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Dogs don’t always have a great sense of self preservation when it comes to taking care of their eyes. They often stick their heads into situations that may result in damage to their eye, and a trip to the veterinarian.
These are the common eye injuries veterinarians have to contend with.
1. Blunt trauma. A bump to the face will cause a black eye in dogs, just as it does in people, but it won’t be as obvious.
2. Cat scratch. These are very common, and can be very serious. As you can imagine, cat claws are laden with bacteria and they can lead to a severe infection of the eye.
3. Corneal abrasions The cornea can be scratched by a plant or twig, and this is extremely painful.
4. Foreign body in the eye. A seed or piece of sand or gravel can become lodged in the eye, causing irritation and inflammation.
5. Chemical burns to the cornea. Chemicals such as pool chlorine can burn the cornea if they are inadvertently splashed into the eye. The result is similar to a corneal ulcer and it is just as painful.
6. Proptosis. Some breeds of dogs such as Pugs and Pekingese, have very flat faces and very shallow eye sockets. Their eye may actually pop out of the socket. This is extremely distressing for the dog and their owner.
There is very little first aid that you personally can do for an eye injury. Eye injuries are a true medical emergency. It is imperative that you take your dog to your veterinarian for treatment straight away.
The most important thing is to stop your dog rubbing their eye and causing further damage. Fold a soft cloth and moisten it with sterile saline and gently hold it on your dog’s eye.
If the eye has prolapsed, keep it moist by flushing it regularly with sterile saline solution.
In Summary – Prevention is always better than cure, but that’s not always possible with eye injuries. Often, the best you can do is know how to manage them when they occur.
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