standard test performed to formally diagnose strabismus. Rather your veterinarian will diagnose by elimination of other possible causes of the presenting problem.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Treatment of Strabismus in Dogs

Treatment for your dog will largely depend on the cause of his strabismus. Whether it is an inherited condition, or whether it was acquired via injury or a nerve disease, will determine the course of action taken to help him. 

Inherited

If your dog is found to have inherited strabismus and there are no other underlying conditions or trauma that could have caused his symptoms, your veterinarian will not recommend any treatment. It has been found that if your dog has the inherited strabismus no treatment is necessary and his quality of life should not suffer. Your dog will be able to adjust and you may be given exercises to try and strengthen his eye muscles.

These exercises involve having your dog track your finger as you hold it in front of his face and slowly move it in towards his nose. It can help increase his muscle strength in the weak eye but will take time. However, it is considered a cosmetic concern when it is inherited so there are no long-term effects to be concerned with. 

Acquired

If your dog acquired the strabismus with no injury or trauma known, your veterinarian will treat the underlying issue. Some of these issues can be inner ear injuries or infections which would be treated accordingly. Other issues can be nerve damage to his eyes which would need to be treated with anti-inflammatory medications. 

If your pet started getting his strabismus upon an injury, any immediate medical needs will be addressed first. After your dog is stabilized, your veterinarian will then discuss any further options for his strabismus if necessary. Medication can be prescribed for your dog if he is experiencing nausea due to his injuries or vestibular problems. A large part of treating his strabismus will be time and patience. 

Since most vestibular diseases are not life threatening to your dog, he will most likely compensate for his new symptoms but this will be where time and patience come into play. You will need to give him some time to adjust to his new world. Carrying him can cause him to take longer to recover from his symptoms and should be avoided for a while. Lastly, providing him with a lot of light so that he can use that for his own cues of distance, position and more will benefit his recovery as well.

arrow-up-icon

Top

Recovery of Strabismus in Dogs

Recovery time can be as little as 3 days and up to 14 days before he is adapting or getting back to his normal self. Once again if it is the result of an injury, his recovery time will be dependent on the severity of his injury. If it is inherited there will be no recovery time as your dog will adapt to this on his own.

Follow up will be discussed with your veterinarian and will depend on your dog’s needs. If there is any type of treatment in place via medication, she may ask you to come back or check in with them after a certain period. Your veterinarian will ask you to keep an eye on him for any further or new symptoms to be aware of.

Providing your dog with space and some possible adaptations as recommended by your veterinarian will be beneficial to him. He should make a full recovery and will adapt to his new sensory input within a few weeks. Keeping him safe and his environment comfortable will help with his recovery as well.

arrow-up-icon

Top

*Wag! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Items are sold by the retailer, not Wag!.

Strabismus Average Cost

From 245 quotes ranging from $500 - $10,000

Average Cost

$6,000

arrow-up-icon

Top

Strabismus Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

question-icon-cta

Ask a Vet

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Bichon Frise

dog-age-icon

Nine Weeks

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

3 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Lazy Eye

My puppy I just got about a while ago and it seems to be that my pup has a lazy eye in one of her eyes I think it’s her left eye but the difference between the two is very small It took me a while to even see it I love her either way but I wanna make sure that she’s okay and not hurting in some way, I just put a photo and she does that once in a while which really worries me

Aug. 6, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. It is possible that the muscles in your puppy's eye are not as developed as they should be, and she may actually grow out of that overtime. It is quite a subtle difference, and I'm not sure that it is a reason to be worried. What I would probably do would be to mention it to your veterinarian at her next appointment, as they can assess the function and the nerves in her eyes, and make sure that everything is working okay. I hope that all goes well for her.

Aug. 6, 2020

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Maltese

dog-age-icon

8 months

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Crossed Eye

my dog was born crossed eye is there anything i can give him

Aug. 3, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. There is not anything that you can give your dog to help with an abnormality in the muscles of the eye, no. If you are not sure if the dog is okay, it would be best to have him seen it by a veterinarian, as they can examine him. I hope that all goes well for him.

