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Labrador Retrievers and Springer Spaniels are among the dog breeds most likely to develop eye problems, new research has found.
According to the eyesight experts at All About Visionover a third of pet owners wouldn’t know if their four-legged friend was suffering from eye disease, while many aren’t aware of the impact that these diseases could have if they are left untreated.
Sadly, untreated eye disease in dogs can lead to them suffering in pain and even result in permanent damage such as corneal scarring and partial or total blindness. As well as this, common allergies, excessive itching, watery eyes and sneezing can also give us an indication that something isn’t quite right. And certain breeds of dog are more prone to developing eye problems than others.
“These statistics are not surprising at all. Most people don’t know they have allergies, much less their pets,” Dr. Matthew Belden, leading medical reviewer and specialist in veterinary medicine, says. “Allergies are very common in dogs and the types of allergies we usually see include food allergies – which can cause chronic diarrhoea, inhalant allergies and contact allergies.”
Take a look at the full list of breeds below…
10 dog breeds most likely to develop eye problems
- labrador retriever
- springer spaniel
- golden retriever
- siberian husky
- great dane
- German Shepherd
- Bulldog (most short-nosed/flat/faced dogs)
So how can we look out for or prevent eye problems? Keep reading for all you need to know…
1. Visit your vet annually
Conjunctivitis is the most common eye issue for pets. “Most eye issues can be detected during a good physical exam, so yearly veterinary check-ups are very important. That’s also an excellent time to ask any questions you may have about your pet’s eyes,” Matthew says.
2. Know what is “normal” for them
Just like our eyes, their eyes are just as sensitive and work in the same way that ours do. “Normal” eyes should be crystal clear, with the white part of the eye looking a bright white shade. The outer corners of the eye should also be a healthy pink colour.
3. Keep their eyes clean
“Pets can usually clean their eyes with their own tears. It’s not unusual for pets to have a bit of dried discharge on the inside corner of the eye, especially on windy or dusty days,” says Matthew.
If you do need to clean their eyes, the same ophthalmic saline solution that you would use on your own eyes is perfectly fine to use in the short term but you should avoid any contact with the cornea, the clear outer layer of the eye, when doing so. And make sure to always follow your own vet’s instructions.
4. Know the signs of eye disease
One of the main signs that your pet could be suffering from eye disease is redness of the white part of their eye. Excess discharge, eye cloudiness, frequent blinking or squinting and a reluctance to open their eyes are other signs to watch for as well.
Remember to always head to your local vet if you are unsure.
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