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Throughout the lives of dogs, many get red eyes. Red eyes may be a light, almost pink, color or very bright red. Red eyes typically refer to the “whites” of the eyes looking red, either partially or all throughout. When dogs have red eyes, they may only have one eye or both eyes affected.
With red eyes, there are usually other symptoms. Itchiness, irritation, or blurred vision may accompany eyes that have become red. The reasons for red eyes may be something very mild and treatable, such as an allergy to something a little more serious, such as a foreign object in the eye. Reasons for red eyes include:
There are several factors that can cause red eyes in dogs. If you notice your dog has red eyes, make an appointment with your veterinarian without delay. An injury or disease of the eye could lead to vision loss; causes may include:
If a foreign object, debris, dust, and other particles get into the eye and cause irritation, your dog’s eyes may become red. It is important to take your dog to the veterinarian to have him assess the situation and, if possible, remove the irritant safely before it causes any or more damage to the eye.
Conjunctivitis occurs when there is an infection, either viral or bacterial, within one or both eyes. The eyes become red and can become very painful and infected. With conjunctivitis, there is typically a level of discharge that is present.
Corneal disease can cause reddened eyes. If the cornea is subject to damage by infection, disease, or any injury, the eye can become quite red. Diseases of the cornea, such as keratoconus, cause the cornea to become distorted and can cause redness and irritation.
Other diseases can cause redness of the eye, and your veterinarian or an ophthalmologist will be the one to diagnose a disease. There are many health conditions that can cause redness of the eyes, such as arthritis and scleroderma (tissue disease), and others.
Skin conditions, such as dermatomyositis, mites or mange, can cause eye redness if it occurs close to the eye area. If a skin disease spreads to a vicinity near the eye, your pet may scratch and injure the eye while itching the area.
If you notice that your dog has had a red eye for more than a few days, make an appointment with your veterinarian. Once you take your dog to the veterinarian, he will want to know how long the redness has been present and how extreme it has been. He may also want to know the health history of your dog, as well as age and any other illness or medications your dog may have.
Your medical professional may then examine your dog’s red eyes to get an idea of how severe the redness is, and may conduct a few tests. To begin, he may do a complete physical examination on your companion with bloodwork, a biochemistry profile, and urinalysis. These tests will check for any underlying health conditions.
He may then do a complete ophthalmic exam, such as an ocular examination, a Schirmer tear test, and a corneal stain test to check his overall eye health. He may also do an examination of your dog’s skin and check for any lesions around the eye area.
In order to be proactive with your dog’s overall health, regular veterinary visits are crucial. If your dog is in the beginning stages of a specific disease or illness that may cause a symptom such as red-eye, your veterinarian may be able to diagnose this health condition early on.
Irritants and allergens may cause your dog’s eyes to become reddened. Avoiding allergens and irritants can help prevent your dog’s eyes from becoming irritated. Being aware of your dog’s environment can help decrease some irritants, and if your dog already has been diagnosed with allergies, the use of eye drops or keeping him away from allergens as much as possible can help decrease the chances of his eyes becoming irritated and red.
The approximate cost for corneal disease and relieving your pet of the redness and irritation is $600. The expense for treating mange caused by mites may be $500.
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