Aug. 3, 2020

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Treeing Walker Coonhound

dog-age-icon

5 months

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Wondering Eye

His eyes have always been wondering but not really bad to notice . All though this morning his left eye was very noticeable . I don’t know if it’s inherited or if our older dog whipped him really hard into our coffee table . P.s. they play really ruff everyday . His eye does go back to normal but it also wonders like that .

July 31, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Sara O. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

0 Recommendations

Hello, This could be from them just playing to hard. If there is any redness or spot on his eye, he will need eye drops. Your vet can get these for your dog.

July 31, 2020

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Cocker Spaniel

dog-age-icon

5 weeks

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Lazy Eye

We are due to pick our puppy up in 3 weeks time. We have received some photos on which he appears to have a lazy eye. Is there anything to be concerned about in the attached photographs?

July 19, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I did not receive any photographs, but some of the muscles in dogs eyes will strengthen over time, while some remain weak and the eye may not be normal. There are no particular long term effects of this, and if that is the puppy that you want, I don't see a reason to change that. If you want to be sure, you can have a veterinarian perform an examination, as they are able to assess vision and look at your puppy. Good luck with your puppy!

July 19, 2020

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Cocker Spaniel

dog-age-icon

5 weeks

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Lazy Eye

We are due to pick our puppy up in 3 weeks time. We have received some photos on which he appears to have a lazy eye. Is there anything to be concerned about in the attached photographs?

July 19, 2020

Owner

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I did not receive any photographs, but some of the muscles in dogs eyes will strengthen over time, while some remain weak and the eye may not be normal. There are no particular long term effects of this, and if that is the puppy that you want, I don't see a reason to change that. If you want to be sure, you can have a veterinarian perform an examination, as they are able to assess vision and look at your puppy. Good luck with your puppy!

July 19, 2020

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

Lilly

dog-breed-icon

Dachshund

dog-age-icon

6 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

None That I Can Tell. Her Other Ey

My 6 yr old Doxie woke up this morning to find her right eye is looking to the right side. No accident or ear infections. She seems to be sedated but she is not. There is kinda a film over her eye. Also her other eye is now seems to be be wanting to do the same thing.

dog-name-icon

no name

dog-breed-icon

Aussie Bulldog

dog-age-icon

9 Weeks

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

As Above

I picked up a 9week old Aussie Bulldog puppy yesterday, as I drop some ditance I didnt notice untill I arrived home both eyes are pointing out, she is bumping into things and cant seem to focus on food / water dish. She has a health guarentee. Will this issue get better, or will she have on going issues?

dog-name-icon

Kimchi

dog-breed-icon

Pug

dog-age-icon

2 Months

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Strabismus

I have gotten a 2 month old pug puppy and noticed that her eyes are looking towards the east and west direction (people say it looks like frog eye) but doesn’t seem to have too much a problem following my finger. Is there a possibility that it can be corrected when she gets older or should I visit the vet sometime soon for a consultation. Or any other eye exercise to recommend? Thank you!

dog-name-icon

UnUnnamed

dog-breed-icon

Mini Australian Shepard

dog-age-icon

3 Weeks

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Lazy Eye

My dog gave birth to 6 mini aussies and they are now 3 weeks old. I have noticed that one of her puppies has a lazy eye. It's one eye will look at me but its other eye is always looking left. I'm not sure if they have stabismus.

dog-name-icon

not sure yet

dog-breed-icon

Beagle

dog-age-icon

8 Weeks

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Crooked Eye

Hi, I just bought a 8 week old male beagle today and I noticed that it's left eye is slightly crooked and red. He received 2 doses of 1-DAPPv vaccine and his worming medication. I noticed no other defects or swelling anywhere else on his body he is still active and acts normal. I am a first time dog owner and am still doing research and need all the help I can get best regards, Andrey.

Strabismus Average Cost

From 245 quotes ranging from $500 - $10,000

Average Cost

$6,000

Capstar Flea Tablets for Dogs

wagwalking.com

Shop now
advertisement image
How can we help your pet?