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Eye Injuries in Pets: When to Seek Veterinary Care

Just like us, our pets can suffer from eye injuries. However, they aren't able to tell us when something is wrong. Today, our Vancouver vets discuss eye injuries in pets, share insights on how to identify them, and offer advice on when to seek professional care. 

Whether your cat or dog spends most of their time indoors or ventures outside, there's always the risk of an eye injury occurring from fights with other animals, scratches, foreign bodies in the eye, chemical exposure, and contact corneal trauma, all of which are common causes of eye injuries in pets. 

As soon as you notice your pet's eye or injury, or that they are displaying symptoms of an eye injury, get them to a veterinarian so the cause and severity of the injury can be assessed. 

Urgent veterinary care is especially important when a dog or cat has suffered an eye injury because several eye conditions and injuries can lead to permanent scarring and even loss of vision if not properly treated. 

Common Causes of Eye Injuries in Pets 

There are several common causes of eye injuries in pets. Some of the more common ones include: 

  • Dry eye or foreign body (potentially due to riding with the head outside an open car window) 
  • Projectiles 
  • Scratches to the eye (potentially from branches while running in the woods)
  • Injury from fights (potentially with another family pet or other animal)
  • Digging in the brush (potentially from damage to the eye caused by brush)

Signs of Eye Injuries in Pets 

If your dog or cat is displaying any of these eye injury symptoms, see your vet right away:

  • Squinting
  • Rapid blinking 
  • Inability to open the eye
  • Tearing eyes 
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Cloudiness or discharge 
  • Pawing at eye and/or face 
  • General discomfort

Diagnosing Pet Eye Injuries

You can help your vet determine the diagnosis by providing specific information including when your pet’s symptoms began, if they seem better or worse, and any details you may know about the situation that caused the injury.

If your vet can’t immediately see a foreign object in your pet's eye or other damage to the eye, they’ll conduct a thorough eye exam to determine if there’s a deeper injury, irritation, or bruising as a result of trauma.

Cat & Dog Eye Injury Treatment

Treatment options will depend on the severity of your pet's injury and what caused the injury to your pet's eye. In many cases, a simple injury can be treated by having your dog or cat wear an e-collar to prevent rubbing and prescription antibiotics or drops. More complex injuries may require eye surgery to repair your pet's eye and restore its function.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is your cat or dog showing signs of an eye injury? Contact our Vancouver vets with any questions or concerns you may have. We'd be happy to address them for you.

We Welcome New Patients

Columbia River Veterinary Specialists is accepting new patients by referral and for emergency services. Our experienced emergency vets  and specialists are passionate about the health of Vancouver companion animals. Ask your vet today about a referral.

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