Dogs and cats are susceptible to many of the same ophthalmic conditions as people. Many of these problems can lead to severe vision problems or even blindness if not discovered and treated early. Therefore, an ophthalmic examination is part of every complete physical exam we perform on your pet. If a problem is detected with your pet’s eyes additional diagnostic testing may be required. This can included staining the eyes to test for corneal ulcers, conducting a Schirmer tear test to determine if there is adequate tear production or tonometry to test for glaucoma.
It is crucial for your pet’s vision that we detect and treat glaucoma and other problems with intraocular pressure (pressure within the eye) as quickly as possible. If not treated immediately (within hours to days), glaucoma can cause severe pain, permanent vision loss or blindness. Because glaucoma is painful, your pet may react by rubbing or pawing at the eyes or rubbing his or her head against the floor or furniture more than normal. We can test your dog or cat’s eyes for excess pressure easily and safely. The test, performed with a device called a tonometer, is not painful and does not require sedation.
Call us right away if you notice any of the following problems in either or both of your pet’s eyes: dilated (enlarged) pupils, unequal pupil size, uncontrollable movement of the eyes (nystagmus), clouding of the cornea (the normally clear outer layer of the eye), red or bloodshot eyes, one eye protruding or appearing larger than the other, squinting, or tearing.