Corneal Ulcer is an inflammatory or more seriously, infective condition of the cornea involving disruption of its epithelial layer with involvement of the corneal stroma. It is a common condition in humans particularly in the tropics and the agrarian societies.
Corneal Ulcer in Dogs
By James Gosling
Corneal ulcers affect the cornea of the transparent and dome-shaped film that covers the eye. A clear, shiny layer it doesn’t have a single blood vessel and allows free passage of light through it. Moreover, the cornea of the eye does contain several nerve fibers that are connected to pain receptors and does feel pain or discomfort. Pet health can get affected due to corneal ulcer, which can also lead to lack of proper eyesight in dogs. The primary job of a cornea is to refract the light that enters the eye and therefore, help the pet’s eye to focus on an object. Made up of many (four) layers, the first layer of the cornea also acts as a protective shield against micro organisms that try to enter and infect the eye.
Pet health care is compromised when the first layer of the cornea is damaged and can’t protect the eye from bacteria and other micro organisms. Because the eye gets infected, it becomes more painful and pet health is affected by corneal ulcer. Furthermore, corneal ulcer can further damage pet health by invading much deeper and wider through the other corneal layers. Pet health care can be serious cause of concern when the infection reaches the other parts of the pet’s eye and damages it. In some cases, the damage may be irreparable.
Causes Of Corneal Ulcers
Even the smallest abrasion to your pet’s eye can lead to corneal ulcer. Typically, dogs rub their faces with their paws or get scratched on the eye by other animals, or objects such as animals, thorns, grass blades etc. All these can damage pet health and lead to corneal ulcers.
Symptoms of Corneal Ulcers
Pet health care means that you are aware of the slightest change in your pet’s behavior or nature. If your pet is affected by corneal ulcer he may show the following symptoms:
3. Increased tearing
4. Cloudiness of the cornea
5. Yellow or green color discharge (mucus or pus) from the eye
6. Inflamed, red conjunctiva, which is the pink colored tissue around the cornea and the lining of the pet’s eye lids.
7. Rubbing excessively at the eye
8. Occasional lethargy
9. Pawing at the infected eye
10. Change in normal behavior
Diagnosis Of Corneal Ulcers
If you notice one or several of the above symptoms then you must safeguard your pet health by taking him to a veterinarian. The vet will make a full-eye check up for diagnosing the ulcer. To begin with, the vet will try to determine the presence of foreign objects or other causes of infection. He/She may also apply a special dye known as ‘flourescein’ to the pet eye as the corneal ulcer quickly absorbs this dye and helps making in making the diagnosis easily.
Treatment Of Corneal Ulcers
The treatment of corneal ulcer to ensure pet health can only be determined by the vet upon proper diagnosis. The treatment usually consists of an eye drop for alleviation of pain, and an antibiotic eye cream/ointment that must be applied 4-6 times each day.
An e-collar or a lamp shade shaped collar is a good pet health care precaution and prevents the pet from pawing his infected eye.
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