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If addressed by a veterinarian promptly most ophthalmic issues have positive outcomes. If you see redness, squinting, cloudiness of the cornea or abnormal discharge set up an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible.
As part of your pet's regular check-up, the veterinarian will spend time examining your animal's eyes. In the majority of cases, the doctor will see eyes that are bright, clear and free of any sort of abnormality. Occasionally though, pets present to their veterinarian with injuries, scratches or irritation to their eyes or eyelids. Some pets have inverted eyelids (entropion) or even extra eyelashes that grow on the inner surface of the eyelid (distichiasis). Short faced dogs and cats often find themselves with scratched corneas from normal play and roughhousing with other pets. Some pups will end up with a condition known as "cherry eye" where the gland of the third eyelid protrudes up and away from its normal position.
A majority of eye cases can be handled by your veterinarian by flushing the eyes, providing the right medications or possibly even performing minor surgery to protect the pet's vision. But, if the issue is complex, not resolving or when serious eye problems, like glaucoma, cataracts or even retinal detachments occur, veterinary ophthalmologists are often called to help the pet and pet owner.
Pet owners can help their veterinarian and the veterinary ophthalmologist by addressing any eye issue promptly, as prompt veterinary care can often save your pet's vision. It's important to have the eyes examined if there is any irritation or injury and to avoid using over the counter or previously prescribed medications. Some of these might contain steroids which may hinder the healing process. Signs that your pet is uncomfortable include continual squinting, pawing at the eyes, cloudiness of the cornea or even severe redness. If you note any of these symptoms, or even your pet just doesn't seem to see as well as he or she ages, an examination with your veterinarian is warranted.
Your veterinarian will work closely with the veterinary ophthalmologist in order to do what is best for your pet and to protect his or her vision.