why does my puppy have red eyes
Red eye causes the dog s eye to become inflammed and, well, red. This inflammation may be due to various factors, including excess blood in the eyelids (hyperemia) or in the eye s blood vessels (ocular vasculature). This occurs when vessels expand in response to extraocular or intraocular (outside of, and within the eye, respectively) inflammation, or a passive accumulation of blood. The condition described in this medical article can affect both dog and cats. If you would like to learn more about how red eye affects cats, please visit
in the PetMD health library. The most common signs of red eye in dogs is redness and inflammation affecting one or both eyes. There are various factors which may contribute to a dog s red eye, such as inflammation of the eyelid, cornea, sclera, conjunctiva, ciliary body, and iris. Other causes include: Your veterinarian will perform a complete physical exam on your pet, including a blood chemical profile, a complete blood count, a urinalysis and an electrolyte panel.
You will need to give a thorough history of your dog s health, an onset of its symptoms, and possible incidents that might have precipitated this condition. Red eye is often a visible symptom of an underlying systemic disease, sometimes of a serious nature. Consequently, bloodwork is essential for ruling out or confirming an underlying disorder. In order to rule out cancer and infectious causes to the red eye, X-ray imaging can be used for visual inspection of the chest and abdomen. Just as useful for diagnostic purposes are ultrasound images of the eye, which can be performed if the eye is opaque, and tonometry -- measurement of the pressure inside the eyes using a tonometer. If there is pus-like discharge from the eye, or long-term disease of the eye, your veterinarian will perform an aerobic bacterial culture and sensitivity profile.
Other tests your veterinarian may choose to perform are a Schirmer tear test to verify normal tear production; a cytologic (microscopic) examination of cells from the eyelid, conjunctiva, and cornea; and a conjunctival biopsy (tissue sample) if there is chronic conjunctivitis or mass lesions. Fluorescein staining of the cornea, which uses a non-invasive dye to coat the eye, making abnormalities more visible under light, can also be used for the detection of foreign material, ulceration, scratches, and other lesions on the surface of the dog s eye. When you notice that your dog has red eyes, you need to check if this redness is affecting the actual structure of the eyeball. It is possible that the redness is limited to the eyelids which can seem inflamed or even oozing pus. This could be due to many reasons, some of which depend on the breed of dog.
Some breeds such as Pugs and Labradors are prone to congenital conditions like distichia (abnormal eyelash growth) which can cause irritation. Short muzzled dogs often have problems with eyelid redness which should not be of much concern. If you see redness in the eye itself, it might be due to an aberrant irritation such as contact with a chemical substance, burst blood vessel or even an allergic reaction. If the eye is both red and swollen, it is also possible that there is an infection. One such condition when you see redness in the whites of the eye is episcleritis, a term indicating inflammation of the ocular structure. This inflammation can present itself as a generalized swelling in the eyeball or as a small inflamed nodule in a very definite position. We must first clarify whether or not it is a benign condition with a good prognosis.
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